Mississippi TV anchor publicly asks for forgiveness for ‘awful mistake’ comment on air

Published 9:20 am Thursday, November 3, 2022

A longtime Jackson television news anchor issued a public apology Monday night for a comment she made on air Friday 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.

On Monday, 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.”