The change was made in support of Canadian news anchor Lisa LaFlamme, who worked at Canada’s Bell Media for 30 years (an on-camera anchor for 11) before she was told her contract would not be renewed at that her longstanding run with the company would be ending.
LaFlamme revealed the news on Twitter in a two-minute long video where she lamented about the company’s decision, saying that she was “blindsided” and clarified that she was leaving her employer “in a manner that’s not my choice.”
Rumors had swirled that the reasoning behind LaFlamme’s departure was because amid the pandemic, especially during lockdowns and business shutdowns, LaFlamme had stopped continuing to dye her hair her signature blonde color, thus opting to stay naturally gray while on-camera.
Mirko Bibic, President of Bell Media, denied the claims in a statement posted to his LinkedIn profile over the weekend.
“The narrative has been that Lisa’s age, gender or grey hair played into the decision. I am satisfied that this is not the case and wanted to make sure you heard it from me,” he claimed. “To address concerns raised regarding the working environment in the newsroom we have begun an independent review involving confidential interviews with all newsroom employees who choose to participate. Any necessary changes that become evident will be implemented swiftly to ensure a respectful, unified workplace.”
However, Bell Media executive Michael Selling has taken a voluntary leave from the company after it was reported by multiple outlets that he asked during a meeting who had approved the decision to “let Lisa’s hair go grey.”
Selling has not publicly commented on the matter any further.
Wendy’s was joined by Dove Canada who announced a $100,000 donation to Catalyst, a Canadian company that aims to foster inclusive workplaces for women. The brand has encouraged women to change their profile images to greyscale in support.