Detroit TV Reporter Fired After Allegedly Making a Racist Comment
Kevin Dietz has worked for WDIV-TV Channel 4 for 26 years.
He covered everything from Desert Storm to the hurricanes in Florida and now, the Detroit TV reporter says that he's been fired after making a "racist comment" during a photo shoot.
Kevin posted the following on his Facebook page:
While attending a social event during the conference, we took a WDIV team photo and I jokingly said to the group “We are probably going to have to crop the black reporter out of the photo.” The intent of my comment was to openly acknowledge, amongst team members, the challenge it’s been for our company, and many companies, to achieve diversity goals. This is a serious subject that I approached through humor. Nevertheless, the station has a zero tolerance policy on racially insensitive comments and they determined, despite the intent and context of my statement, that it violated the policy. I understand and support the need for such policies.
The African American reporter in the photo was not offended, there was no “caught on camera” situation, no social media controversy, and no complaints of any kind about the comment at the time. Still the comment made it back to the water cooler conversation at WDIV the following week and quickly took on a life of its own. The African American reporter went to human resources to defend me. He expressed that we are friends, conveyed to them all the help I have given him throughout his career, and the long list of stories I have done on television fighting against racism in Michigan.
It is important to include the fact that alcohol was provided at this event and, according to management, was a factor in my termination.
I regret the fact that it happened, and apologize to anyone I might have offended. I love Detroit and everyone who calls it "home." Every situation creates opportunity for personal growth, and that is how I view this event in my life.
The station has said that he resigned, but it sounds like he was fired.
We've both worked in radio for over a decade and we've seen people get fired often and this is a pretty classy exit statement.