Baltimore TV anchor is fired over ‘racist and sexist’ question

A Baltimore TV anchor has been fired after a question she asked on air about the gender and race of the city’s past three mayors was widely deemed racist and sexist. 

Mary Bubala confirmed on Tuesday that she had been dropped by Baltimore’s WJZ station over her remarks on live television last week. 

Bubala, who has been with the station 15 years, was covering the resignation of controversial mayor Catherine Pugh when she asked a question about the city’s string of past leaders.  

Mary Bubala (left) confirmed on Tuesday that she had been dropped by Baltimore's WJZ station over her remarks on live television last week as she covered the resignation of controversial mayor Catherine Pugh

Mary Bubala (left) confirmed on Tuesday that she had been dropped by Baltimore's WJZ station over her remarks on live television last week as she covered the resignation of controversial mayor Catherine Pugh

Mary Bubala (left) confirmed on Tuesday that she had been dropped by Baltimore’s WJZ station over her remarks on live television last week as she covered the resignation of controversial mayor Catherine Pugh

‘We’ve had three female, African American mayors in a row. They were all passionate public servants. Two resigned, though. Is this a signal that a different kind of leadership is needed to move Baltimore City forward?’ she asked. 

The question, which was directed to Loyola University Maryland professor Karsonya Whitehead, was about the previous three mayors Sheila Dixon, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Catherine Pugh. 

It prompted immediate outrage from viewers who urged WJZ to take action against the veteran TV anchor. 

Bubala immediately apologized in the wake of the backlash, saying the question did not come out the way she had intended.  

She issued a statement on Facebook on Tuesday confirming that she had been fired.  

‘In my 22 years of working in TV news in Baltimore – 15 of those years with WJZ – I have always treated people with the utmost respect and dignity. I loved my job because I loved the people of Baltimore,’ she said. 

‘Last week I realized I made a mistake in the language I used on air. I immediately apologized for any hurt I unintentionally caused. I received immediate support from WJZ because they knew it was not in my heart to intentionally cause this kind of harm. I wanted to do an on-air apology but was not allowed. I hope that the people of Baltimore know that I would never do anything to hurt anyone 

‘Unfortunately, I now stand in the path of the tornado. WJZ was forced to let me go. I am saddened and shocked by this decision.’ 

Pugh resigned last week following a scandal that has put her in the crosshairs of federal, state and city investigators trying to unravel the murky financial arrangements of her self-published children’s books. 

Bubala has been with the station 15 years

Bubala has been with the station 15 years

She issued a statement on Facebook on Tuesday confirming that she had been fired

She issued a statement on Facebook on Tuesday confirming that she had been fired

Bubala, who has been with the station 15 years, issued a statement on Facebook on Tuesday confirming that she had been fired

Catherine Pugh resigned last week following a scandal that has put her in the crosshairs of federal, state and city investigators trying to unravel the murky financial arrangements of her self-published children's books

Catherine Pugh resigned last week following a scandal that has put her in the crosshairs of federal, state and city investigators trying to unravel the murky financial arrangements of her self-published children's books

Catherine Pugh resigned last week following a scandal that has put her in the crosshairs of federal, state and city investigators trying to unravel the murky financial arrangements of her self-published children’s books

In late March, Pugh had described her no-contract $500,000 arrangement to sell her ‘Healthy Holly’ books to a university-based health care system as a ‘regrettable mistake’ and offered apologies. 

Other customers included a Maryland financier who divulged that his financial firm decided to write a $100,000 check for ‘Health Holly’ books after she clinched the 2016 Democratic primary. 

She also sold tens of thousands of books to customers including a $4 billion hospital network she once helped oversee and health carriers with business before the city. 

Pugh’s resignation came exactly a week after her offices, homes and multiple other locations were raided by FBI and IRS agents and it became clear that a federal grand jury has been empaneled.

She is the second Baltimore mayor in less than a decade to step down because of scandal . She came to office contrasting her clean image with her main opponent, former Mayor Sheila Dixon, who was forced to depart office in 2010 as part of a plea deal for misappropriating about $500 in gift cards meant for needy families. 

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