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Rhonda Lee, Meteorologist, Claims She Was Fired For Defending Her Natural Hair

Rhonda Lee had long been told that she needed to make her natural hair "more pleasing to a wider audience," she told HuffPost Live on Thursday, but she never expected her hair style to actually compromise her job.

Lee, an African American woman who currently works as a meteorologist for WeatherNation TV, recalled how comments she made in response to Internet vitriol targeting her hair ultimately led to her being fired by her former network.

"There really does come a breaking point when either you're going to accept me as I am and how I do my job, or you're not," she explained. "Apparently my station of KTBS chose not, and I was quickly fired for... two different comments that got me in trouble, both times defending being black in general."

While the network first asked that she let them know before releasing a "controversial statement" in the future, Lee told Nancy Redd, she took issue with that request given the nature of her commentary.

"[It] was kind of confusing to me at the time because I don't really consider my hair to be controversial -- I just consider it to be on my head!" she affirmed.

Her goal in responding to comments was not to stir the pot, she explained, but to celebrate her unique heritage.

"When it comes to looks, I feel like what I said to that viewer was that I'm very proud of who I am," she said.

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BEFORE YOU GO

  • 1 Sheryl Underwood: “Why would you save Afro hair?”
    Over the weekend, The Talk re-aired an episode that discussed things parents save from their children. The discussion launched with a quote from Heidi Klum where she explained that she saves her children's afro hair. Underwood responds with the comment: “Why would you save Afro hair?” She further goes on to say: "You can’t weave afro hair.” “You never see us at the hair place going ‘Look, here, what I need here is, I need those curly, nappy beads…That just seems nasty.”
  • 2 Wendy Williams On Viola Davis: "...I don’t wanna see Room 222 flashbacks on the red carpet."
    Skip to the three minute mark when the discussion goes to hair. The show she brings up, Room 222, might not be one you are familiar with. But many sites have taken the comment to mean that Wendy is saying Davis reminds her of Pete Dixon, the male teacher from the show who donned a short fro.
  • 3 Solange Knowles: "I've never painted myself as team natural vice president."
    When <a href="http://styleblazer.com/56622/styleblazin-news-solange-knows-says-shes-not-the-vp-of-natural-hair-more-in-her-tw
    StyleBlazer.com
    When Solange spontaneously launched a twitter rant against the "natural hair police" the internet went crazy.
  • 4 Lil Mama: “I posted the picture of my hair and people were like ‘Omg you look like a shocked slave!’"
    In an interview last summer with LoveBrownSugar, Lil Mama explained the backlash she experienced after posting a photo of her natural hair: "I posted the picture of my hair and people were like ‘Omg you look like a shocked slave!’ I didn’t get one comment from a white person about my hair. All of them came from the sisters that had these bullsh** helmut weaves looking like a fake a** Nicki Minaj. They don’t know who they are. And the people they’re looking to for guidance don’t know who they are either, which sucks.”
  • 5 Rhonda Lee, Meteorologist Fired After Responding To Comment About Her Hair
    Rhonda Lee <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rhonda-lee-fired-natural-hair-comments_n_2279950" target="_blank">was term
    Twitter
    Rhonda Lee was terminated from her position at KTBS 3 News, an ABC affiliate in Shreveport, La., after responding to racially charged remarks about her short natural hairstyle.
  • 6 Melissa Harris-Perry Discusses Black Hair On Her MSNBC Show
    MSNBC/Youtube
    Melissa Harris-Perry featured a roundtable of black women who are natural including actress Nicole Ari Parker and Nikki Walton founder of CurlyNikki.com. She also made headlines for a piece she wrote for Essence titled My Daughter, Myself where she interviewed her daughter.
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