Russian anchor says Obama ‘insult’ misunderstood

Tatyana Limanova insisted that the middle finger was an indication to the television crew to raise the autocue.

Updated: Nov 28, 2011, 12:53 PM IST

Moscow: A Russian newsreader, who lost her job for making an insulting one-finger gesture at the camera while speaking about US President Barack Obama, has said that it was just a misunderstanding and accused her critics of having a sense of humour failure.

Tatyana Limanova, an award-winning journalist from Russian television channel REN TV, insisted that the middle finger had not been an insult but an indication to the television crew to raise the autocue, the Telegraph reports.

“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 said she had not been brought up to make rude gestures and that most people had reacted to a simple misunderstanding with humour. She was horrified to discover that she had become known worldwide for the incident.

“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 humour,” the paper quoted her, as saying.

She pointed out that she was only fired after the clip went viral on the Internet.

“They summoned me on the day it happened for an explanatory chat and said they would be considering my future and then thought about it for a long time. After it went viral on the internet they fired me,” she said.

Limanova insisted she had no cause to insult Obama, adding that she has “a completely neutral view of him”.

She also utterly rejected the idea that her gesture was a sign of anti-Americanism.

“Russians do not hate Americans and the Kremlin did not phone me and tell me to do it,” she said.

ANI