"She might not have any idea, she just thinks she’s sounding cool repeating Snoop Dogg!"
Charlamagne Tha God has spoken out in defence of the Mississippi news anchor who was fired after quoting Snoop Dogg lyrics during a live broadcast.
ICYMI: Earlier this month, WLBT journalist and meteorologist Barbie Bassett was discussing the rap icon’s collaboration with the wine company, 19 Crimes, and wrapped up the segment with a reference to Snoop’s early 2000s catchphrase, “Fo shizzle, my nizzle.”
The comment sparked major backlash on social media, and soon after, the anchor of 20 years was scrubbed from the station's website, where she was previously listed as a member of its news team.
Amid the drama, Charlamagne has spoken out with his thoughts on the incident during The Breakfast Club‘s recent Rumor Report segment.
“She can’t say ‘fo shizzle, my nizzle’?” Charlamagne asked. “I guess ’cause ‘nizzle’ is derivative of the n-word? I’m saying that in context, I didn’t mean to say it … I’m not using that word.”
When DJ Envy added that he believed Bassett shouldn't have been terminated, Charlamagne concurred.
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“I don’t think she should’ve been fired,” he added. “She might not even know what ‘nizzle’ means, yo. Like, come on, we got to, like, stop, man. That’s not a reason to fire that woman.
“That’s the thing with hip hop, man. hip hop is so big and so mainstream and it’s just like, who can consume it and who can’t? Who can repeat slang and who can’t? She might not have any idea, she just thinks she’s sounding cool repeating Snoop Dogg!”
When asked to comment on Bassett's firing, Ted Fortenberry, the station’s regional vice president and general manager, said in a statement, “As I am sure you can understand, WLBT is unable to comment on personnel matters."
It isn't the first time the veteran anchor has been called out for using racially insensitive language. In October 2022, she shocked viewers after referencing black reporter Carmen Poe’s “grandmammy” on air - which is a term slaves used for their grandmothers.
She later issued an apology to both Poe and the viewers.
“Last Friday on our newscast ‘Today at 11’, I used a term that was offensive to many in our audience and to my coworkers here at WLBT,” she said at the time.
“Though not intentional, I now understand how my comment was both insensitive and hurtful. I have apologised to Carmen Poe. Now, I would like to apologise to you. That is not the heart of who I am.”
She continued, “And for that, I humbly ask for your forgiveness and I apologise to everyone I have offended. I will learn from this and participate in training so I can better understand our history and our people.”
“I can’t mend the hurt my comment caused. I pray you’ll forgive me and that you’ll extend grace through this awful mistake.”