MSNBC host Joy Reid downplayed the importance of the case on Monday when discussing the media’s attention to missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito, describing it as “missing White woman syndrome.”
During an episode of her program, “The ReidOut,” Reid stated that while Petito’s family deserved “answers and justice,” she believed that the same attention from the media did not occur for non-White individuals when they vanished.
MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid: Media reporting Gabby Petito’s disappearance/presumed murder is symptom of “Missing White Woman Syndrome.” pic.twitter.com/UYAWgaDyYr
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 21, 2021
“It goes without phrase that no family should have to go through what the Petito family has.” “And the Petito family certainly deserves answers and justice. But why doesn’t this case get the same amount of media attention as when white people go missing?” Reid added.
“Missing White woman syndrome is a period for it. The phrase, according to Gwen Effie, was coined to describe the media and general public interest in missing White women like Laci Peterson or Natalee Holloway, while ignoring comparable cases involving missing persons of color,” she continued, referring to two well-known instances of female disappear.
MSNBC has given the case extensive coverage and featured an opinion piece on the missing woman on Monday morning.
Ms. Reid went on to talk about a number of missing Black and Native American people, like the Petito situation, in which she claimed to have never heard about them in the same way as the Petito case had not made headlines and that these cases were “never discussed.”
She also pointed to data from the Black and Missing Foundation, which claims that the difference in media coverage for missing White women and non-White women is due to missing minorities being labeled runaways, minority adults being labeled as criminals, and minorities being overlooked because it’s assumed they spend most of their lives immersed in poverty and crime.
Reid concluded the portion by proposing that because missing women of color didn’t resemble the children or granddaughters of newsroom executives, they weren’t as recognized.