Tatyana Limanova, the Russian broadcast news reporter who was fired for a rude hand gesture supposedly aimed at U.S. President Barack Obama, while on air, has accused her critics of lacking a sense of humor and that she was fired only when the video went viral online.
Limanova, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, said she thought she was off-air and her gesture had been aimed at television crew to raise the autocue.
The middle finger had not been an insult and that the misunderstanding had been reacted to without a sense of humour, she added. She also said she was horrified when the incident was reported worldwide.
The world is unfair. I did not consider it necessary to justify myself (at the time) because it was so absurd. You can either take it seriously or view it as a curious incident. Most people in Russia reacted to it with humor, she said.
I really did not enjoy the celebrity. I am quite a private person and I was happy to remain famous in only narrow professional circles. It was unpleasant, she continued.
When Limanova made the gesture, Obama's critics congratulated her for insulting their arch enemy while others interpreted the gesture as a sign that Cold War-style anti-Americanism was kicking back in, in Russia.
There was an unhelpful confluence of chance events, Limanova said, It was fate.
Limanova made the gesture when reading a segment about the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation Conference and just when she spoke about Obama.
I made that gesture with my finger to signal to them to raise the autocue. I was irritated but I did not know that I was in shot. It could have happened after I had said any word but happened to occur after I had just spoken about Barack Obama, she said.
Limanova is an award-winning newsreader and had worked for a decade for Ren TV.
Limanova said that she will go ahead with what happened and will find a new job.
It was my mistake. I should have checked that I was not on air. It is a wonderful lesson in how things can be misinterpreted, she said.