Ohio TV station fires employee over 'straight pride' Facebook post

The community relations director's controversial meme led to premature termination.

Ohio TV station fires employee over 'straight pride' Facebook post
Ohio TV
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An Ohio news station, WFMJ TV, has fired its community relations director, Madonna Chism-Pinkard, after she shared a meme about "straight pride" on a company-linked social media site.

The post, which was made in response to LGBTQ Pride Month in June, read, "Celebrate straight pride. It's natural, it has worked for thousands of years, and you can make babies!"

Chism-Pinkard, who had worked at the Youngstown-based NBC affiliate since 2004, commented on a screenshot of her post shared by the podcast "MLO Bros," saying, "Thanks for getting me fired." Although the original post appeared to be on her personal Facebook account, WFMJ stated that it was made on a company-linked social media site.

In a statement released on June 11, WFMJ confirmed Chism-Pinkard's termination. writing: "WFMJ has terminated the employment of our Community Relations Director following her unauthorized post on a company-linked social media site last week."

"WFMJ is committed to serving our entire community with the respect we believe all people deserve. We recognize we live in a diverse community with differing views on many topics, and we believe discussions of those views and reporting on them should be done in a respectful manner by all," it continued, adding, "We deeply regret that our Community Relations Director crossed the line.

"We do not condone such actions and apologize to you, our viewers, for this unauthorized post," it concluded.

Following the backlash, Chism-Pinkard deleted the post and apologized for offending one of the station's viewers.

However, some commenters on the MLO Bros' Facebook post argued that her termination violated her First Amendment right to free speech, with one user stating, "Freedom of speech does not apply to those who disagree with the insane culture that has developed in this country." Another commenter, who identified as gay, found the meme hilarious.

 

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  • By David Menzies

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