A Latina news anchor in Phoenix is defiant in the face of criticism for pronouncing certain words with a Spanish accent.
Vanessa Ruiz, who is new to 12 News, apparently angered some of her audience by pronouncing the names of Arizona towns, and the names of some of her coworkers, with an accent and “rolling her R’s.”
“I was lucky enough to grow up speaking two languages, and I have lived in other cities in the U.S., South America and Europe, so, yes, I do like to pronounce certain things the way they are meant to be pronounced,” she told her audience during Monday’s newscast. “I know that change can be difficult, but it’s normal, and over time I know that everything falls into place.”
Ruiz wrote an article on the 12 News website explaining her position.
Let me be clear: My intention has never been to be disrespectful or dismissive, quite the contrary. I actually feel I am paying respect to the way some of Arizona’s first, original settlers intended for some things to be said.
I know it may surprise some of you and maybe even rub some people the wrong way. I get it and know I am always open to engage in thoughtful dialogue about it.
I don’t intend to come to Phoenix and do things “my way,” however, my goal is to stay authentic to who I am while, hopefully, making our newscasts more open and inclusive to everyone, no matter where they come from.
The debate continued to rage on social media even after her statement.
— AME (@amesquer) September 2, 2015
@VanessaR12News You are not in Europe or Colombia, you are in Arizona. Do you have a superiority complex? Why do you offend people?
— West Covina (@WestCovina2) September 4, 2015
@VanessaR12News Really why would you say you think you are better than those that only speak English? Not the best way to gain viewers…
— Sherri Sue Fisher (@TimerDiet) September 1, 2015
@VanessaR12News You are a news person. Not a mariachi. Speak english.
— Jasper Disaster (@Kmone424) September 2, 2015
@VanessaR12News Want to roll your r’s? Use Spanish pronunications? Work for Univision. You work in the USA. The language here is ENGLISH.
— John Hillman (@Hillman321) September 4, 2015
.@VanessaR12News When you were a Telemundo reporter, did you pronounce English vocab the way it “should be”..? Did Spanish-spkrs comprehend?
— Antonia Mejia (@AntoniaMejiaTAZ) September 4, 2015
I tip my hat to @VanessaR12News who properly enunciates English or Spanish despite any & all criticisms. It is great to be bilingual …
— Francisco A. Salazar (@FSalazarBoxing) September 4, 2015
— vicente (@vidococo01) September 4, 2015
@VanessaR12News Stay strong. We support your right to pronounce words correctly both ways spanish and english Good Work
— John Rodriguez G (@johnfrg) September 4, 2015
@VanessaR12News You’re a fabulous addition to the network & I’m happy as a former English Major at UCLA that you pronounce words properly.
— Wayne Radcliffe (@wayneradcliffe) September 1, 2015
@VanessaR12News has inspired me to start pronouncing Spanish words (including my last name) the correct way without shame or fear
— Gilbert Romero (@GilbertRomeroAZ) September 2, 2015
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