Brittany Noble, 32, a former news anchor at WJTV, a local station in Jackson, Mississippi, has reportedly been fired after filing formal complaints about discrimination in the workplace.
In a personal essay published on Medium Jan. 7, Nobel recounted numerous incidents in which she felt targeted because of her race, including being chastised for wearing her natural hair.
“After having my son, I asked my news director if I could stop straightening my hair,” she wrote. “A month after giving me the green light I was pulled back into his office. I was told ‘My natural hair is unprofessional and the equivalent to him throwing on a baseball cap to go to the grocery store.’ He said, ‘Mississippi viewers needed to see a beauty queen.’”
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For all of you following my EEOC case against WJTV & Nexstar here is an update. In 2017 I filed a formal complaint after my boss told me “my natural hair was unprofessional, the equivalent to him wearing a baseball hat to go to the grocery store: viewers needed to see a beauty queen.” I wasn’t included in station promos while pregnant and postpartum.🤰🏾If you know me, you know my main concern is reporting but a number of my investigations about race were shut down. My boss would say my story pitches and tweets weren’t “for all people.” After enduring a two month long investigation (while positively representing the station on tv each day) my boss was fired and replaced by another man with the same systematic behavior. Btw it was only after filing the complaint that WJTV finally offered me a storage closet to pump milk for my son 6 hours into my shift during normal business hours. 🤱🏾 I finally reached out to the EEOC in April of 2018 for help. The next month I was terminated while using my accrued sick time to care for my dying grandfather. I began working with Antonio Jones a federal investigator with the EEOC. He would ask questions like “how many white employees have to wear wigs in order to do their jobs?” Suddenly I got an email that Jones would be gone for 2 months. It has come to my attention that my federal investigator had to file his own lawsuit against the EEOC. His case documents allege he made “formal complaints regarding the district director and local director. Both of these directors improperly and illegally closed cases to help out certain employers whereas this reflected receiving kickbacks.” I turned in everything I had to the state hoping they would fight for me. To think the state could actually be working with the corporations and not for the people is beyond disheartening. I would reach out to the EEOC for more information but they are closed due to the government shutdown. 🤦🏾♀️ It is my understanding that my investigator has been protesting himself (SWIPE) He is an army veteran who was injured in Iraq. While on sick leave- due to his disability- his cases including mine were taken away and he was reassigned to another state. 🤷🏾♀️
Noble continued, “When I asked him how I should address the change on social media he told me to write ‘I was told to change my hair back to the way it was because that’s what looks best.’”
The 32-year-old also claimed that many of her pitches about race were rejected because they were “not for all people.”
“When I pitched stories about race in Mississippi, I was told the stories “are not for all people,” Noble recalled. “My boss constantly complained about the ‘types’ of stories I pitched and shared on my personal social media accounts.”
The former anchor had filed several complaints with Nexstar, the news station’s parent company, about the discrimination. When that didn’t appear to help her situation, in April 2018 she got the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) involved. Noble said this led to harassment by her higher-ups.
“The internal harassment got so bad that I made several trips to the EEOC department begging for help. They finally took my case but warned me I would get fired. “
Noble said she was fired in May 2018 and that her cause is currently on hold because of the government shutdown.