MSNBC host Joy Reid dismissed the news media’s intense focus on 22-year-old Gabby Petito as “missing White woman syndrome.”
The “Van Life” vlogger was last seen in late August in Grand Teton National Park with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, 23, who is considered a “person of interest” in her disappearance.
Laundrie returned to his parents’ Florida home alone in Petito’s van on Sept. 1.
Petito’s mother reported her missing on Sept. 11, but Laundrie refused to speak to investigators, and his whereabouts are unknown.
Officials discovered a body “consistent with” Petito inside Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sunday, Sept. 19.
During a segment of her show “The ReidOut,” the outspoken liberal host discussed the media’s coverage of the missing vlogger, and asked “Why not the same media attention when people of color go missing?”
Reid dismissed the focus on Petito’s case as the news media placing more emphasis on finding blonde, blue-eyed women who go missing.
“It goes without saying that no family should ever have to endure that kind of pain. And the Petito family certainly deserves answers and justice. 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 coined by the late and great Gwen Iffil to describe the media and public fascination with missing White women like Laci Peterson or Natalee Holloway, while ignoring cases involving missing people of color.”
Reid was referring to two high-profile cases of blonde women who went missing.
Reid cited statistics from the Black and Missing Foundation that showed more Black women go missing every year than whites — but they are often classified as runaways.
She concluded her segment by stating that reporters don’t cover missing Black women because they don’t look like the daughters or granddaughters of news executives.