Valerie Hoff, a reporter at Atlanta’s WXIA-TV, resigned Saturday following a dustup over her use of the N-word in a private message to a black man while requesting permission to use the man’s Twitter video in a feature story.
“I was quoting something the gentleman said in a public tweet back to him in a private message but that doesn’t make it any less offensive,” Hoff told Rodney Ho of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after her resignation.
“It was incredibly stupid and reckless,” she said. “I was in the middle of a pressure-filled day trying to chase down the video of a man being beaten and kicked by two Gwinnett police officers, which this particular gentleman had posted on Twitter. I repeatedly apologized and continue to do so. I also offered to resign immediately.”
Hoff told Ho that she’s looking forward to time off to tend to her needs at home, and revealed that her plans include working on her food and travel blog, ValerieHoff.com.
Though Hoff was initially suspended from the network for two weeks, she ended up resigning after the April 13 incident went viral.
Hoff’s boss Josh Deushane confirmed the news to the AJC in a statement:
11Alive does not tolerate any form of racial insensitivity and aggressively enforces our standard policies. We acted promptly to address this situation. Valerie Hoff has chosen to resign and apologizes for her actions. 11Alive is committed to treating the communities we serve with dignity and respect.
Hoff voiced her disappointment at being forced to resign on Monday in a tweet targeting the media.
Suspension for “violating company policy” Yes. Forced to resign after news media leaks on day of return to work? Not right. Thanks! https://t.co/oEDnpeCXi6
— Valerie Hoff DeCarlo (@Valerie_Hoff) May 1, 2017
Hoff came under fire for using the N-word during an exchange with a man, identified as Curtis Rivers, whom she had reached out to for permission to use video footage featuring a white police officer punching a black motorist. Before Hoff’s contact, Rivers tweeted that a lot of “news n***as” were asking for permission to use the video.
Hoff also reached out to Rivers and referred to herself as one of the “news n***as” asking for the video. Though Rivers initially laughed off the comment, he changed his tune when he realized that he was speaking with a white woman. In the exchange, Rivers asked Hoff if she was referring to him as a “n***a.”
She explained that she was referring to herself and apologized for offending him, but Rivers asked who he could contact in order to reach her manager or lawyer.
Rivers told the Journal-Constitution, “I just think it wasn’t right for her to use that word in regards to a person who is African American on herself or use the word period for that matter.”
“If she is bold enough to say it to me being an African American then I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first time she has used that word,” he said.
The story went viral after Rivers published their private messages on Twitter.