Thermometer against sky and sun

Source: the_burtons / Getty

The Weather Channel, owned by Black multimillionaire Byron Allen, now finds itself in a bit of hot water thanks to one of their local affiliates. California journalist Matthew Keys captured a screenshot of the n-word being used in a televised graphic for their Iowa market, and he posted the photo to his Twitter page this past Friday.

“The Weather Channel confirms this graphic accidentally made it on the air in the Des Moines market on Thursday during the ‘Local on the 8s’ segment,” he captioned the pic. “I’ve blurred it, but I’m pretty sure you can figure out what it said.”

TWC apparently replied to Keys’ post a few minutes later, so he relayed their statement as well. “This did not originate with us, and we are in the process of investigating it further,” the spokesperson said, per Keys. “It likely originated at the cable head-end, according to a source, though the network is still trying to figure it out.”

Another Twitterer similarly echoed TWC’s explanation and suggested it was “a rogue cable employee [who] must’ve messed with the files and caused it to say that.”

Nevertheless, the national cable TV network issued an express apology to its audience via its Facebook page. “A graphic during The Weather Channel cable network’s ‘Local on the 8s’ presentation in Des Moines last evening included a racial slur,” the statement read. “We removed this graphic as soon as we learned of it. This did not originate with us, and we are in the process of investigating it further. We apologize to our viewers.”

Two months ago, a Tennessee weatherman tweeted a remark about Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green that carried racist overtones as well. Joseph Sulipeck, the chief meteorologist at Fox13 WHBQ-TV, commented on a playoff loss the Memphis Grizzlies suffered to the Warriors and wrote that “Green runs his [slur] mouth ALL GAME LONG, but mild-mannered Kyle Anderson disputes one call and gets ejected?”

Some members of the Twitterverse promptly voiced their displeasure, and Sulipeck disabled his Twitter account soon thereafter. WHBQ-TV told SFGATE that the tweet “does not reflect the values of FOX13” and it would “take appropriate action pending a full investigation.”

But Green caught wind of the tweet and called out the weatherman on his own Instagram Stories. “Are you surprised?” Green wrote. “Don’t apologize. STAND ON IT!”

And Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he wasn’t shocked by Sulipeck’s actions, either. “Does it surprise me that a weatherman would tweet a slur at Draymond in 2022? Not in the slightest,” he said. “This is America. This is how we operate.”