A meteorologist faced backlash after some viewers of CBS 46 believed she compared a black man to a viral photo depicting gorillas during a 9 p.m. newscast on Monday.
The anchors of the program, Shon Gables and Thomas Roberts, were discussing a photo of a black park ranger in the Democratic Republic of Congo with two gorillas when Ella Dorsey, the meteorologist, reacted by saying, "Isn't it amazing? You can see the similarities between you and them."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that, after an awkward pause, Roberts tried to diffuse the situation by saying, "My posture is not that good."
The station received a number of calls and emails from viewers who believed Dorsey was comparing the gorillas and the park ranger, according to AJC.
One viewer, Maya Teague, who witnessed the moment live, wrote on Twitter, "WOW! You notice the similarities between an African man and a gorilla? Focus on the weather, Sunshine." Teague then tagged the show’s anchor Gables, who is a woman of color, adding, "Please educate your coworkers on subliminal #racism."
In a response shared on Twitter, Dorsey wrote, "Hi Maya. I meant [similarities] in Thomas’s posture and the gorilla. I never meant between the man and the gorilla. Sorry if I offended you! Thank you for watching."
Hi Maya. I meant sililarities in Thomas’s posture and the gorilla. I never meant between the man and the gorilla. Sorry if I offended you! Thank you for watching.— Ella Dorsey (@Ella__Dorsey) April 23, 2019
Teague told AJC that Dorsey appeared to be a "fumbling mess on air. Ella's Twitter apology mirrors what happened live: She pivoted to discuss the gorilla's 'posture.'"
Others on social media were quick to come to Dorsey's defense, stating, "She doesn't take life so seriously and likes joking around with her co-workers and news stories. Sometimes she goes overboard. So what. People walk around with sticks up their butts looking for things to offend them. That's why this country is so f'ed up," and, "Sounds to me like she was referring to the gorillas."
To everyone sending me death threats right now: you wouldn’t be saying a damn thing if a tornado was ravaging your home this afternoon. Lives are more important than 5 minutes of golf. I will continue to repeat that if and when we cut into programming to keep people safe.— Ella Dorsey (@Ella__Dorsey) April 14, 2019
Recently, the meteorologist shared on Twitter that she received death threats after interrupting the Masters golf tournament to issue tornado warnings. She wrote on April 14: "To everyone sending me death threats right now: you wouldn’t be saying a damn thing if a tornado was ravaging your home this afternoon. Lives are more important than 5 minutes of golf."
CBS 46's news director, Steve Doerr, did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
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