Barbie Bassett, a veteran news anchor and chief meteorologist at WLBT, a NBC affiliate in Mississippi, was fired from her job after she uttered a Snoop Dogg lyric that contains a variation of the N-word on live TV. The incident happened on March 8, 2023, when Bassett and her colleagues were discussing Snoop Dogg’s new wine collection, Cali.
Did Barbie Bassett Know what “Nizzle” Means?
During the conversation, Bassett said “Fo shizzle my nizzle”, a phrase popularized by the rapper that means “for sure my friend”. However, the word “nizzle” is also a slang term for the N-word, which is considered highly offensive and racist when used by non-black people. Bassett, who is white, apparently did not realize the meaning or the impact of her words, and continued the broadcast as if nothing had happened.
However, her remark did not go unnoticed by the viewers, who quickly took to social media to express their outrage and demand an apology or a termination from the station. Some pointed out that this was not the first time Bassett had made insensitive comments on air. In October 2022, she had apologized for referring to a black reporter’s “grandmammy”, which is a derogatory term for a grandmother.
WLBT did not issue any statement or explanation about Bassett’s remark, but it seems that they decided to fire her shortly after the incident. Bassett has not appeared on the station since March 8, and her name and bio have been removed from the station’s website. She has also not posted anything on her social media accounts since then.
Bassett’s firing has sparked mixed reactions from the public. Some have applauded the station for taking action against racism and holding their employees accountable for their words. Others have defended Bassett, saying that she did not mean any harm and that she was simply quoting a famous rapper.
One of Bassett’s defenders is Charlamagne tha God, a popular radio host and personality, who said on his show “The Breakfast Club” that he did not think Bassett should have been fired for that. He argued that she might not have known what “nizzle” meant, and that it was not a reason to fire her.
Bassett has not commented publicly on her firing or her future plans. She had been working at WLBT since 1999, and was the first chief meteorologist in the station’s history. She was also a former Mrs. Mississippi International and a mother of three children.