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ABC News Anchor "Immediately Fired" After Using Vulgar Word for Co-Anchor on Hot Mic

Ken Rosato reportedly said the offensive term in reference to Shirleen Allicot.

Viewers who regularly tune in to ABC7's Eyewitness News This Morning will have noticed a major change on the New York City news show recently. ABC7 anchor Ken Rosato is no longer appearing on the program, and now, there's a new report about why. According to Page Six, Rosato was "immediately fired" from ABC7 after he was caught on a hot mic calling his co-anchor Shirleen Allicot a vulgar word. An unnamed source claims that this led to the longtime anchor being removed from the network, and there is also evidence of his departure online. Read on to find out more about the longtime anchor's unceremonious exit.

READ THIS NEXT: The Real Reason CNN Fired Don Lemon, Insiders Say.

Rosato reportedly used an offensive term to refer to his co-star.

Ken Rosato and Shirleen Allicot hosting ABC 7 news
Eyewitness News ABC7NY / YouTube

According to a source who spoke with Page Six, Rosato was fired from ABC7 after he was heard calling Allicot the c-word off-air "on an open mic." The source said that Rosato was "immediately let go" when this occured.

Rosato began working for ABC7 in 2003 and became one of the co-hosts of Eyewitness News This Morning in 2007. In addition to Allicot, the other hosts of the show include weather reporter Sam Champion and traffic reporter Heather O'Rourke.

Best Life has reached out to both ABC7 and Rosato for comment but has not yet received a response.

Rosato's representative denied speculation that he made a racist comment.

Ken Rosato at the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march in June 2020
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Before it was reported that Rosato called Allicot the c-word, Page Six reported only that he had made an "off-color remark." An insider who hadn't heard what the anchor had specifically said speculated that perhaps he made a racist comment. A representative for Rosato denied this.

"Being fired for any racial slur is 100 percent inaccurate and untrue," the representative told Page Six on May 12. "Ken Rosato had a benchmark of 20 years at WABC of supporting all equality."

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His co-workers were reportedly alerted to the situation.

Ken Rosato and Shirleen Allicot during a cooking segment for ABC 7
Eyewitness News ABC7NY / YouTube

According to Page Six, Rosato's ABC7 colleagues were told that he had been fired on Friday, May 12. They were reportedly brought in "one by one" to be alerted of his departure but not told what Rosato had said. The general manager of ABC7—Marilu Galvez, according to the official ABC7 site—is said to have written of the anchor in an email to staff, "We thank him for his years of service."

Rosato's connection to the show has already been erased.

Ken Rosato on ABC 7
Eyewitness News ABC7NY / YouTube

There are biographies for every reporter on the ABC7 website; Rosato's no longer appears. His Twitter account that was associated with the network, @kenrosatoabc7, has also been deleted. His Instagram account, which has the same handle, is still live, and his job is still listed as "Anchor at WABC-TV" on his LinkedIn profile.

Rosato's latest Instagram post is from April 19. It includes side-by-side photos of himself and reporter Michelle Charlesworth taken 10 years apart. "2013.. 2023.. same silly anchors! #abc7NY," he wrote in the caption.

Some fans are protesting his departure.

Ken Rosato on ABC 7
Eyewitness News ABC7NY / YouTube

The comments section of Rosato's most recent Instagram is full of people responding to his reported firing. Some are questioning what happened, while others are explaining what Page Six reported.

Several replies denounce the network's decision. "Horrible if you were terminated," reads one comment. "ABC and their cancel culture is getting out of hand! Best of luck ..will miss seeing your cooking and funny stories!"

Another Instagram user wrote, "Not watching abc news anymore!! I will miss you."

One commenter wrote a lengthy post in defense of Rosato in which they mistakenly tagged ABC7 Los Angeles. "Whoever "fired" @kenrosatoabc7 is a complete idiot!" it reads in part. "Today's world is out of control in the work place! Individual's now get fired when someone doesn't like them, yet their work ethic is flawless!"

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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