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Media Bistro: Asian Am News Anchor Refuses to Take Part in “Hottest Newswoman” Contest

Melissa KimA radio station pulled back from a promotion asking listeners to select the “hottest newswoman” in part after an Asian American newscaster refused to participate.

According to Media Bistro, Melissa Kim of NBC affiliates WLBZ and WCSH in Bangor and Portland, Maine declined to take part along with fellow news anchor and co-worker Jackie Ward.  The two were nominated by Maine Radio station WDEA along with five other news women in the market.

The two were left on the ballot even though they didn’t want anything to do with it.

Their boss Mike Redding told the Daily News “They find it demeaning, and I find it demeaning. Our whole newsroom is offended by it.  No journalist worth her salt would participate in a contest like this.”

Apparently WLBZ wasn’t the only one to object to the contest.

WDEA radio released the following statement.

“First, let’s start by saying that we love all of these beautiful ladies! Now, let us say something else. It seems we offended a few of you out there with our use of the word “Hottest” to describe these lovely and talented journalists. It was not our intent to offend, so we’ve changed it to “Favorite.” Sorry about that.”

What do you think? Were the newswomen right to object? Did the radio station cave? Voice your opinion below.

 

 

 

 

 

16 COMMENTS

  1. George Kiriyama via Facebook: RE: Asian Am news anchor refuses to take part in "hottest newswoman" contest: I know Melissa Kim. And if you talk to her, you'll find out she's definitely a woman of character and integrity

  2. René Astudillo via Facebook: RE: Asian Am news anchor refuses to take part in "hottest newswoman" contest:: "It is not our intent to offend." Such a clichè.

  3. Hoichung Lee via Facebook RE: Asian Am news anchor refuses to take part in "hottest newsoman" contest: Of course they can object to it. Especially since it is perceived as the objectification or hyper-sexualiztion.

    • Hom Sup Lo via Facebook RE: Asian Am news anchor refuses to take part in "hottest newswoman" contest: lol@leo…i know right…she shouldn't flatter herself

      • Nivek Yao via Facebook RE: Asian Am News Ancor refuses to take part in "hottest newsoman" contest: only non-asian man would vote for her. so she is smart in making that wise decision.

        • Anthony Kim via Facebook RE: Asian Am news anchor refuses to take part in "hottest newswoman" contest: Stop acting like idiots. She's asking to be judged on the quality of her newscasting skills and not her looks.

  4. Kevin Leu via Facebook RE: Asian Am news anchor refuses to take part in "hottest newswoman" contest: Why does she even have to "agree" to take part in it? The radio station doesn't need her approval – unless they're using her in promotional material. She's a public figure now, and these kinds of contests/debates happen all the time – whether you like it or not. Hottest athlete/Olympian/public official/newscaster, etc. Just google any term and you'll find some pundit's opinion. I'm not saying she shouldn't be offended, and/or offer her opinion and ask that her name be removed, but as a public figure – who may or may not be moving to bigger markets – the attention she'll receive is only going to increase.

  5. from Frank Witsilvia Facebook RE: Asian Am news anchor refuses to take part in "hottest newswoman" contest:
    Efforts like this may be just a sign of the times — whether in a newsroom or in AAJA. But, are they appropriate? What may seem fun to some, is offensive to others. It undermines credibility — and may appear to be mockery. Let's lead by example.

  6. From Priscilla Luong via Facebook RE: Asian Amenrican woman news anchor refused to take part in "hottest newswoman" contest: It seems like the guys in AAJA have spoken, so I'll throw one out there for the girls. Yes, when you work in TV, you're a public figure & that makes you subject to scrutiny, but I think Melissa's actions show– calling a respectable woman "hot" & treating her like a piece of meat doesn't necessarily make her feel "pretty" or valued as a human being. I respect her decision.

    • RE: Asian American woman news anchor refused to take part in "hottest newswoman" contest: thanks, Priscilla. Actually I'm surprised more Asian American women reporters haven't commented on this. I'm wondering if some stations looking for publicity and buzz would have pressured their reporters to participate. There are some AAPI reporters who have done photo spreads in glossy magazines that play up their sexuality.

      • from Priscilla Luong via Facebook RE: Asian American woman news anchor refused to take part in "hottest newswoman" contest:"Sexy" is subjective, but I should be comfortable showing any published photos to my father. Each woman is different– if the spread is classy & makes her feel good about herself, that's fine. I just prefer to get my news from "Jackies," not "Marilyns.

  7. From Janet Cho via Facebook: RE: Asian American woman news anchor refused to take part in "hottest newswoman" contest:Cheers to Melissa Kim and her colleague Jackie Ward. As their boss so aptly put it: "No journalist worth her salt would participate in a contest like this.”

  8. From Owen Lei via Facebook RE: Asian American woman news anchor refused to take part in "hottest newswoman" contest: I think she made a good move. By the way, why is it that a hottest male anchor contest would probably go over better?

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