News Anchor Was Body-Shamed by a Viewer – Fires Back With Epic On-Air Takedown
One news anchor is being applauded after issuing a powerful on-air response to someone criticizing her body and her outfit.
It’s no secret that women in the public eye are held to ridiculous body standards. Shameful? Yes. Surprising? No.
There’s nothing wrong with our bodies, but there is something wrong with the messages women receive about them. And it can get exhausting.
So when Global News Calgary traffic reporter Leslie Horton received yet another scathing email shaming her appearance, she snapped. Understandably so. She decided to address the troll, live on the air, and her response was nothing short of EPIC.
News Anchor Responds to Man’s Body-Shaming Comments in Epic Call-Out
Horton was just about to go on air when she received the nasty email from a regular viewer. Normally she just ignores and deletes but this time she’d had enough. On the spur of the moment, she decided to address it.
“He’s reached out several times over the years, and his intent is always to humiliate and hurt me,” she told TODAY. “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.”
With cameras rolling, Horton, who is 59, didn’t hold anything back. Like the hero she is, she shut down the troll with just a handful of words. And she did it with an incredible amount of class and grace.
“I’m just going to respond to an email that I just got saying, ‘Congratulations on your pregnancy. If you’re going to wear old bus driver pants, you can expect emails like this,'” she began, looking straight into the camera.
“So thanks for that,” she responded sarcastically. “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’s unfortunate. Think about the emails you send.”
And then, without missing a beat, she went right back to reporting on the traffic.
Global News Calgary and the World Respond
As for how her employer, Global News, felt about Horton’s powerful response? THEY WERE HERE FOR IT. (Along with pretty much the entire rest of the world.)
The news station was so supportive it posted the clip on social media, where it quickly went viral. So far, it has garnered 3.9 MILLION views.
The clip was also shared on TikTok by user @sarantium where it has amassed over 560,000 views, with 66,000 likes, and 1950 comments.
The comments on both social media posts have been overwhelmingly positive and supportive. People have come out in droves to show her love and give her mad props for calling out the hater.
“Sorry you have to deal with trolls Leslie. Keep being you & beautiful,” wrote one.
“You handled the low life like a champ,” another person wrote.
“This was possibly the most classy response to a classless email. I don’t know how you kept your composure but we all benefit from taking this in. You’re in a league of your own,” wrote a third.
Even the Canadian Cancer Society responded by writing, “You’re a cancer warrior and a champion for women everywhere! Keep doing what you’re doing!”
The News Anchor’s Battle With Cancer
In January 2022, Horton, who has been with the network for 26 years, shared on X (formerly Twitter) that she was taking a leave of absence to battle cancer.
During her almost four-month leave, she underwent a radical hysterectomy. A surgery that can literally change the shape of a woman’s body. She returned to work in April last year.
According to Horton, the man who criticized her is a regular viewer and “very likely” knew of her battle with endometrial cancer.
“Maybe I was responding to the pregnancy, no uterus, cancer thing,” Horton told TODAY. “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.’”
She also noted that her male co-workers don’t receive hate about their appearances and that they are “horrified” by the emails that their female colleagues receive daily.
As for those “old bus driver pants?” Don’t worry, we haven’t seen the last of them.
“I will continue wearing the pants, and I will continue going on TV because you telling me I’m old, ugly, and fat doesn’t change the way I feel about myself,” Horton said.
The Importance of Speaking Out Against Negativity
The fact that Horton, and so many other women, have to deal with this regularly is disheartening.
Yes, the body positivity movement has come a long way with more and more companies embracing body and age diversity in their marketing campaigns, in magazines and social media, and on the fashion runways.
But it’s obvious when things like this come to light that we still have a long way to go.
How we speak to each other and about each other matters. By speaking out against negativity we can shape a world where everyone is embraced and celebrated for who they are.