The game Cards Against Humanity has skyrocketed to popularity in recent years for its hilariously raunchy game play, but the intentionally offensive content was apparently too much for a news team in Toledo, Ohio. A group of news anchors and several other staff members were fired from the station simply for playing Cards Against Humanity in the studio.
BuzzFeed covered the surprisingly unforgiving punishment, reporting that WTOL-Channel 11 fired seven employees at once over the New Year’s weekend, basically doing a complete overhaul of their news team simply because of a risqué card game. Those fired included two professional news anchors, a meteorologist, a news producer, and three content specialists. The station listed ads to fill all of the positions immediately following the Cards Against Humanity incident.
But there wasn’t much of an incident. The news team was simply caught playing Cards Against Humanity behind the scenes — not on the air, and not even posting about it on social media as many players have done. Station General Manager Brian Lorenzen provided a statement to the Toledo Blade suggesting that the decision was made as a result of a policy that demands professionalism and respect among employees.
“WTOL takes seriously its employment policies and our obligation to provide an environment in which all employees are treated with respect and dignity. As a result, WTOL had to take personnel actions this week related to several employees. Due to personnel matters being involved, we cannot comment further.”
The faces of Trevor Ault, Ali Bradley, and meteorologist Kimberly Newman vanished from WTOL-Channel 11, likely leaving many viewers confused about why the entire news team was spontaneously replaced.
All three of the news professionals declined to comment on the Cards Against Humanity firing, but Ali Bradley has been active on her social media page, giving “likes” to fans who posted comments of support and criticism of the station’s decision.
Bradley also posted the following tweet, which appears to be an Emoji version of herself dropping a mic as if to say “good riddance.”
— Ali Bradley (@AliBradleyTV) January 15, 2016
Kimberly Newman has also shown appreciation for the wave of supportive messages she’s received from people claiming to be on her side.
All I can say is THANK YOU. I’ve been so blessed to be your meteorologist for the past 4+years. For now, I’m Kimberly Newman, signing off xo
— Kimberly Newman (@KimberlyWXtv) January 13, 2016
The names of the behind-the-scenes staff members who were also fired for playing Cards Against Humanity have not been released.
For anyone who isn’t aware, Cards Against Humanity is essentially an adult version of Apples to Apples, described as a “party game for horrible people.” Players are dealt a group of white cards that have funny but often vile answers on them. Then one player draws a black card with a sentence featuring a blank that must be filled with white cards. That player then votes on who provides the funniest (or most offensive) white card.
You can see a tame example below.
The game has gone on to become one of Amazon’s best-selling card games with thousands of positive reviews from Cards Against Humanity players.
Do you think it was the right decision to fire an entire news team for playing Cards Against Humanity? Do you think the station was wise to maintain professionalism, or was it an overreaction? Leave a comment with your thoughts below.
For more on Cards Against Humanity, read about what the game taught the world in 2015.
(Photo courtesy of customcardsagainsthumanity.com)