Mississippi TV-anchor disappears from news broadcast after second set of comments considered racially insensitive

Published 11:21 am Monday, March 27, 2023

A longtime Mississippi television news anchor appears to no longer be employed by a Jackson television news station after she made comment in March that many have deemed racially insensitive.

Barbie Bassett is no longer listed on the WLBT News website where other on-air bios are located.

Bassett has not appeared on WLBT since March 8 when she reportedly made a comment at the end of a news story about Snoop Dog and his recent line of California wines. The comment was a repeat of a famous saying from the celebrity that contained a word that is considered a racial epithet for Black people.

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According to news reports, WLBT officials will not comment on personnel matters, including the situation with Bassett. Bassett has also not comment publicly about the situation.

This is not the first time Bassett has had to deal with racially insensitive comment made on-air.

In October 2022, Bassett issued a public apology for a comment she made that was offensive to some members of the audience.

During a Friday broadcast WLBT-TV anchor Barbie Bassett was talking with reporter Carmen Poe, who was working in the field and talking to Bassett who was in the TV studio.

In their exchange, Bassett made a reference to Poe’s “grandmammy.”

For a number of readers the word is considered racially charged as enslaved children often referred to their mothers as “mammy” and their grandmothers as “grandmammy.”

Social media critics attacked Bassett for making the comment.

Bassett made a publicly apology on the WLBT-TV news broadcast and was posted on their website.

Here’w what she said:

“Last Friday on our newscast ‘Today at 11’, I used a term that was offensive to many in our audience and to my coworkers here at WLBT. Though not intentional, I now understand how my comment was both insensitive and hurtful. I have apologized to Carmen Poe.

Now, I would like to apologize to you. That is not the heart of who I am. And for that, I humbly ask for your forgiveness and I apologize to everyone I have offended. I will learn from this and participate in training so I can better understand our history and our people.

I can’t mend the hurt my comment caused. I pray you’ll forgive me and that you’ll extend grace through this awful mistake.”