"It shouldn't be a big deal," Ginella Massa says of hosting CityNews in a traditional Muslim headscarf.
Canada suddenly has its first hijab-wearing news anchor on commercial television.
"For me, it's just a step forward in my career," Ginella Massa, who jumped at the chance to fill a vacant anchor chair at the CityNews network in Toronto last Friday night, tells The Hollywood Reporter. But when Massa ended the 11 p.m. newscast just before midnight and checked in with her assignment editor, they agreed that Canada also had taken an even bigger leap forward for diversity.
"He said, 'Was that a first?' And I said, 'Yes, I think it was,' to have a woman in a hijab anchor the news in Canada," she recalls. So Massa marked her career milestone on her Twitter account and on Facebook, where she wrote: "That's a wrap! Thankful to have opportunities like this at a time when there is so much hate and vilifying of Muslims."
Her smartphone hasn't stopped buzzing since. "People started to go, 'Wow, that's amazing that we haven't already had this in Canada,'" she adds. Massa hopes this is the last time Canadians do a double-take over her religious headscarf.
"It shouldn't be a big deal," she says. But Massa wearing a hijab hosting a major network newscast has become a big deal in the wake of Donald Trump's U.S. presidential win.
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