Georgia-based news anchor Laura Warren is speaking out after a viewer declared in a voicemail she “was disgusting on the TV” at 20 weeks pregnant.
“When you hear something versus see something on social media, it just kind of hits you a little harder,” the WRDW anchor told TheWrap.com on Thursday. “And her voice, just the contempt she seems to have for me, like how disgusted she was, like she was being forced to see something so horrific, it was hard for many of us to listen to. We get into this little bubble where we’re, like, OK it’s 2017, people have come a long way, and we have come so far — then something like this happens.”
On July 3rd, Warren checked her voicemail in hopes of receiving a good story tip. Instead, a disgruntled female viewer chimed in on her weight.
“Please go to Target and buy some decent maternity clothes so you don’t walk around looking like you got a watermelon strapped under your too tight outfits,” said the woman. “Target’s got a great line of maternity clothes in case you’ve never heard of such a thing. You’re getting to where you’re being disgusting on the TV.”
Warren, who’s adapting to her changing pregnancy figure, said the message left her feeling insecure. She published a blog post on July 4th with the voicemail in hopes that it will educate readers on how bullying can impact anyone.
“And right now, we are living in a culture tolerating, often even encouraging bullies,” Warren wrote. “Politicians, angry Democrats and Republicans, anonymous keyboard warriors, social media bullies…How do we teach our kids to be kind when adults all around them can say such cruel things? It worries me. Right now, I can protect this sweet little boy. But, I won’t always be able to. I certainly don’t want him to dwell on the negative things insecure people are bound to say about him.”
Warren added she’s no longer letting the voicemail hurt her feelings. Instead, she’s feeling determined now more than ever to be kind — and hopes her fans will do the same.
“I’m going to say as many nice things as I can to as many people as I can, and I’m going to do it in a dress that fits these beautiful new curves with my ‘watermelon’ stomach showing," she said.