Ashleigh Banfield admonished a Babe.net writer who lashed out after Banfield criticized the site’s recent story detailing a complicated sexual encounter between actor and comedian Aziz Ansari and an anonymous New York photographer.
During her show on Tuesday, the Headline News anchor read an email she said she received from Babe reporter Katie Way — who broke the Ansari story — after Banfield delivered a monologue on Monday critiquing the article, saying it endangered the #MeToo movement on sexual harassment and sexism.
“Ashleigh, someone who I am certain nobody under the age of 45 has heard of, I hope the 500 retweets on the single news write up made that burgundy lipstick, bad highlights, secondwave feminist has-been really relevant for a little while,” Banfield read from Way’s email.
She added, “The reason I want to share that is because 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 — and for my highlights.”
In an email to Business Insider, Babe editor Amanda Ross pointed out that the comments Banfield read on air were “a fraction” of what Way sent to the anchor after an HLN producer asked her to come on the show to discuss the story.
“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,” Way wrote.
“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.”
Here’s Way’s email in full:
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.