The video of a Russian newscaster who showed a middle finger on the air while reading the text about US President Barack Obama has become viral.
Tatiana Limanova has been hosting a news program on REN-TV for several years already. During a recent program, she was reading the text about Russian President Dmitry Medvedev becoming the APEC chairman of (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation). Medvedev has replaced Obama on this position.
"Dmitry Medvedev has become the chairman of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Organization today. This position was previously taken by US President Barack Obama," Limanova said and raised her left hand showing the middle finger in the camera.
The video of the program recorded on November 14 has received over 350,000 views in only one day.
BFM.ru website said with reference to a source close to the TV channel that the gesture had not been made to insult anyone. It was caused with a technical blunder which occurred during the program.
It has been reported today that Tatiana Limanova was leaving REN-TV in connection with the scandal. According to her, she was certain that she was offscreen at the moment, and she made the gesture asking the prompter to pull the text up.
The administration of REN-TV has decided to take Limanova off the air "because of the use of the unacceptable gesture and for committing a gross gross violation of professional discipline."
"I treat the decision of the REN-TV administration with understanding. It appears that the administration of the channel has approached this incident seriously, and I can accept and respect their position. I understand that I have set up the channel and probably offended some of the viewers," the reporter told RIA Novosti.
"It all happened because English headlines of the YouTube video attracted the attention of foreign people, including reporters. This is a bright example of how facts can be interpreted. The Western media have interpreted it as a conspiracy theory. So many goofy things have been said about it - I am just speechless. There were so many words of support from racists in YouTube comments. I am loyal to President Obama, and my gesture was in no way related to the esteemed President of the USA," Limanova said.
"I thought that I was staying offscreen. I was reading the text from paper, because I had the prompter, and I made the gesture to the prompter to raise the text. The gesture appeared to be the way it appeared. But I was sure that I was offscreen," the newscaster said.
"I am very sorry that I could offend anyone with that. I never would have done that intentionally, because it is unprofessional," Tatiana Limanova said.
"I am not staying at the channel. My affair with REN-TV is over. I set the channel up, and I don't think it's possible for me to stay," she said.