Traffic reporter has epic response to body shamer—all on live TV
Canadian news anchor Leslie Horton, 59, was moments away from doing her routine traffic report when she got an unnecessary, unsavory email from a viewer.
In true online troll fashion, the male viewer wrote, “Congratulations on your pregnancy. If you’re going to wear old bus driver pants, you can expect emails like this.”
Horton could have kept quiet, but instead she used her live segment to make a pretty epic response that went viral online.
After reciting the email to viewers, Horton said, “thanks for that. Um, no, I’m not pregnant. I actually lost my uterus to cancer last year. And this is what women of my age look like.”
“So if it is offensive to you, that is unfortunate,” she concluded. “Think about the emails you send.”
Watch the clip below:
— Global Calgary (@GlobalCalgary) December 5, 2023
Horton revealed to TODAY.com that this wasn’t the first time the man had reached out simply to “humiliate and hurt” her. It was also “very likely” that, as a regular viewer, he was aware that she had endometrial cancer, as Horton has previously disclosed the diagnosis to her audience.
“Maybe I was responding to the pregnancy, no uterus, cancer thing,” Horton shared. “Or maybe it’s just the fact that I’m tired female broadcasters — and women in general — are being treated this way. And I would say it hit a nerve because I’ve received thousands of messages from people — men and women — saying, ‘Good for you. This is not right and it needs to stop.’”
Either way—this time, Horton couldn’t help but react.
“We’re not supposed to respond to trolls — so I had no plans to address it, but then the words just came out of my mouth. I had this visceral reaction,” she told TODAY.com.
It was probably for the best that Horton chose to honor her instincts, because it incited a wave of support she might have missed out on had she just bottled it up inside.
“Bravo. You handled this perfectly,” one person wrote on X.
Another added “Thank you for your classy response. I am sorry you had to respond to the silly individual. My support and respect.”
Ultimately, Horton hopes that her viral moment sends a message of empowerment to others. As she told Good Morning America, “you don’t need to accept people lashing out and saying mean things on purpose, to bring you down, because no one has the power to bring you down, except yourself.”
Great points. Meanness might seem inescapable at times (especially online), but there is always power in standing up for ourselves.
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