Taking On The Troll

WWL (New Orleans) Anchor Sheba Turk decided that she wanted to wear her hair naturally on air. No more chemicals. No more straightener. No more fighting with her locks.

Looking at the picture above, I think many of you will agree that she looks beautiful with her “natural” look.

But, some troll that thought her hair was his business, did not like her look and he let Turk know.

“You have some nerve appearing like that on TV with your hair all whacked out … You look like hell. Straight out of Africa,” read the comment, signed “Mike Everyman.”

Turk’s response that she shared on social media: “Mike says I look ‘straight out of Africa.’ He didn’t mean it as a compliment, but it totally is — so thank you.”

That post would end up sparking a lively discussion about race, beauty and what constitutes a professional appearance in 2019.

Along with regular WWL viewers, notable names weighing in to express support for Turk included local musician Sam “Big Sam” Williams, New Orleans City Councilwoman and former broadcaster Helena Moreno, and Chef Kevin Belton, who appears with Turk on WWL.

“Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon,” Turk said Monday of the racist comment that kick-started the whole conversation. “And it comes in many forms: emails, tweets, Instagram comments that will just be randomly like, ‘Your hair is a distraction.’”

Even for someone as confident and positive as Turk tends to be, she admits those kinds of comments sometimes sting. “It doesn’t hurt my feelings, because I like what I look like," she said. "But it is that we live in a world in which people think this.”

Turk's boss, WWL President and General Manager Tod Smith, complimented the grace with which Turk handled the social media comment.

“Obviously, we’d rather be talking about things that are really important to people’s lives,” Smith said, “but when something like this happens, we do feel it is our responsibility to make people aware that things like this exist. Hopefully by having the conversation, it effects real change.”

Amen to that.

H/T NOLA.com