Lisa Benson, a reporter who shared a story about white privilege on her personal Facebook account, has been fired after some of her co-workers took offense of it. Prior to that, she had already filed a pending lawsuit against KHSB-TV, the company she formerly worked at, for racial discrimination.
Last June, Benson shared a The Guardian article on Facebook entitled “How White Women Use Strategic Tears to Silence Women of Colour” which talks about how white women play the victim role whenever women of color assert themselves. She said she was fired from her job after two of her white female colleagues saw it and took offense.
Ruth Hamad, the author of the article, posted a series of tweets regarding Benson’s case which caught the attention of many. Hamad said Benson was suspended for making “broad, unfair characterizations of white women as a group based on their race and gender.”
Benson posted on June 13 that she was no longer a reporter for 41 Action News. She later clarified on a post on June 19 that she didn’t quit but was instead suspended for posting the controversial article and “subsequently told I ‘shall not report to work’ for the duration of my contract,” she wrote.
KSHB, the broadcasting company, denied Benson’s allegations of discrimination. News Director Carrie Hofmann said, “We can confirm that, in line with its contractual rights, KSHB did not renew Lisa Benson’s contract. We cannot comment on pending litigation. We stand by our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our workplace.”
Benson previously filed a lawsuit against the company for racial discrimination long before the White Tears issue. In the lawsuit, she claimed that her race was “constantly used” in deciding which stories she’d be covering. The lawsuit is still pending in federal court.
Moreover, Hamad ended her series of tweets saying, “My article went viral with most page views & shares occurring in the US. We can also make Lisa’s story go viral to ensure she is adequately compensated for this blatant targeting & discrimination. All she did was share my article to her personal page. WoC: we are strong together.”