There is a new issue of my newsletter, “off the record.”
I’m sure Barbie was a beloved part of people’s daily news routine down there, and that’s fine, but there’s this thing that happens when white people get too comfortable around Black people: They start thinking they can say and do things they normally wouldn’t if they didn’t have that familiarity.
To be clear, “nizzle” is a euphemism for the n-word. Most of us know that, and I’m sure Barbie Bassett was well aware of that before she let it come out of her mouth. Using the euphemism instead of the real word when you are a white person is still egregious no matter how you try to defend it or spin it. You shouldn’t be trying to use that word in any way, shape or form, even if you try to say she was just emulating or paying homage to Snoop Dogg, it’s still wrong.
It’s just like the digital blackface conversation — there are no passes for this.
Bassett has not appeared on air since the incident happened, and according to multiple news reports, no reason has been given for her absence. While station vice president and general manager Ted Fortenberry said on social media, “WLBT is unable to comment on personnel matters,” there is no official word on whether she has actually been fired. Her bio is no longer on the station’s website, and she has reportedly removed any mention of WLBT from her Facebook page.A white lady news anchor said ‘fo shizzle my nizzle’ on air and got benched for her trouble