Tatyana Limanova, the Russian TV presenter who gave President Barack Obama the finger live on air has been fired.
Tatyana Limanova, a presenter at Russian station REN TV, was reading a segment about the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation conference when she made the offensive symbol – just as she said the U.S. president’s name.
The TV presenter was looking down as she spoke about how Russian president Dmitry Medvedev would be assuming the head of the conference as part of the rotating chairmanship.
But as Tatyana Limanova read that the post was previously held by Barack Obama, she distinctly raised her arm – and then her middle finger.
Today, REN TV, which is controlled by close associates of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and is transmitted to roughly 120 million people in Russia, described Tatyana Limanova’s behavior as “unprofessional” and “unacceptable”.
“On 14 November during the News 24 programme the presenter Limanova made an unacceptable gesture that was a synonym for an offensive expression,” REN TV said in a statement.
“It had no subtext and was not linked with the news that Limanova was reading at that moment,” REN TV added.
“A decision has been taken that T Limanova cannot and will not continue to work on the REN TV channel as a presenter.”
According to sources, Tatyana Limanova, a mother of one married to a cameraman, protested her innocence, saying she thought she was off-camera at the time.
But that appears not to have saved the award-winning journalist from a sting in the salt mines.