CBS used an excerpt of Gayle King’s interview with retired WNBA star Lisa Leslie that “did not reflect the nature and tone of the full interview” by singling out the rape allegation against Kobe Bryant, CBS itself admitted.
King’s interview with Leslie was about Bryant and his legacy.
“To promote the five-and-a-half-minute interview, CBS used a 94-second video clip in which Ms. King asked Ms. Leslie about a woman’s 2003 sexual assault accusation against Mr. Bryant,” the New York Times reported.
King responded to criticism in a nearly four-minute Instagram video. “I know if I had only seen the clip that you saw, I’d be extremely angry with me too. I am mortified, I am embarrassed, and I am very angry. Unbeknownst to me, my network put up a clip from a very wide-ranging interview totally taken out of the context and when you see it that way, it’s very jarring. It was jarring to me.”
King said she didn’t know about the clip until she heard from critics. She added “I’ve been told, I’ve been advised to say nothing…but that’s not good enough for me because I really want people to understand what happened here and how I’m feeling about it.”
She noted that the interview discussed a variety of topics including his career, past, and more and wanted Leslie’s “Take on it as a friend who know [Bryant] well.”
Personally, King said she didn’t want to “disparage” Bryant right now, and added:
“I don’t want to sit up on the set and read a prepared remark, I wanted you to hear exactly where I’m coming from and how I’m feeling, and let everybody know that no disrespect intended.”
In a statement to the New York Times, CBS said, “Gayle conducted a thoughtful, wide-ranging interview with Lisa Leslie about the legacy of Kobe Bryant. An excerpt was posted that did not reflect the nature and tone of the full interview. We are addressing the internal process that led to this, and changes have already been made.”
iMediEthics has written to CBS.