Vanessa Ruiz is a journalist who recently got hired as an evening news anchor for 12 News in Phoenix. Ruiz is fluent in English and Spanish, and grew up in Colombia, Miami, and Spain.
Ruiz has gained fans since starting her new gig in Phoenix...
But also has gained some detractors. In her reports, Ruiz pronounces Spanish names of Arizona towns with an accent and some people aren't happy about it.
Other people told her she needed to change the way she pronounced Spanish names to the "right way."
The station's news director, Sandra Kotzambasis, told BuzzFeed News that a lot of viewers also questioned the way Ruiz pronounced the name of her colleague, weather anchor Caribe Devine.
So, Ruiz decided to respond to her detractors. She took some time during her Monday night newscast to address the concerns.
Ruiz said that her reasoning for pronouncing words the way she does is simple: She thinks they sound better when they are pronounced correctly.
She added that she doesn't want to disrespect anyone, but she also wants to stay true to herself and her heritage.
I know it may surprise some of you and maybe even rub some people the wrong way. I get it and know I am always open to engage in thoughtful dialogue about it.
I don't intend to come to Phoenix and do things "my way," however my goal is to stay authentic to who I am while, hopefully, making our newscasts more open and inclusive to everyone, no matter where they come from.
Many viewers said on Twitter that they loved her message, and that they supported her 100%.
Other viewers said that Ruiz had inspired them to pronounce Spanish words correctly as well.
Even a state senator chimed in.
Ruiz wrote on Facebook that she is glad that she could start a conversation about the issue.
Kotzambasis said the station is extremely proud that Ruiz spoke out, saying the station is committed to letting the anchors "be themselves."
"I am excited and I am thrilled and I support Vanessa 150%," she said.