Did Buffalo Anchor ad lib Racist Comment?


WGRZ (Buffalo) Anchor Maryalice Demler has been known to shoot her mouth off during some of her ad libs in the newscast.

But, her latest ad lib has some people raising their eyebrows and others calling her comments racist.

At the end of the 6 p.m. newscast Wednesday, viewers heard Demler shout "what!" as sports anchor Adam Benigni read a story on the shoplifting citation that Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston of Florida State received for failing to pay for $32 worth of seafood at a Florida grocery store.

After Benigni finished, Demler followed with the ad-lib.

"Did he have a shopping cart or were crab legs stuffed in his hoodie?" asked Demler.

Winston is black. Of course, people of all races wear hoodies. But hoodie has been a racially charged word since the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Florida two years ago. Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was killed. It became a symbol of Zimmerman's suspicions about Martin and remains a symbol today.

At best, Demler’s ad-lib was in poor taste and insensitive. At worst, it was a stereotyped conclusion.

This is not the first time Demler’s choice of words has been debatable. In December, she posted to Twitter a photo of herself with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and called him  "a sweetheart of a guy." 

WGRZ General Manager Jim Toellner tried to defend Demler, telling the Buffalo News "hoodies are almost a uniform among all college kids," he said. 

Nice try, but not everyone is buying it. 

H/T Buffalo News