Ashley Banfield has publicly called out the reporter who broke the Aziz Ansari sexual misconduct story earlier this week—and it’s not just over her journalistic abilities. Banfield, the host of HLN’s Crime & Justice with Ashleigh Banfield, shared an email HLN producers received from Babe.net reporter Katie Way after Banfield criticized the unnamed Aziz Ansari accuser in Way’s now viral story. According to Us Weekly, Ashleigh Banfield read parts of the scathing email on-air after Katie Way turned down a request to appear on her HLN show.
In the email, Way reportedly slammed Ashleigh Banfield as “someone who I am certain nobody under the age of 45 has heard of,” and added, “I hope the 500 retweets on the single news write up made that burgundy lipstick, bad highlights, second-wave feminist has-been really relevant for a little while.”
Earlier this week, Ashleigh Banfield issued an on-air open letter to “Grace,” the anonymous New York photographer who engaged in sexual activity with Master of None star Aziz Ansari then alleged the actor ignored her “non-verbal” cues that she wasn’t interested in sex with him. You can see Ashleigh Banfield delivering her open letter to Aziz Ansari’s accuser below.
In her email response to Banfield’s HLN invite, Way, 22, wrote that the anchor’s criticism of the accuser “was one of the lowest, most despicable things” she had ever seen, and she insinuated that it was a ploy for HLN’s ratings.
“She [Banfield] DISGUSTS me,” Way reportedly wrote.
Ashleigh Banfield revealed that she shared Katie Way’s email because of the comments the 22-year-old writer made about her age and her appearance.
“The reason I want to share that is because if you truly believe in the #MeToo movement, if you truly believe in women’s rights, if you truly believe in feminism, the last thing you should do is attack someone in an ad hominem way for her age — I’m 50 — and for my highlights,” Ashleigh told viewers, before issuing a reminder that she was a brunette for a while when working as a war correspondent “interviewing Yasser Arafat and in Afghanistan and Iraq and on the West Bank.”
“Google those places,” Banfield advised Way.
Ashleigh Banfield has been a reporter for MSNBC, CNN, and HLN. After starting her career as a news journalist in Canada in 1988, Banfield famously reported from the streets of Manhattan as the World Trade center collapsed behind her during the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
After Ashleigh Banfield read parts of Katie Way’s email on air, social media was flooded with comments about the young writer and her unprofessional attitude.
Katie Way writes like a middle schooler. Also, Ashleigh Banfield is awesome. https://t.co/i0CsfIQgo1— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 17, 2018
Wow. @K80way has the unmitigated hubris to put down respected journalist Ashleigh Banfield based on 500 retweets to one tabloid article? And on her choice of lipstick & highlights, no less?— Maria Morrissey (@mamaria33) January 17, 2018
Hey Katie Way, thanks for totally proving my point that you're anti-feminist. @babedotnet
So, "feminist" writer Katie Way is bashing journo Ashleigh Banfield by attacking her hair & makeup.— Chris Staiti (@realStaiti) January 18, 2018
Can somebody please tell me what 3rd wave feminism is all about??
With one rash email, Katie Way single-handedly destroyed any chance of a serious journalism career. Enjoy writing for grocery store gossip rags.— Mike Leach (@MikeLeachTV) January 18, 2018
Ashleigh Banfield>Katie Way
The Katie Way email is bad and embarrassing in every way, but even worse, it complete distracts from the way more important conversation we were supposed to be having.— Brittany Van Horne (@_brittanyv) January 17, 2018
When Katie Way was 6 years old, @TVAshleigh was dodging chunks of buildings toppling all around her on 9/11 -- and reporting on it on live TV. I'm guessing Ashleigh isn't terribly shook by this. https://t.co/IxJuVHugZH— Christy Lemire (@christylemire) January 17, 2018
Business Insider published the full email to HLN from Katie Way. In the email, the young writer stated that she would never appear on HLN and would never watch the network.
“No woman my age would ever watch your network,” Way wrote. “I will remember this for the rest of my career — I’m 22 and so far, not too shabby! And I will laugh the day you fold.”
The full text of Katie Way’s email directed at Ashleigh Banfield can be seen below.
Here's the full email the https://t.co/YZ14Jca6FS reporter who wrote the Aziz Ansari story sent when asked to go on HLN with @TVAshleigh. It is really something.https://t.co/qTca5xA9m0 pic.twitter.com/usZBm0KnIr— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) January 17, 2018
In her original statements, Ashleigh Banfield said Way’s article about Grace’s bad date with Aziz Ansari set the female empowerment movement in Hollywood back a few steps.
“You have chiseled away at a movement that I, along with all my sisters in the workplace, having been dreaming of for decades,” Banfield said in her open letter. “A movement that has finally changed an oversexed professional environment that I, too, have struggled through at times over the last 30 years in broadcasting.”
Katie Way has not yet responded to Ashleigh Banfield’s public reading of her email.