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It was intended as a joke — not to humiliate the lady.
KTLA anchor Sam Rubin explained what led up to what’s been called “Sweater-gate,” when meteorologist Liberte Chan was told to cover up her black sequined dress with a grey cardigan sweater during her Saturday morning report.
“What we want to do here is recap what happened. And then have Liberte in her own words explain the context of what happened. Context is really important and a word that is often lost in the trigger-happy world of the Internet,” Rubin told the viewers Monday.
On Saturday morning, Liberte brought a dress to work. And it didn’t work. The green screen here has a fashion sense of its own. Some things bleed, sometimes you see the map, not the outfit. It’s a thing,” he continued. “So she has a little black dress on hand here for events. So she wore the little black dress and some viewers sent emails complaining.”
He claimed the act of handing Chan the sweater was actually an on-air joke that fell flat.
“In the spirit of satirizing the viewer complaints, Liberte was handed a sweater on the air,” Rubin said. “To change the little black dress for something that isn’t so much evening wear. On average, we do what? 6.8 gags per morning? Some work, some don’t. But there is a certain atmosphere here.”
He said that Chan cleared things up in her personal blog.
“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,” she posted to the blog.
“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,” Chan added. “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.”
It all sounds very reasonable. But then, it’s not hard to see how the clip went viral – joke or no joke.
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