HLN anchor Ashleigh Banfield savaged the woman who wrote the 3,000-word accusation of sexual assault against Aziz Ansari, after the reporter sent Banfield’s network a nasty email attacking her age and looks.
Banfield criticized the woman behind the anonymous accusation in a segment Monday, saying the woman known only as “Grace” destroyed momentum professional women are gaining from the #MeToo movement. Ansari’s accuser “chiseled away at a movement that I, along with all my sisters in the workplace, have been dreaming of for decades,” Banfield said.
Tonight on @CrimeJusticeHLN, HLN's @TVAshleigh delivers an open letter to @azizansari's accuser: You have chiseled away at a movement that I, along with all my sisters in the workplace, have been dreaming of for decades… https://t.co/JZcWSArBps
— HLN Public Relations (@HLNPR) January 16, 2018
HLN then invited the Babe.net reporter who wrote the story, Katie Way, onto the network to talk about the story. Way responded by sending Banfield a vitriolic e-mail calling her old and mocking her highlights and choice of lip gloss.
Here’s the full text of the e-mail from Way, via by Business Insider.
It’s an unequivocal no from me. The way your colleague Ashleigh (?), someone I’m certain no one under the age of 45 has ever heard of, by the way, ripped into my source directly was one of the lowest, most despicable things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Shame on her. Shame on HLN. Ashleigh could have “talked” to me. She could have “talked” to my editor or my publication. But instead, she targeted a 23-year-old woman in one of the most vulnerable moments of her life, someone she’s never f—— met before, for a little attention. I hope the ratings were worth it! I hope the ~500 RTs on the single news write-up made that burgundy lipstick bad highlights second-wave feminist has-been feel really relevant for a little while. She DISGUSTS me, and I hope when she has more distance from the moment she has enough of a conscience left to feel remotely ashamed — doubt it, but still. Must be nice to piggyback off of the fact that another woman was brave enough to speak up and add another dimension to the societal conversation about sexual assault. Grace wouldn’t know how that feels, because she struck out into this alone, because she’s the bravest person I’ve ever met. I would NEVER go on your network. I would never even watch your network. No woman my age would ever watch your network. I will remember this for the rest of my career — I’m 22 and so far, not too shabby! And I will laugh the day you fold. If you could let Ashleigh know I said this, and that she is no-holds-barred the reason, it’d be a real treat for me.
Banfield read portions of the e-mail in a segment Tuesday to bring attention to the “caliber” of the “woman who was given all of this power.”
“If you truly believe in the #MeToo movement, if you truly believe in women’s rights, if you truly believe in feminism, the last thing you should do is attack someone in an ad hominem way for her age — I’m 50,” she said. “As for my highlights, I was brown-haired for a while when I was a war correspondent interviewing Yasser Arafat, and in Afghanistan, in Iraq and Gaza and the West Bank. Google those places.”
— HLN Public Relations (@HLNPR) January 17, 2018
“That’s the caliber of the woman who was given all of this power and was able to wield this power,” she said of Way.