Detroit TV Reporter Lauren Podell Resigns After Allegedly Using The N-Word
WDIV-TV reporter Lauren Podell has resigned from the station after an accusation that she used the N-word in an off-the-air conversation with a co-worker.
Podell had worked at the Detroit NBC affiliate for nine years, starting out as a traffic reporter.
According to the Oakland Free Press, the reporter’s alleged use of the N-word about six months ago surfaced on Facebook earlier this month.
“Detroit activist and political consultant/analyst Sam Riddle first posted the reported slur, in which Podell reportedly said several months ago — off the air and to a coworker — that she was ‘tired of reporting on these n— killing one another in Detroit.’ Riddle said Facebook removed his initial post about the statement, due to standards, but he has posted about the controversy several times…”
Bet, RIP your career then. Lauren Podell has resigned. pic.twitter.com/qHqbEGZ7rT
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 17, 2016
“Podell uttered the word while complaining about covering black-on-black crime in Detroit several months ago, according to WDIV reporters who spoke on condition of anonymity,” the Motor City Muckraker website claimed.
Ad Week provided some further context for the alleged incident.
“Podell had covered the Easter Sunday shooting death of a three-year-old girl, and been overheard using the racial slur while talking to her photographer.”
WDIV management confirmed last Wednesday that Lauren Podell had resigned, but had a slightly different take on the situation, according to what station VP Marla Drutz told the Detroit Free Press. “As also mentioned, the original social media post was not an accurate quote, and it suggested that our reporter made those specific remarks on-air. This is untrue. You also asked if any action was taken against her and yes, action was taken. However, as you can understand, this is a personnel matter.”
Drutz’s brief email announcement to staff that Podell had quit the station effectively immediately also quoted the reporter as saying that “During my time at WDIV I have created many friendships that I will continue to cherish.”
Podell’s dad is a well-known FM radio DJ in Detroit.
Community activists picketed the station the day following Podell’s resignation and have called upon WDIV to issue an apology for what they apparently consider a racist coverup. “Riddle and Reverend W.J. Rideout held a press conference earlier this week where they called for [a] boycott of WDIV and their advertisers if the station did not release an apology,” BlacDetroit reported last Wednesday.
In December 2013, Lauren Podell got into hot water, as it were, when she allegedly dropped an F-bomb on live TV (see NSFW clip below) amidst equipment problems during a remote from a fire scene.
“Her ouster has been the talk of the town as multiple news organizations have reported the issue, prompting anger on both sides with many asking WDIV on Facebook why they didn’t fire her and others saying the station overreacted,” the Oakland Free Press added about the N-word controversy.
“Podell, 31, is from West Bloomfield and earned a communications degree from Oakland University. Her career began as an intern at Fox 2 News in Southfield and later at WDIV, where she became a traffic reporter in 2007 and advanced to general assignments,” Deadline Detroit recalled.
— samriddle (@samriddle) November 17, 2016
Lauren Podell has apparently deleted her professional Twitter and Facebook accounts in the aftermath of the controversy and her resignation. WDIV also scrubbed her bio information from its website. The former WDIV news reporter has evidently made no public comment so far about what led to her ouster from her point of view, but watch this space for any updates that may emerge.
In a wholly unrelated matter previously reported by the Inquisitr, a Houston TV reporter found herself abruptly out of a job after posting a pro-Trump, anti-Obama message on her personal Facebook page.
[Featured Image by Denis Rozhnovsky/Shutterstock]