MSNBC anchor Joy Reid says the interest in Gabby Petito is 'missing white woman syndrome'
Joy Reidsays "missing white woman syndrome" is causing interest in Gabby Petito's case.
- On her show "The ReidOut" on Monday, Reid said the Petito family "deserves answers and justice."
- But the MSNBC host noted there's inconsistent media coverage when it comes to people of color.
MSNBC anchor Joy Reid says the massive interest in the Gabby Petito case is a factor of "missing white woman syndrome."
Reid made the comment on her show "The ReidOut" on Monday, saying that while the Petito family "deserves answers and justice," there's inconsistent media coverage when it comes to people of color, according to a clip shared by Mediaite.
"The way this story captivated the nation has so many wondering, why not the same media attention when people of color go missing?" Reid said during a panel discussion. "Well, the answer actually has a name: Missing White Woman Syndrome - the term coined by the late and great Gwen Ifill to describe the media and public fascination with missing White women like Laci Peterson or Natalee Holloway, while ignoring cases involving people of color."
Reid brought up a case of geologist Daniel Robinson, who was last seen in June in Arizona, saying his case is only just now gaining media attention.
And as Insider reported over the weekend, 710 Indigenous people, mostly girls, went missing over the last decade in Wyoming, the same state Petito's body was believed to be found.
Panelist Lynette Grey Bull of the Not Our Native Daughters Foundation called the focus on white women "racism."
"It's systemic racism. We're still fighting oppression in our tribal communities," Bull said. "We are still facing inequality across the board, whether it comes to our community, housing, jobs."
Zach Sommers, criminal law scholar who studied crime at Northwestern University, told NPR in 2017 that research he's conducted shows white women are more likely to be covered in missing person cases than other demographics.
"I think ... that the people who are most cognitively easy for us to accept as victims are girls and women is problematic on its own," Sommers told NPR. "Then we start to think about race in conjunction with that, then the issues start to multiply even further from there."
Petito's body was found near Grand Teton National Park over the weekend.
She was on a road trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, when she disappeared - Laundrie returned to Florida without her and Petito's mother reported her missing on September 11.
Police are now searching a vast nature reserve for Laundrie, who has also gone missing.
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