TV meteorologist speaks out after being asked to cover up during live broadcast

Liberte Chan (Facebook).

Back when the internet’s creators envisioned the future, it’s likely that they didn’t imagine a scandal like this one playing out. On Saturday morning, KTLA meteorologist Liberté Chan was in the middle of a forecast on live TV when suddenly an arm holding a gray cardigan sweater popped into view as someone asked her to put the garment on. Chan, taken aback by the directive, wondered why. “’Cause it’s cold?” she asked. Chan was wearing a black spaghetti strap dress. “We’re getting a lot of emails,” Chan’s co-anchor, Chris Burrous, replied from off-screen. Chan dutifully put the sweater on and observed that “I look like a librarian now.” Watch the exchange below:

Within moments, social media erupted with outrage, allegations of sexism and calls for a public apology. Later, Chan posted video on Facebook of Burrous reading the emails from viewers that prompted the wardrobe adjustment. Viewers were very candid in their criticisms, saying Chan looked like she’d been out partying all night and arrived at work without having gone home or changing clothes. Some said her black dress was “inappropriate” for morning TV.

After all was said and done, though, Chan spoke out to note that what transpired on live TV was just a joke and that KTLA producers had not forced her to wear the sweater. “For the record, I was not ordered by KTLA to put on the sweater,” she wrote in a post on her blog. “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.” Chan avoided addressing the viewers who shamed her in their emails, and spoke broadly about the audience saying, “I hope my viewers were able to plan their Saturday once they heard my forecast and enjoyed the sunny weather after the clouds cleared.”

Interestingly, #sweatergate, as it’s now known on social media, was not Chan’s first on-air wardrobe issue. Just a few months ago, also during a sweeps month as one BuzzFeed editor pointed out, she suffered a wardrobe malfunction on live TV. Portions of the dress Chan wore during a live forecast disappeared because the shade of green was the same color as the green screen in which TV meteorologists stand in front of during weathercasts. Burrous came running to the rescue and covered her up with his jacket that time — an incident that also generated a spate of headlines after the fact. Watch it below. Just the type of hijinks the internet’s creators never could’ve imagined, we tell you!

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