rhonda lee*Since meteorologist Rhonda Lee was let go from the CBS affiliate news station KTBS in Shreveport, LA, fans and activists have rallied behind her, insisting the company’s decision was motivated by her ‘ethnic look’.

Lee was interviewed on MSNBC by host Thomas Roberts in a panel discussion with fellow anchor Melisssa Harris-Perry, who commended Lee for standing up for herself on Facebook.

“I think it’s so important for black women to speak for themselves about their hair, so what I appreciate about what Rhonda did here, in a very calm, consistent and I think educating manner. She spoke about what her hair is, what the choices were and the reasons for it and then she thanks the viewer for having a response,” said Harris-Perry.

While Lee did respond saying that her comment was an opportunity to inform an ignorant person; she also reflected on the difference in treatment of another anchor, a Wisconsin woman, Jennifer Livingston, who was praised for standing up to a bully that chastised her weight.

“I felt like [Livingston] got a platform and I got the boot. I’m not clear why I couldn’t have used this as an educational moment, instead, it was disheartening. I will say I tried. I really did try. I don’t believe in having to chastise a viewer, saying ‘bad viewer.’ Clearly, the guy just didn’t know. I felt like if I was in that position to help him, I should be able to do so.”

Fans and followers shared similar views via Facebook, some demanding that the station rehire Rhonda, starting a few petitions. One has gotten more than 3,000 signatures and another 1,000.

Watch the interview:

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