A video that shows the daughter of WSPA news anchor Amy Wood using racist and homophobic language has surfaced across numerous social media and websites Tuesday.
It was first posted by the Instagram account @saucecarolina. The account stated in a direct message that it would not reveal the initial source of the video.
Wood’s daughter, Gracie, is popular on Instagram and is a singer and songwriter. She debuted her own song, “You Ain’t My Boo” on Spotify and had nearly 30,000 followers on Instagram before deleting her account. Her Twitter account has also been removed.
Wood is a senior at Oakbrook Preparatory School in Spartanburg and performs with the school’s theater department and is a member of the volleyball team.
Oakbrook Prep released the following statement on its social media platforms as well as a letter to school families Wednesday evening:
“We have been made aware of recent statements made by an Oakbrook student. While these statements were made off campus in a non-school related event, we find these comments and the behavior of those involved offensive and extremely disappointing. The statements made are not reflective of Oakbrook’s mission and core values, which are academic excellence, character, community, creativity, and diversity. As advocates for all God’s people, we strive to create a community that is respectful and inclusive based on Biblical principle and appreciates the richness of different cultures and viewpoints. Our school leadership is prayerfully considering actions that we can take to reinforce our core values, enable our students and staff to learn from this experience, and promote a caring environment where everyone in our community feels respected and valued.”
Neither Amy Wood nor Gracie Wood have released a statement as of Thursday night. The Herald-Journal has attempted to contact Amy Wood via direct message. The Herald-Journal also attempted to call WSPA general manager Kenny Lawrence for comment on the video.
Upstate activist Bruce Wilson, of Black Lives Matter and Fighting Injustice Together, said that he spoke with Amy Wood and her husband, Mike Wood, a Spartanburg County magistrate judge, Wednesday evening. Wilson said the Woods were apologetic.
“They were absolutely mortified by this and I could generally feel how apologetic they were because they understood this hurt so many people,” Wilson said. “I believe there was some peer pressure involved in this, and this type of talk and behavior wasn’t taught in their home.”
Wilson expressed he has no desire to see Amy Wood held responsible for something her teenage daughter did or said.
“There needs to be consequences. I believe this incident will probably affect her (Gracie) a lot in the future and affect her now.” Wilson said. “And it’s painful to hear that language, especially for Black people, Jewish people and gay people.”
“Words do have meaning, words do have power.” Wilson continued. “Unfortunately, she (Gracie) wasn’t wise at the time and her ‘so-called friends’ used that.”
This is not the first time a Spartanburg teen has gone viral in a controversial video. In May 2021, “American Idol” contestant and Dorman High School student Caleb Kennedy left the show after reaching the Top 5. His departure came after an old Snapchat video began circulating online.
Many Spartanburg residents viewed this as a teachable moment for teens to understand why words and symbols matter.
This is a developing story. Check back for more information.
Ashley Dill is a native of Spartanburg and has been on staff for the Herald-Journal for 14 years. She covers community news and can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @ashleydill_shj.
This article originally appeared on Herald-Journal: Video shows daughter of WSPA anchor using racist, homophobic language