The hashtag #IStandWithGayle trended throughout the day Monday, with several celebrities and journalists voicing support for Gayle King amid the controversy surrounding her recent interview about Kobe Bryant.
Since news surfaced that the CBS This Morning co-anchor has been receiving death threats for mentioning Bryant’s sexual assault allegation while interviewing former WNBA star Lisa Leslie, a growing number of celebs have taken to social media to say they support King.
Among those standing behind the newscaster is Living Single and Black Lightning actress Erika Alexander.
“2 b clear #IStandWithGayle it’s not all right to threaten @GayleKing or anybody bcause u don’t agree w them,” Alexander tweeted Monday. “The comments & videos being played r not ok. But It’s not 2 late to make a different choice. So make a different choice. Xo. e. #lovetakesaction #standwithblackwomen.”
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Karine Jean-Pierre, an MSNBC political analyst and chief public affairs officer for MoveOn, added: “When you are a black woman in this country, you feel threatened, and many times people don’t stand up for you. #IStandWithGayle.”
Comedian Kathy Griffin, who has also been the target of angry social media users, shared Jean-Pierre’s tweet and added: “Agree. I will always stand up for you. And I fearlessly and proudly say #IStandWithGayle.”
Award-winning actress Mia Farrow also shared Jean-Pierre’s post along with the hashtag #iStandWithGayle
Journalist and CUNY professor Lisa Armstrong added: “Reminded of this Malcolm X quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman. #IStandWithGayle.”
Sen. Cory Booker and former U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice have also defended King.
Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others on Jan. 26.
After CBS posted a clip from King’s interview with Leslie online last week, Bryant’s fans were enraged that the newscaster asked about his 2003 sexual assault case so soon after his death. Bryant reached an out-of-court settlement with his accuser. However, King noted in her interview that the five-time NBA champion’s legacy is “complicated.”
Among those criticizing King was Bill Cosby, who shared an Instagram post from prison saying, “It’s so sad and disappointing that successful Black Women are being used to tarnish the image and legacy of successful Black Men.”
Snoop later clarified his comments and in a second Instagram post on Saturday wrote, “I’m a non-violent person. When I said what I said, I spoke for the people who felt like Gayle was very disrespectful towards Kobe Bryant and his family.”
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