Weather Channel Meteorologist Jen Delgado is facing sharp criticism and some are asking for her to be fired after she blamed Haiti’s deforestation in part to hungry children eating trees.
In a weather report as Hurricane Matthew prepared to make landfall in Haiti, Delgado noted that Haiti suffers from a deforestation problem.
“They take all the trees down, they burn the trees,” and she continued with a curious claim, “Even the kids there, they’re so hungry, they actually eat the trees.”
Haiti’s deforestation, a well documented problem, is actually caused by Haitians chopping down trees to use for charcoal, the island nation’s chief choice for fuel.
Former Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe posted the Weather Channel clip on Facebook writing, “Shame on you!! Jennifer Delgado and #Weather #Channel. Deeply disturbed by your reporting that Haitian children are eating trees! Where did you get this #info?”
Delgado later issued a on-air apology, that some say is not enough.
“I want to begin by apologizing for a statement I made yesterday that was found inappropriate,” she said. “My intention is always to inform and educate.”
Delgado also posted an apology to her Facebook page.
But many commenters noted her statement was not simply “inappropriate”, it was false.
“You lied on TV. You deserve to be dismissed,” wrote McKenzie Fleurimond, a former North Miami Beach councilman.
Mia Lopez, co-founder of sakapfet.com and Miami resident, took to her Instagram account writing, “It is disgusting that in 2016 #theweatherchannel can have uneducated people like…Jennifer Delgado on the air telling MILLIONS that children in Haiti eat trees because they are going hungry!”
A petition circulating online demanding an apology from Delgado received more than 500 signatures.
See more social media reactions below:
@JenDelgadoTWC Did you really blame the deforestation of Haiti on the children eating trees? You are dangerous and ignorant woman.
— Melissa Malebranche (@MelMal422) October 4, 2016
Please sign the petition against Jennifer Delgado the ignorant reporter from the weather channel. https://t.co/HJYuq91qA3
— TOUJOULA (@toujoula) October 4, 2016
— TANIA STUART (@TaniaVirtualSS) October 4, 2016
— faisal x. tavernier (@faisalxt) October 4, 2016
— Peter James Hudson (@darkfinance) October 4, 2016