It's hard to believe that anyone who watches local TV news would think that the suits at KTLA would suddenly decide, during a live broadcast at 8 on a Saturday morning, to make weathercaster Liberté Chan stop to put on a sweater for modesty reasons. The LA Times reporter apparently still believes it, saying in a story Monday afternoon, despite denials by Chan and media common sense, that "Chan then was compelled to stop doing the live, televised broadcast, so that she might cover her brazen display of shoulders. Only once the gray, ill-fitting sweater had been placed on the weather woman was she allowed to proceed with her job."
The New York Times has a firmer grasp on the situation. "A meteorologist who was asked by a co-worker to cover up her sleeveless dress during a live broadcast wants enraged observers to know that she wasn’t a victim of workplace sexism," the NYT says, then quotes Chan: "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.”
After the Twitter storm that erupted Saturday — with some outraged...outraged I tell ya...that male bosses had ordered Chan to cover up, and others just as outraged at commenters who complained about Chan's choice of a dress— she wrote a blog post telling everyone to calm down.
I’ve worked on-air for 10 years and by now, I’ve learned that everyone has an opinion and you have to have a thick skin to work in this business. It’s a visual medium and sometimes your outfit works and sometimes it doesn’t.
During the 8 am hour, my co-anchor came over and handed me a sweater and said, “we’re getting a lot of emails.” I was surprised since I hadn’t seen any of the emails and didn’t think there was anything that inappropriate (the beads/sequins were probably a little much for the morning, but what girl doesn’t like something that sparkles?!), so I played along and put on the sweater.
That prompted a barrage of tweets and more emails from viewers, some of which I included below.
To be perfectly honest, the black beaded dress was a backup. 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 6 am, I changed.
For the record, I was not ordered by KTLA to put on the sweater. 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.
Her co-anchor that morning was Chris Burrous, who held up his end of the gag with the right level of terseness. Some tweets I saw speculated it was all a ratings month tactic. Who knows. All morning TV and radio gimmicks are lame to me. In any case, as I noted yesterday, Chan was back on the air Sunday morning doing the weather in another dress of the same length and about the same amount of shoulder showing. Not black, not sparkly, no issue.
On her website, which has a fashion theme, Chan tells a bit of her philosophy of dressing for the weather wall.
Looking stylish when I’m on the clock is part of my job. I’ve built a pretty good-sized wardrobe over the years and the majority of my closet is comprised of dresses. I find that it’s easier to wear a dress than try to match a skirt and blouse. Don’t get me wrong, I love my pencil skirts (and have the same DVF in an array of colors), but most of the time, my go-to garb on the weather wall is a dress. Classic cuts and figure flattering silhouettes are key. And, wearing work appropriate attire is also super important so that you’re comfortable and don’t feel out of place all day. Hope these posts help all you working girls out there save time from rummaging thru the racks at the mall or spending hours searching for that perfect outfit online.
She also explains how it's different when she is not on the job.
When I’m off the clock, I dress completely differently. Minimal makeup and loose, but fitted clothes that show my shape are key. Depending what’s on the agenda, you may find me in a boho chic inspired look, a comfortable maxi dress, boots, and/or a statement tee. There are always the go-to pieces that I wear again and again (jean jacket, skinny jeans, Eugenia Kim hats). My philosophy is stick with a few classic pieces and mix it up with trends that work for you. Also, invest in accessories that go with everything… like a Cartier tank, or a good pair of aviators.
She said Monday on Twitter:
My favorite media tweet about the whole thing came from LA Times film writer Rebecca Keegan: