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Fired Black TV news anchor in Mississippi alleges her boss banned her from wearing her natural hair and pressured her to look like ‘a beauty queen’

A black news anchor in Mississippi alleges that she was told her natural hair was "unprofessional" and banned from TV by bosses she claims were "still stuck in 1953." 

Brittany Noble-Jones, a former co-anchor for WJTV "This Morning" in Mississippi, detailed her complaints about the news station in a Medium post explaining why she hadn't been on air recently

She claimed she was wrongfully terminated from the station after filing complaints against her allegedly abusive bosses with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2018. 

Noble-Jones told Yahoo Lifestyle that initially it was a "normal work environment," but said a number of stories she pitched were passed over, and when she became pregnant with her son in 2016, she felt as though she was being pushed out of the company brand. 

"After announcing that I was pregnant, I was no longer included in commercials," she wrote on Medium. "I felt the need to starve myself to fit in. I now weigh only 108 pounds. I did eat while I was pregnant and while carrying my son and postpartum, I wasn't allowed to represent the station and my events were given away to another white reporter."

Upon returning to work after giving birth to her son, Noble-Jones said she was told her natural hair was not appropriate for the work environment. 

"Women in this industry, particularly black women, feel forced to look a certain way by straightening their hair or wearing extensions," Noble-Jones told Yahoo Lifestyle. 

She said she usually wore a wig to save her hair from damage, but decided to go natural to inspire children to embrace their own hair.

Noble-Jones said she was initially given the green light to wear her hair naturally, but a month later was pulled into her boss's office.

She wrote on Medium: "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.' He even asked, 'why my hair doesn't lay flat.'"

Noble-Jones also claimed in the Medium post that WJTV "does not allow two black reporters to anchor the news together," saying the station was "still stuck in 1953."

"At the time of my first complaint, 7 of the 12 on-air staff members were black," she wrote on Medium. "That means station management goes out of their way when scheduling holiday and vacation requests to keep up us from sitting next to each other on the desk."

In June 2017, Noble-Jones filed a complaint with WJTV's parent company against two of her supervisors, and claims the atmosphere grew more hostile following her filings.

And in April 2018, Noble-Jones took her complaint to the EEOC.

The next month, when she was using sick days to take care of her dying grandfather, she claims she was terminated from her job at WJTV.  



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