Anger as Lisa LaFlamme dropped as Canada TV anchor after going gray | Canada

Allegations {that a} widespread tv information anchor in Canada misplaced her job after “going gray” have prompted anger and disbelief, casting one of many nation’s largest media organisations into turmoil and highlighting the inflexible expectations going through ladies within the workforce.

In a two-minute video posted on Twitter on Monday, Lisa LaFlamme introduced she had been ousted as anchor of CTV Nationwide Information, one of many nation’s most-watched night reveals.

Within the clip, which has since been considered greater than 4m instances, LaFlamme mentioned she was “blindsided” by the choice to finish her contract.

“I’m nonetheless shocked and saddened,” she mentioned. “At 58, I nonetheless thought I’d have much more time to inform extra of the tales that impression our each day lives.”

LaFlamme, who began internet hosting the flagship present in 2011, was one in every of many ladies who stopped dyeing her hair in the course of the pandemic, and allowed her pure hair color to indicate. LaFlamme known as the choice “liberating” and advised viewers she wished she had made the transfer sooner.

However on Thursday, the Globe and Mail reported that Michael Melling, a senior govt at CTV Information, had “requested who had permitted the choice to ‘let Lisa’s hair go gray’”. Melling and LaFlamme additionally clashed over journalistic points earlier than Melling ultimately advised LaFlamme that her contract was being ended, the Globe and Mail reported.

LaFlamme has labored for CTV Information for the final 35 years, reporting from battle zones and the websites of devastating pure disasters. She lately received Greatest Information Anchor on the Canadian Display screen Awards.

Shock at her departure unfold shortly all through Canadian journalism, with political and enterprise leaders additionally weighing in.

The previous Alberta premier Rachel Notley known as LaFlamme “a large voice in Canadian media” and former setting minister Catherine McKenna known as the remedy of the veteran journalist “appallingly shoddy”.

Others alluded to perceptions of sexism and ageism. Arlene Dickinson, a distinguished investor, praised LaFlamme for ageing “gracefully” on nationwide TV and provoking others.

“Then the oldsters at CTV introduced their feminine ageism to work,” Dickinson mentioned.

In a press release, CTV’s father or mother firm, Bell Media, mentioned LaFlamme’s removing as anchor was a response to “altering viewer habits”.

It didn’t reply to a request for touch upon the allegations that LaFlamme’s hair color performed a task in her removing.

However at a tense firm city corridor assembly on Thursday, executives denied LaFlamme’s termination was motivated by her age or gender.

“I’m a girl. I’m a girl. I’ve been right here for 25 years. Do you actually suppose that I’d fireplace a girl as a result of she’s a girl?” mentioned senior vice-president Karine Moses after pointed questions from LaFlamme’s govt producer, Rosa Hwang, over why she was dropped.

Lisa LaFlamme interviews the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, in 2019 {Photograph}: Stéphane Mahé/Reuters

On Friday, the corporate mentioned in a press release that it took allegations of discrimination “very critically” and was taking steps to provoke an impartial, third-party inside office evaluate. The corporate additionally mentioned it “regrets” the best way during which it dealt with LaFlamme’s exit from CTV because it “might have left viewers with the flawed impression” that her three-decades profession wasn’t valued by the corporate.

The furore over LaFlamme’s termination has highlighted the challenges ladies – even these on the prime of their subject – face each day, mentioned Amanda Watson, a sociologist at Simon Fraser college

“Like many people, I really feel shocked and never shocked,” Watson mentioned. “I’ve a suspicion that her dropping her job as a result of she went gray can’t presumably be what occurred. And on the similar time, I really feel after all that’s what occurred … Each time I look within the mirror nowadays I ask why I’m [colouring my hair]. I don’t must. I’m a professor!”

Watson mentioned the choice by the community had an undercurrent of misogyny and despatched a powerful sign about societal expectations to different ladies.

“Many ladies received’t get the chance to problem these frontlines of expectation inside themselves,” mentioned Watson. “It’s usually not an choice to cease sustaining one’s physique hair when the requirements of professionalization make or break somebody’s capacity to place meals on the desk.”

Others identified an obvious double normal, which permits males to indicate their age and maintain working. Distinguished Canadian information anchors like Peter Mansbridge and Lloyd Robertson – whom LaFlamme changed when he retired at age 77 – loved far longer careers and acquired rigorously produced send-offs.

“This isn’t simply that we don’t tolerate ageing in public in this sort of place – it’s that we apparently don’t need to take a look at ageing ladies. We nonetheless belief the authority and character and heat and familiarity and luxury of ageing males,” mentioned Watson. “All of it simply appears like the identical story line yet again. It’s a cliche and it’s irritating.”

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