A Los Angeles news anchor, Chris Burrous of KTLA, faced outrage for an incident that many have deemed sexist and misogynistic.
Meteorologist Liberté Chan was presenting the Saturday morning weather when Burrous can be seen off to the side of the screen, attempting to give her a sweater. Burrous can be heard saying “we’re getting a lot of emails” as his justification.
— Chris Burrous (@chrisburrous) May 14, 2016
Why Are People Outraged?
Many commentators tapped onto the implications of the objectifying male gaze, and the sexual politics of the gaze forcing women to adhere to male standards. Commentators on Twitter noted that Burrous would have never interrupted a male meteorologist just to tell them to cover up.
I highly doubt you would ever force a man to "cover up" live on air. Completely tasteless .@KTLA
— Aimi (@ak630) May 15, 2016
Burrous responded on Twitter by being open to the criticism, apologizing, and suggesting that the relationship that he has with Chan and other coworkers is akin to “good friends.”
this was embarrassingly sexist, and poorly handled
— what would beanie sigel do? (@Katchin05) May 15, 2016
However, Twitter’s anger wasn’t quelled, with the outrage actually escalating due to his lighthearted response. He started to tag the KTLA news station and asking people on Twitter to give him “another chance.”
Here's an original thought for you: Grow a pair and ignore the emails of ignorant viewers.
— Who ya callin clown? (@revid99) May 15, 2016
She posted a series of videos on her Snapchat account, showing her and Burrous reading out loud some of the emails attacking the dress.
Chan published a note on her website. In the note, she remarks that she has worked on air for the past decade, and she knows that relaying the weather on live television is a visual medium for many. She tried to mitigate by noting that her employer, nor did the news station, ordered her to wear the sweater – it was simply a spontaneous moment between coworkers. The black dress was a backup to her initial dress, which showed up as transparent on the green screen.
If I email that I hate your suit & tie, will you have to change? Or is that just for women?
— Far D (@fardareismai2) May 15, 2016
It’s a problem whenever people feel that it’s okay to comment on a woman’s body, for any reason. Burrous had an opportunity to show support for his “good friend,” but instead he joined them in attempting to police her body.
Featured image is a screengrab from YouTube.