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Washington Post staffer 'horrified and humiliated' after co-worker misidentifies her as Breonna Taylor

Photo by ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images

A Washington Post staffer is under fire after making the ultimate gaffe: confusing the names of Post video technician Breanna Muir and late police shooting victim Breonna Taylor, Fox News reported.

What are the details?

In a lengthy Twitter thread, the Post's director of video, Micah Gelman, misidentified Muir as "Breanna Taylor" — as both share similar first names — while lauding the outlet's coverage of the Ukraine crisis.

Muir took to LinkedIn, where she decried Gelman's careless mistake, which she said "horrified and humiliated" her.

She wrote, "It’s very disheartening that this is my first post on LinkedIn but I felt like I needed to stand up for myself. On Sunday, the Director of Video misidentified me as Breanna Taylor on Twitter. My name is NOT Breonna Taylor, the black woman who was murdered in 2020. My name is Breanna Muir, the black woman who has dedicated 4 years of her life to the Washington Post. I feel horrified and humiliated."

Muir explained that the incident even made her parents cry.

"It has been difficult for me to explain to my black parents that the Director of Video is referring to me as Breonna Taylor in public," Muir added. "This was the first time that I witnessed my black mother and black father cry. Although, Breonna and I share the same ethnicity, we are two different people. Please stop misidentifying people of color in the workplace. It is not okay and I’m not okay. I pray that these type of ‘mix-ups’ never happen to anyone."

What was the outlet's response?

In a statement on the mix-up, a spokesperson for the Post told Fox News Digital that the company realizes the "emotional toll" the mishap must have taken on Muir and her loved ones.

"Our director of video has apologized both publicly and privately for his mistake," the statement said. "However, we do not take the impact of that error lightly and regret the emotional toll it has had on Breanna. We have also reached out to her and are committed to fostering an inclusive environment throughout the newsroom."

Gelman himself tweeted an apology for the gaffe and attributed the error to "working extremely long hours" during a highly irregular and politically charged news cycle.

"In a long thread last night thanking my staff for working exhaustive hours, I inadvertently misidentified Breanna Muir," Gelman wrote. "I reached out to her to apologize and do so here now. We are all working extremely long hours and while this was not intentional, it should not have happened."

What was the response to this?

Much of social media appeared to be divided over the snafu, with some supporting Muir and others empathizing with Gelman for the inadvertent mistake.

One user wrote, "It’s difficult to make an apology sound sincere when it’s wrapped in excuses."

Another complained, "[M]isidentified as the murdered black woman, 'Breanna Taylor'… multiple times. Please do better and don’t blame exhaustive hours for unchecked prejudice you have."

"He called his black female colleague the name of a black woman who was murdered by the police. The idea that race has nothing to do with it is absurd," another user reasoned.

Others stated that the gaffe was trivial in comparison to what is happening across the globe at the current time.

"If this is the most tragic thing to have ever happened to Ms. Muir, I think it's about time for her to get outdoors a bit more. There are people in another country who are literally having bombs dropped on their heads — pretty sure they would happily trade places with her," one user wrote.

Another added, "Big deal, man. There are more pressing issues in the world now. Cut yourself some slack, and ignore the people who will try to cancel you over a petty mistake."

"She's an overdramatic drama queen," another user said, referring to Muir. "You made a mistake. She makes it seem like she was kidnapped for 10 years."

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