An on-air traffic reporter received attention online after addressing a viewer who had harassed her regarding her appearance on live television.
In a video going viral on the internet, Leslie Horton, 59, who works for Canadian news outlet Global News, can be seen hosting her daily traffic show before making a comment that appears to be aimed at an online troll. .
“I’m going to respond to an email I just got that said, ‘Congratulations on your pregnancy,'” Horton said. The email also reads, “If you want to wear old bus driver pants, here’s what you have to do.” Expect emails like this.”
She added, “So, thanks for that. Um, no, I’m not pregnant. I actually lost my uterus last year to cancer. And um, that’s what women my age look like.”
“So if it’s offensive to you, that’s unfortunate,” Horton said. “Think about the emails you send.”
Horton’s supporters took to social media after the network posted a video of the moment on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Step up, Leslie, to stand up against such rude people,” one commenter wrote.
Another wrote: “You look beautiful. Don’t change anything.”
Speaking to “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, Horton, who is now cancer-free, shared that she had no plans to address the comments on air.
The news reporter explained that she usually “ignores” or “dismisses” any negative comments she receives from viewers, but this particular comment hits too close to home.
“This is a man [who] She’s been sending nasty emails for about four years…it’s been a constant flow of emails,” she said. “And when I got that email during our show last Wednesday morning, I got a swift response. And I was hurt, angry.”
“And I was partly adamant that I was clear that it was not an appropriate thing to say. The purpose of the email was to hurt and humiliate. And to embarrass me,” she added.
Horton recently went through a health battle after being diagnosed with endometrial cancer in December 2021, almost two years ago. She said she lost her uterus during the trip and took a few months off work to “slowly rebuild her life.”
“Because whenever you battle cancer, [it] Impacts on many, many levels. And you have to figure out what you’re going with, life becomes before cancer and after cancer,” she said.
According to the National Cancer Institute, endometrial cancer is a “disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the endometrium.” The NCI said signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer include unusual vaginal bleeding or pelvic pain, obesity and having metabolic syndrome that may increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
Horton said that going through such an experience affected him “in every way” and added that he is a real community supporter.
“So when I came back to my job, I had a new appreciation for being able to connect with the community. And they were always extremely important to me,” she explained.
“I have a lot of gratitude for life. And I think it also taught me to be really clear about who I am and what’s important to me and what I expect from other people and their behavior.” What would I do? And it leads us to respond to an inappropriate email.”
Discussing her reaction to comments from online trolls who criticized her look, she said, “I just thought you wouldn’t get a chance to do that. And it must have come from my heart. I had no plans. I replied. Gave.” I didn’t think anything else about it. I went back to my desk and continued with my day. And then things really took off from there.”
In her message to women facing similar criticism from others, she told “GMA,” “Your body is no one’s business. You get to decide how you feel about your body. And If you’re unhappy with it, there are a lot of things you can do to feel better.”
“But you’ll look just as you are,” she said. “And you don’t have to apologize for it. And you don’t have to accept that people are intentionally scolding you and saying nasty things to put you down, because no one has the power to put you down except you. Don’t have the strength.”
He added, “Find out who you are on the inside, and then build it out from there.”