Joy Reid Slams Media For Not Giving Missing People Of Color The Same Coverage As Gabby Petito: It’s Missing White Woman Syndrome

Joy Reid Slams Media For Not Giving Missing People Of Color The Same Coverage As Gabby Petito: It’s Missing White Woman Syndrome

Joy Reid is sharing her thoughts on how American media outlets approach missing persons cases–and she isn’t holding back!

Throughout the past week-and-a-half, the Gabby Petito case has held the attention of American mass media. For context, the 22-year-old set off on a road trip with her fiancé–Brian Laundrie–in early July. However, after her family lost contact with her near Wyoming and Brian Laundrie returned home without his fiancée, Gabby Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11th. Eventually, human remains were found in Grand Teton National Park on Sept. 19th, and they were confirmed to be of Gabby Petito yesterday (Tuesday, Sept. 21st). The death has been ruled a homicide, and police are searching for Brian Laundrie, who is currently on the run.

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie

While the case has held the attention of many, MSNBC host Joy Reid shared her thoughts on the larger situation. Specifically, the 52-year-old commentator slammed the media’s fascination with the case as “missing white woman syndrome” and stated that the same coverage is not afforded when people of color go missing. This past Monday (Sept. 20th), Joy Reid said:

“It goes without saying that no family should ever have to endure that kind of pain. But the way this story has captivated the nation has many wondering–why not the same media attention when people of color go missing? Well, the answer actually has a name: missing white woman syndrome. [The term] describe[s] the media and public fascination with missing white women, like Laci Peterson or Natalee Holloway, while ignoring cases involving missing people of color.”

Joy Reid then discussed other cases that, while similar to Gabby Petito‘s, never got the same media coverage because they involved non-white individuals. Specifically, she and two panelists cited the cases of Daniel Robinson–a 24-year-old, Black geologist who went missing in the Arizona desert in June–and Mary Johnson, a Native American woman who went missing from a Washington reservation back in November. Joy Reid said she never once heard about either case from an American mass media outlet, and she remarked:

“And I guess that’s the issue, isn’t it?”

One of the panelists, Lynette Grey Bull, later added:

“One of the main factors and one of the key factors that a lot of people don’t want to talk about is that it’s racism.”

What do you think about Joy Reid’s comments? Share your thoughts down below to let us know!


Authored by: Nick Alexander Fenley