TV Reporter Says She Was Terminated After Boss Criticized Her Natural Hair

A Mississippi TV news anchor is taking a stand for her natural hair.

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Brittany Noble-Jones appeared on BuzzFeed News’ “AM2DM” and talked about her experience as a morning news anchor for WJTV.

The NABJ’s Emerging Journalist of the Year-winner talked about her decision to start wearing her hair natural, rather than straightened, on the air.

“While I was pregnant I kept wondering, ‘How am I going to teach my child to love their own hair if I don’t even love my own hair?'” she recalled.

Unfortunately, Noble-Jones’ boss did not appreciate the hairstyle, comparing it to “wearing a baseball hat to the grocery store,” adding, “Viewers needed to see a beauty queen.”

Apparently the issues continued, even after her boss left the station, leading her to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Then, after taking sick leave to take care of her dying grandfather, Noble-Jones was terminated from the station.

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“WJTV-TV and Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc., maintain a strict zero-tolerance policy which prohibits harassment, discrimination or retaliation of any type. Allegations that Ms. Jones’ employment was terminated for her choice of hairstyles have no basis in fact and are vigorously denied,” the company told BuzzFeed News in a statement. “Ms. Jones’ employment was in fact terminated for excessive absenteeism and for her failure to return to work and fulfill her contractual responsibilities after exhausting all available leave time.”

The statement continued: “We stand by our decision to terminate Ms. Jones’ employment and vehemently deny her latest publicly-stated version of reasons for her dismissal.”

Standing by her version of events, Noble-Jones said, “I hope that by talking about my hair it shines a light on some of the problems we as journalists face in sharing stories about people of colour.”

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