A Los Angeles meteorologist put on a cardigan over her black dress Saturday after viewers complained that it was immodest. The meteorologist, KTLA’s Liberté Chan, explained later that the incident was a joke.
Chan said that she had planned to wear a different dress, but decided to go with the black one instead. In the middle of her weather report, a co-anchor held out a gray cardigan.
“You want me to put this on?” she asked. “Why? Because it’s cold?”
“We’ve been getting a lot of emails,” the co-anchor replied.
In the aftermath of the forecast, the viewers did not approve the station’s gesture. One woman posted on the station’s Facebook page, “the lack intellect from the leadership of this station is staggering. You went from getting one type of angry email to another. Use your brains next time. If you had done nothing, the rest of the country wouldn’t even know about Ms. Chan’s dress.”
In a blog post after the segment, Chan said it was all part of a joke and that the station didn’t force her to put the cardigan on.
“The pattern on my original black and white dress didn’t work on the weather wall (for some reason, it turned semi-transparent), so after my first weather hit at 6am, I changed,” she wrote.
“And, also for the record, there is no controversy at KTLA. My bosses did not order me to put on the cardigan, it was a spontaneous moment. I truly love my job, I like my bosses and enjoy working with my coworkers. Since talking to my team, I want our viewers to know it was never our intention to offend anyone. We are friends on and off the air and if you watch our newscast, you know that,” Chan added.
Roxanne Russell, an associate professor at George Washington University and television broadcasting expert, said in an email to The Daily Caller she was not amused by both Chan and the co-anchor. “I am not sure why a weather reporter chooses to wear a cocktail dress to present the weather report and then seems surprised when people want to comment on her attire,” she said.
Russell added, “On the other hand I think it was completely inappropriate for the anchor to toss her a gray sweater. It was embarrassing to her, clearly. It came across to many women viewers, including myself, as patronizing, not funny. I loved the comment from one tweet, something to the effect of ‘what’s next, a burqa?!!!'”