Bullying | Jennifer Livingston | News

News Anchor Takes a Few Moments to Nail a Bully: VIDEO


Many of you may have seen this video since it went super-viral in a number of hours.

It's WKBT anchor Jennifer Livingston's amazing response to a letter she got from a viewer who wrote in to tell her she was overweight.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Said Livingston: "To the person who wrote me that letter — do you think I don't know that? That your cruel words are pointing out something that I don't see?...You don't know me. You are not a friend of mine. You are not a part of my family. And you have admitted that you don't watch this show. So you know nothing about me but what you see on the outside. And I am much more than a number on the scale."

Livingston's response has already caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, so it's likely she may be rewarded for her efforts here, if millions of views aren't enough reward.

Livingston tells her bully that the bad things he's doing will likely be passed down to his kids: "If you are at home and talking about the fat news lady, guess what? Your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat."

She concludes: "I will never be able to thank you enough for your words of support, and for taking a stand against this bully. We are better than that email. We are better than the bullies that will try to take us down."


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  1. Wait....but she is unhealthy. I don't get it. Would we give the same respect to a newscaster who smokes cigars on her morning show? Obesity kills people. That isn't an opinion that's a fact.

    Posted by: Gabriel | Oct 3, 2012 12:08:21 PM

  2. Love her!

    Posted by: David R. | Oct 3, 2012 2:26:07 PM

  3. Replace the world "obesity" with the word "smoking." Is this still bullying?

    I quote,
    "[Smoking] is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you'll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle."

    Obese people ARE a public liability, like smoking. Who pays for their future medicare? Who pays the higher insurance premiums after they get their Nth gastric bypass? We do.

    It is absurd that people are supporting complacency.

    It's completely legitimate to call someone out for smoking at a restaurant, but not so when a 400 pound man orders 4 big macs, even though they arguably have the same stresses to society as the other.

    Posted by: John | Oct 3, 2012 3:21:41 PM

  4. “Childhood obesity isn’t just a public health issue, it’s not just an economic threat, it’s a national security threat as well.”
    Michelle Obama

    Is that typical for anti-fat bullying to present itself in pseudo-scientific "concern" for "health."

    Posted by: anon | Oct 3, 2012 3:44:18 PM

  5. Wow, I hate to play this card, but you would think that people judged, bullied, and oppressed for a human trait would be able to empathize more with others in similar situations, but one look at these comments would say otherwise.

    I'm glad that she stood up to someone who thought they could reduce her to her mere physical appearance and then attack, belittle, and degenerate her because of it.

    The letter-writer has no inkling of any medical problems Jennifer Livingston may have, diets she may have already started, or contributions that she might make to her community (and those "young people, especially girls" that the writer is so focused on).

    @Anon/John/David R./fat-shamers
    Do you think that shaming people for being overweight will entice them to lose that weight? Studies have said that such shaming and bullying does nothing but increase weight gain.

    Posted by: Leonard | Oct 3, 2012 6:48:20 PM

  6. The letter was NOT bullying. And she lies. First it's hurtful, then it means nothing? I'm dismayed that an adult would turn this into a school bullying issue.

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 3, 2012 7:39:20 PM

  7. "but you would think that people judged, bullied, and oppressed for a human trait would be able to empathize more with others in similar situations, but one look at these comments would say otherwise."

    You weren't born fat. If you had a thyroid problem that produced disproportionate amounts of metabolic hormones and enzymes... you have a case of being born with star-crossed with the bathroom scale.

    The shaming isn't so much to influence already large people, it's great when they do figure out something is wrong AND do something about it, as opposed to this woman, who seems to just want to be a martyr for this obese cause.

    The shaming is directed towards those who believe that gluttony is okay. We live in a world where the American stereotype includes in the word "fat." I work at an international programs office at my college, and international students, coming into America, make jokes about how much weight they will gain here.

    If you want to talk about studies, get me a peer-reviewed article from a journal with 50+ articles that have cited it..

    This shaming is to encourage mothers to feed their children in a proper manner and promote healthy activities. No bulimia no anorexia, this can help prevent childhood obesity, which can make their lives easier. Look at this article about ADHD and obesity,
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-244X-2-9.pdf (cited by 119)

    Pretend you are a boss and you have two applicants sitting in front of you.

    One is fat (600 lbs) and the other is svelte and toned. For all intents and purposes they are identical candidates. Same qualifications. Same personality. Same everything, except weight. Which do you hire?

    If you were honest to yourself you should have been knocked off your high horse.

    I called this woman a martyr. Some may disagree with me. Think of her position. She loves attention. Would a shy reclusive person become a news anchor? No. People who are news anchors thrive on attention and love to bask in the spotlight. I don't like to be cynical but she may try to sugarcoat herself to make it sound like she is appealing to the greater good but there is probably some personal ambition on her side.

    (went off topic)

    Posted by: John | Oct 3, 2012 9:02:12 PM

  8. People criticizing this woman: you want honesty? Being gay makes you statistically more likely to drink too much, use drugs, and contract an STD. So are you going to go straight?

    Posted by: joe c | Oct 3, 2012 9:15:20 PM

  9. Good for her. Local news stations are supposed to devote time to community issues so I thought this was very appropriate. She is addressing the B.S. of some a-hole people in her community. The letter was bullying as it served no purpose other than to insult her appearance veiled as a constructive criticism "for the good of the young people" in their area.

    Posted by: MIKATUNE | Oct 3, 2012 9:52:05 PM

  10. I would not call her obese. Sure, she could lose some weight but she is NOT obese. This country has made all women become overly obsessed with looking anorexic and doing everything from snorting and starving themselves etc. to get there.

    Posted by: acevedo | Oct 3, 2012 9:56:03 PM

  11. >You weren't born fat.

    Some people do have predispositions to larger body sizes, but that's besides the point. Making assumptions about a person's lifestyle because of their size or sexual orientation is wrong.

    >The shaming is directed towards those who believe that gluttony is okay.

    You don't know if this woman believes that gluttony is okay. You're assuming that because of prejudices you hold regarding fat people. Just like it's not okay to infer certain stereotypes about me because of my (or your's) orientation it is just as wrong to say such presumptive things about the anchor based on the limited information you have.

    And, again, fat-shaming does not work:

    I never said obesity was healthy, should be promoted, or does not create a wide-range of negative health effects. Only that fat-shaming does no good. Which the study linked above proves. And that bigotry against others because of perceived characteristic traits is wrong no matter what. An empathetic person would agree.

    Posted by: Leonard | Oct 3, 2012 11:52:03 PM

  12. Are you people serious? Bullying takes all shapes and forms. If you don't agree or appreciate someone for who they are and feel the need to write an email criticizing them, THAT'S A FORM OF BULLYING!!! For those of you on here who say they have been bullied and "don't see it", look again. It's very subtle but, it's there. This woman took charge of the situation and took the power away from that writer. Good for her! The fact that we live in a day and age where anyone can critcise anyone for anything publicly disgusts me. If we were all the same, how BORING life would be! Our differences are what make us unique and special. Don't EVER let anyone take that away from you. Don't let them bring you down or make you feel small. I made that mistake when I was younger and will NEVER do it again. Be proud of your individuality, whether by choice or genetics. Just my opinion....God bless everyone. :)

    Posted by: D | Oct 4, 2012 12:37:38 AM

  13. Weirdly enough, i actually agree with what the letter says: She's fat and needs help. The point about being a bad role model for children, however, I can take or leave.

    Posted by: Tristram | Oct 4, 2012 6:38:16 AM

  14. You people are all monsters.

    Posted by: Objectivistking | Oct 4, 2012 7:46:02 AM

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