Anchor responds on-air to email calling her a racial slur

WGCL
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An Atlanta news anchor wasn't shocked to be called a racial slur in an email from a viewer but she decided, on-air, to have the last word.

"Just another day at the office. Not the first time I've been called that word," CBS46 anchor Sharon Reed wrote on her Facebook page, as she posted the email that included two misspellings of the N-word.

The unsigned email from the handle "kathyrae1962" says Reed should be fired for a "race baiting comment" she made during a newscast Tuesday night.

"It's o.k. for blacks to discuss certain subjects but not whites, really?" the email says before going on to say Reed is racist and calls her the N-word.

It was not immediately clear what exactly Reed said that prompted the email.

After reading the email aloud, Reed said the viewer mischaracterized her comments. It's important to talk about race, she said, adding that she and her colleagues decided to have that discussion on-air after noting that race had become an issue in the Atlanta mayoral race. The runoff election, held Tuesday, saw a black woman facing off against a white woman.

Reed said she wouldn't make the same mistake and mischaracterize the email sender's viewpoint.

"I get it. On Dec. 5, 2017, you think it's OK to call this journalist a n****. I don't," Reed said. "But I could clap back and say a few things to you. But instead I'll let your words, Kathy Rae, speak for themselves."

Commenters on Reed's Facebook page and on the station's website overwhelmingly supported Reed, saying she was measured in her response and handled the situation with class.

On Thursday, Reed addressed the email on-air again, but for a different reason. She said some viewers "crossed the line" by harassing a woman named Kathy Rae. However, investigators say the Kathy Rae who is facing backlash is not the person who sent the racist email.

"You threatened a woman named Kathy Rae with violence," Reed said. "And no way, no way are you gonna do that in my name, or the name of this television station. Not OK. That woman, the wrong Kathy Rae, has been bombarded. Her employer has gotten emails demanding she be fired."

The woman has a slightly different email address from the person who sent the message to Reed. She's a school bus driver for kids with special needs in Flint, Michigan.