An Austin, Texas-based sports reporter has gone viral for her honest and raw on-air broadcast during the Texas winter storms.
KVUE's Emily Giangreco usually covers sports for the ABC station but turned to weather coverage during the devastating deep freeze that shook the Lone Star State last week.
I know I had to put together a sports report because that's my job, but I didn't want our viewers to feel like I was ignoring what they were going through.
"I live in the downtown area, so I was kind of just walking around and showing people what we were dealing with. At one point I had to use my laptop for live shots because we had no other camera to use," she told "GMA."
Like many in Texas, Giangreco, 27, also was without power or water for much of her week as the state experienced massive blackouts due to the extreme weather.
But when Saturday rolled around and Giangreco still had to do her usual sports segment, she knew she couldn't pretend everything was alright.
Woke up with the sun this morning! Here's a look at what I saw early on in downtown #Austin.— Emily Giangreco (@EmilyGiangreco) February 15, 2021
Currently on hour 8 with no power. pic.twitter.com/mCrIASQ1Ze
"I know I had to put together a sports report because that's my job, but I didn't want our viewers to feel like I was ignoring what they were going through," she said.
Without any makeup and her hair up in a ponytail, Giangreco decided to be vulnerable and show the audience what it's really like to work in the midst of a weather crisis -- and a pandemic.
Before diving into her sports broadcast, she prefaced her on-air segment with a powerful message for Texans.
Being very vulnerable on-air today. It doesn't feel right talking about sports when so many people are still suffering. With a lack of water, I'm unable to wash my hair or put on makeup for broadcasting.— Emily Giangreco (@EmilyGiangreco) February 21, 2021
I hope y'all understand & know we at KVUE are going through this with you. pic.twitter.com/bpYODCEgtA
"I know it's my job to bring you the sportscast right now and I promise you I'm going to, but first I need to acknowledge what's happening, because I, like many of you, am struggling. I went days without power, constantly searching for food that wasn't there," she told viewers. "Honestly, this week has felt endless. Yes, there are sports to talk about today, and I hope that showing highlights and giving you final scores will give you a sense of normalcy ... but know that once these three minutes are over, we're going back to helping you."
I went days without power, constantly searching for food that wasn't there.
Giangreco put her a clip of the broadcast up on Twitter, where it currently had nearly 17,000 likes and applause from followers for her raw and honest display of vulnerability on-air.
The KVUE reporter said she was "blown away" at the positive reaction her tweet received, especially from sports fans.
"I didn't expect to get that type of reaction of people just supporting and being like ... 'We see you and we understand because we're also going through this. Thank you for acknowledging it before your sportscast because sports can be an outlet for so many and that's great, but we love that you took the time to acknowledge that we are struggling,'" she said.
Giangreco told "GMA" that she felt compelled to address her appearance during her segment because of frequent trolls she gets online, especially as a female sports reporter.
"As women," she added, "I do feel like our flaws are immediately pointed out as soon as anyone sees one and I felt, deep down, if I didn't address, 'Hey, I look this way, and this is why,' I would have probably gotten a lot of backlash."
Women aren't hired because of the way we look. We're hired because we are just as capable and knowledgeable as any man that would have gotten this position.
The weekend sports anchor said her segment was the most open she's ever been on-air but, but she frequently speaks her mind about issues concerning female empowerment or harassment on social media and is thankful to have such supportive female management at her station.
"I'm very outspoken especially like for women empowerment, because I think we need more women speaking up about the issues that we do face. That's the big message," she told "Good Morning America." "Women aren't hired because of the way we look. We're hired because we are just as capable and knowledgeable as any man that would have gotten this position."