Barbie Bassett has not been on air for the NBC affiliate WLBT since March 8, when she and other employees were discussing Snoop Dogg’s addition to his wine line on air.
Bassett said, “Fo shizzle, my nizzle,” when the idea of a Snoop collaboration with a newsroom journalist was raised. (“Nizzle” is slang for the N-word.)
Two high-profile media personalities have now come to Bassett’s defense.
“She can’t say, ‘Fo shizzle, my (expletive)?’ ” Charlamagne Tha God said Monday on his nationally syndicated radio program The Breakfast Club. “Oh, I guess because (it’s) a derivative of (N-word).”
Charlamagne added: “She might not even know what (N-word) means. Come on, we got to stop man. That’s not a reason to fire that woman.”
The 20-year WLBT anchor has not officially been fired, but her biography has been removed from the station’s web site.
Whoopi Goldberg weighed in on the subject yesterday on The View.
“There has to be a book of stuff that nobody could ever say, ever, ever, ever. Include everything,” she said. “The things that change, ‘You can say this, but you can’t say that, but next week you might not be able to say this,’ it’s hard to keep up. It’s hard to keep up. And if you’re a person of a certain age, there’s stuff we do, and we say.”
Referring to Bassett’s local news platform she added, “Just because we’re on television, doesn’t mean we know everything. We don’t know everything you’re not supposed to do. And if there is something someone says, if you’re not going to give them the opportunity to explain why they said it, at least give them the grace of saying, ‘You know what? I’ve just been informed that I should not of done that,’ as opposed to, ‘You’re out.’ Because saying ‘You’re out’ means that you don’t want to hear what people have to say…that could have helped somebody else not make that mistake.”
Bassett previously caused controversy with a comment, referring to a Black reporter’s “grandmammy” on air. She later apologized.
When contacted by the New York Post, the station’s regional vice president Ted Fortenberry said, “As I am sure you can understand, WLBT is unable to comment on personnel matters.”
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