Whoopi Goldberg speaks out in defense of Mississippi news anchor who has been off air since Snoop Dogg quote

Published 4:13 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Whoopi Goldberg spoke out in defense of a Mississippi news anchor and meteorologist who been missing from a Jackson television station news desk since she made some controversial remarks on the air earlier this month.

WLBT News’ Barbie Bassett has not been on the air since she used a quote from Snoop Dogg while discussing a story about the rapper’s wine collection. The remarks included a word that is slang for the N-word, although some, like Goldberg, have suggested that Bassett may not have been aware of that fact.

Officials at WLBT have not commented publicly about why Bassett has not been on  air. Her bio is no longer listed on WLBT’s website.

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Goldberg made her comments about the situation on the television show “The View” Tuesday.

Goldberg said her views on the issue have been a result of “having been in this situation before.” Goldberg has issued a number of apologies over the years after making controversial comments on air, including about the Holocaust.

“Just because we’re on television, doesn’t mean we know everything. We don’t know everything you’re not supposed to do,” Goldberg said. “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.'”

Goldberg suggested the situation points out how difficult it is for people like Bassett and her to keep

“There has to be a book of stuff that nobody could ever say, ever, ever, ever. Include everything,” Goldberg said. “Include everything because I tell you, 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.”

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

This is not the first time Bassett has had to deal with racially insensitive comments 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 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 public apology on the WLBT-TV news broadcast which 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.”