Veteran news anchor and journalist Gayle King is under fire after her recent “CBS This Morning” interview with WNBA Sparks legend Lisa Leslie, where King inquired about Kobe Bryant’s past rape allegations.
The interview comes a week after Kobe Bryant died along with 8 others including his daughter Giana, in a helicopter crash near Callabasses.
Leslie met Bryant when he was 18 and starting with the Lakers out of high school. They began to share a close relationship as rookies in the league that lasted over 20 years.
Leslie discussed the ways Bryant was advocating on behalf of women basketball players, by attempting to change to the minds of men towards women basketball.
“He was really making a change. He was changing the mindsets of other men more than anybody else. He was validating us, the young women who were out there playing,” Leslie expressed.
King and Leslie continued to discuss Bryant and his daughter Giana, a rising basketball star when King mentioned that Bryant’s legacy was “complicated” due to his 2003 sexual assault charge that was dismissed.
“Is it complicated for you as a woman and as a WNBA player?” King asks Leslie. Leslie responded, “It’s not complicated for me at all. I never saw him do something that would violate a woman. That’s not the person that I know.”
King followed up by saying, “Well, you wouldn’t see that side of him.”
A.R Shaw of Rollingout.com, a Hip-Hop publication based in Atlanta writes that Gayle King violated journalism ethics with her interview.
“According to the Society of Professional Journalists, “ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.”
The organization also states that journalists should “balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort. The pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.”
With Bryant being a public figure, King had every right to ask questions related to his past. However, her follow-up questions with Leslie went too far. King appeared to be searching for a viral moment at the expense of Bryant’s past while disregarding the feelings of Leslie, Bryant’s family and his fans.”
Snoop Dogg also shared his thoughts in an Instagram video that now has almost 2,000,000 views, where he threatens to come and find King.
“Why y’all attacking us? We yo people. You aint coming after Harvey Weinstein. Funky Dogg head B***. How dare you try and tarnish my homeboy name? Respect the family and back off before we come get you,” he threatens.
Black entertainers have also taken to social media to show their disdain for King’s interview with Leslie. Many are demanding that King issue a public apology.
King took to Twitter and in a two-part video, detailing her views on the interview, mentioning she was advised by the network to “say nothing.”
“When the interview aired we got a great reaction. I talked to Lisa last night, I assumed she was O.K with the interview, and I felt really good about the interview. So, for the network to take the most salacious part when putting it online for people who did not see the whole interview, it is very upsetting for me and something I am going to have to take up with them,” King said in the Twitter video