What’s irrefutable is that Catherine Pugh, the embattled former Baltimore mayor who recently resigned after a children’s book scandal destroyed her political career, fucked up.
But are her failures as an elected official in any way, shape or form related to, or reflective of, her standing as a black woman? Of course not.
Unfortunately, the Baltimore Sun reports that longstanding WJZ anchorwoman Mary Bubala was unable to differentiate between the two and recently came out her neck spewing some racist nonsense that belongs as DVD bonus footage in 2017's Get Out.
On Thursday, while discussing Pugh’s resignation on air, Bubala offered the type of pointed critique reserved for plantation owners and White House potlucks.
“We’ve had three female, African-American mayors in a row. They were all passionate public servants. Two resigned, though,” Bubala said. “Is this a signal that a different kind of leadership is needed to move Baltimore City forward?”
As social media became inundated with outrage and calls for her job, Bubala took to Twitter to offer a “sincere apology” that was too little, too damn late.
Soon after, the Baltimore Association of Black Journalists issued a statement expressing concern for the “well-being of the Baltimore black community” and condemning her behavior as “racist and sexist.” From there, it was only a matter of time until the inevitable firing happened.
Cue WJZ general manager Audra Swain:
“Mary Bubala is no longer a WJZ-TV employee. The station apologizes to its viewers for her remarks.”
In an email to the Baltimore Sun on Tuesday, Bubala confirmed that she had, in fact, been voted off the island.
“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 love the people of Baltimore. Last week I realized I made a mistake in the language I used on air. I immediately apologized for any hurt I unintentionally caused,” she wrote. “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 [...] I fully intend to fight to restore my reputation because I’ve invested my heart and soul in my work and my city.”
Pugh’s predecessor, former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, took to Twitter to applaud the station for its decision.
“Didn’t think WJZ was gong to do the right thing,” she tweeted on Tuesday. “Her statement was problematic on many levels and revealed a profound ignorance.”
Meanwhile, former BABJ president Nicki Mayo offered her own opinion on the matter.
“This was another ceremonial falling on the sword that continues to cut a serious hole in efforts for newsroom inclusion and diversity,” she told the Sun. “She messed up. I get it. But you know that line, ‘The mouth speaks the truth of the heart?’ She told you how she feels.”
Bubala joined WJZ in 2003. During her 22 years of working in TV news in Baltimore, she was nominated twice for regional Emmy awards in 2016 and won once for Outstanding Anchor.
In preparation for her forthcoming job hunt, reportedly she’s updated her resume with technical skills like “ignorant.”