On March 8, a news anchor for NBC affiliate WLBT was taken off the air after she quoted a popular Snoop Dogg saying, leaving some media personalities to come out to defend the journalist for her actions.
During a segment on a live broadcast, Barbie Bassett said “fo shizzle, my nizzle” while she and another on-air colleague discussed the Long Beach rapper’s latest addition to his wine list. In pop culture, “nizzle” is another way to express the n-word.
“There has to be a book of stuff that nobody could ever say, ever, ever, ever. Include everything,” said The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg. “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.”
She continued: “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.”
Charlamagne Tha God also weighed in on the controversy. “She can’t say, ‘fo shizzle, my (expletive)?’ ” he said on Monday’s live taping of The Breakfast Club. “Oh, I guess because it’s a derivative of the n-word. She might not even know what the n-word means. Come on. We got to stop, man. That’s not a reason to fire that woman.”
Bassett has been with WLBT for 20 years, and although she has not been officially fired, her name and image have been removed from the news station’s website.
This is not the first time the news anchor has been caught up in controversy. Prior to her recent comments, she apologized for referring to a Black reporter’s grandmother as “grandmammy” while on the air.
Since the scandal made national headlines, the station’s regional vice president Ted Fortenberry told the New York Post that “as I am sure you can understand, WLBT is unable to comment on personnel matters.”