WUSA reporter Andrea McCarren has removed herself from an ongoing series of reports about underage drinking after an angry viewer backlash included threatening comments to her and her children, the Washington Post reports.
McCarren filed two reports on the subject earlier this month — one about a liquor store selling to minors, and the other about a party in Bethesda where more than 30 teenagers were cited for underage drinking.
In the immediate aftermath of the reports, WUSA was flooded with angry comments, according to the Post. One viewer suggested that McCarren was “the MOST hated woman in the D.C. area” and said she had “ruined weekends for all kids underage.”
McCarren’s children also reported receiving insulting and threatening statements from their high school classmates. Both children stayed home from school last week as a result of the backlash.
“The reports will continue, but I will probably stop fronting them,” McCarren wrote on Facebook. “I’ve tried to teach my children that when things get tough, you learn who your true friends are. But peer pressure among teenagers is even more powerful than I imagined.”
McCarren and WUSA news director Fred D’Ambrosi made the decision to keep the reporter off the air for a week in the aftermath of the threats. Anchor Derek McGinty will take over as the face of the series.
>Update: McCarren will return to reporting on underage drinking late this week. “As u have noted, we don’t want the ‘terrorists’ (or bullies) to win,” she writes on Twitter.
Watch one of McCann’s reports on underage drinking below: