11Alive reporter Valerie Hoff has resigned after she claimed that she was joking around when she used the word “n***a” with a black man she was DMing on Twitter, and he subsequently posted it online.
“I was quoting something the gentleman said in a public tweet back to him in a private message but that doesn’t make it any less offensive,” Hoff wrote me in an exclusive message to Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog.
“It was incredibly stupid and reckless. I was in the middle of a pressure-filled day trying to chase down the video of a man being beaten and kicked by two Gwinnett police officers, which this particular gentleman had posted on twitter. I repeatedly apologized and continue to do so. I also offered to resign immediately.”
“I look forward to being a stay-at-home mom,” Hoff added, “and working on my Food and Travel Blog, ValerieHoff.com this summer.”
The incident began when Curtis Rivers had posted a video of a black man being punched by police. Many news organizations were trying to get a hold of Rivers, and he had posted online that “news n***as” had been looking to get in touch with him.
Hoff then contacted Rivers saying that she was one of the “news n***as” looking to get permission to use the video, and while at first he seemed to laugh about it, Rivers became offended when he realized that she was a white woman and asked if she was using the word in reference to him.
She quickly assured him that she was referring to herself, but Rivers still felt that she simply should not have used the word for any reason.
John Deushane, Hoff’s boss, said of the matter: “11Alive does not tolerate any form of racial insensitivity and aggressively enforces our standard policies. We acted promptly to address this situation. Valerie Hoff has chosen to resign and apologizes for her actions.11Alive is committed to treating the communities we serve with dignity and respect.”