Saturday 17 March 2018

Weather presenter Liberte Chan responds to viral clip of her being made to wear cardigan live on air

'They're calling it 'sweater-gate'. I personally was not offended at all,' she says

Olivia Blair

A weather presenter whose live broadcast was interrupted by a colleague passing her a cardigan to put on has dismissed claims the incident was sexist.

On Saturday morning, Liberte Chan’s weather broadcast on Los Angeles-based local news station KTLA was paused while a colleague passed her a cardigan to put on over her black dress.

“You want me to put this on?” she asked. “Why? Because it’s cold?”

“We’re getting a lot of emails,” replied the voice.

Ms Chan then posted a video of herself and colleagues reading through the many emails from viewers concerned over the meteorologist’s dress choice.

The segment has since gone viral, sparking a debate about sexism, with many raising the double standards women in the media face. Many have pointed out that a man is unlikely to be told to essentially 'cover up' for fear of offending viewers.

US bloggers Jezebel even sarcastically wrote that following the incident “shoulders and arms are now illegal in the state of California”.

However, Ms Chan disagrees the incident was sexist and addressed the controversy in a video post on her Facebook page.

“I really wasn’t offended, people are kind of spinning it and saying that it was sexist,” she says. “[…] They’re calling it sweater-gate. I personally was not offended at all, I found it funny […] I don’t think it was sexist but that’s just my opinion.”

Ms Chan also wrote a blog post in response to apparently receiving numerous interview requests. In the blog, she defended KTLA who received criticism for the way the incident was handled.

“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,” she wrote. “I truly love my job, I like my bosses and enjoy working with my co-workers. 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.”

Ms Chan said the furore and debate over her clothing choice risked overshadowing the job she was there to do.

“Most importantly, I hope my viewers were able to plan their Saturday once they heard my forecast and enjoyed the sunny weather after the clouds cleared,” she added.

Independent News Service

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