Perhaps unintentional, this was the problematic beginning of a report that aired last night on KXAN-36, the NBC affiliate in Austin, TX. Otherwise solid, Chris Sadeghi's report detailed the tragic deaths of a young woman and her mother.
On Monday evening, Norma Hurtado, 24, and her mother, Maria Hurtado, 57, were shot and killed in their home by Jose Alfonso, 45, the father of Norma's girlfriend - whose name has not been released. Early Tuesday morning, San Antonio Police arrested Alfonso on a capital murder warrant. Alfonso was allegedly upset that his daughter was seeing Norma, and this appears to be what prompted the deadly shootings.
That said, the anchor lead-in to last night's report on KXAN was problematic. Though perhaps not the station's intent, copy read by KXAN anchor Robert Hadlock suggested that Norma Hurtado was the one responsible for Monday night's tragedy - that if Norma had not been in a relationship with another woman, she and her mother might not have been murdered by Norma's girlfriend's father.
To be clear, the senseless murders of Norma and her mother had nothing to do with Norma being in a relationship with another woman and everything to do with Jose Alfonso's inability to deal with his daughter's relationship. Period.
When GLAAD reached out to KXAN reporter Chris Sadeghi, we were encouraged to hear that he is 100% in agreement with our concern over the anchor lead-in to his story. Chris vowed to be in touch with the producers who wrote the lead-in and said that this problem would not be repeated.
GLAAD also shared our Media Reference Guide with Chris and encouraged KXAN to be in touch with us should the station have questions, going forward, about how to write or say something related to the LGBT community.
GLAAD thanks KXAN - in particular, reporter Chris Sadeghi - for their openness to hearing our feedback, and for committing to not repeat this mistake. A special thank you also goes out to the GLAAD constituent who brought this problem to our attention. Rest assured that we will continue to keep a close eye on the news coverage of this story.