Forecast Calls for a Cardigan with a Possible Chance of Sexism
May 17, 2016 – Alright, back to you, modest grey cardigan.
KTLA meteorologist Liberté Chan’s live Saturday morning weather report was interrupted by a cardigan, held by her co-worker Chris Burrous.
— Liberté Chan (@libertechan) May 14, 2016
Burrous, who remains off camera (perhaps because he’s wearing shorts hidden by the news desk) shakes the cardigan while Chan, wearing a black beaded dress, is sharing a futurecast with viewers.
“We’re getting a lot of emails.”
“What,” she asked? “Whats going on? You want me to put this on? Because it’s cold?”
“We’re getting a lot of emails,” Burrous said.
She appears to be surprised and confused but goes ahead and lets Burrows place the little black dress chaperone over her arms. “I look like a librarian now,” Chan observed while Burrows replied with “That works!”
What followed was KTLA getting a whole lot more than some emails. The story went viral and Twitter and Facebook exploded with their take on “sweatergate.” Viewers of the original story as well as viewers of the now story about the story had a lot to say.
— peter whittaker (@petew77) May 16, 2016
— Olga Coulter (@olcoiu) May 15, 2016
Gersh Kuntzman of New York Daily News called out a lot of problems with the airing:
Even if KTLA was getting 1,000 emails a minute and was threatening to crash Google’s secret servers, who is Chris Burrous to undermine his colleague? Imagine how you’d feel at the office if a co-worker mocked your work in front of everyone (my reaction is always the same: “Isn’t that a job for the boss, not you?”). Until your co-workers can fire you, their job is to say, “Great job today,” and move on.
Chan took to her personal blog to share her own thoughts on the matter. She explains that the sparkly black dress was actually a backup option, because the pattern on the original black and white dress was problematic with the weather wall. She also spends a great deal of time defending the station, her bosses and her co-worker.
“For the record, I was not ordered by KTLA to put on the sweater,” she writes. “I was simply playing along with my co-anchor’s joke, and if you’ve ever watched the morning show, you know we poke fun at each other all the time.”
The news team has maintained that there is no controversy at the station and no feelings of sexism between any on-air talents. But in an age where “mansplaining” articles are just as prevalent as Presidential campaign articles, this incident was certainly a conversation continuer.
Watch the awkward situation unfold here courtesy of Liberté Chan and KTLA: