How a KTLA weather woman’s little black dress took the Internet by storm

Liberté Chan is offered a sweater on air after some viewers complained about her dress.

For viewers of KTLA's Saturday morning news, the weather forecast was cloudy with a chance of ugly sweaters.

Weather woman Liberté Chan caused a bit of a stir during her delivery of the weekend weather forecast when some readers were distracted by the journalist's little black dress. 

The dress in question was a sparkly black number that was actually Chan's second choice, as her original dress didn't work with the green screen, an issue Chan has encountered before on the job.

In the midst of the live broadcast of the morning's weather, Chan was interrupted by anchor Chris Burrous, who asked her to put on a sweater that was held into the frame, because: "We're getting a lot of emails."

Chan then was compelled to stop doing the live, televised broadcast, so that she might cover her brazen display of shoulders.

Only once the gray, ill-fitting sweater had been placed on the weather woman was she allowed to proceed with her job. 

"I look like a librarian now," Chan hesitantly joked.

"That works," Burrous' disembodied voice replied.

The dress, which some viewers deemed too flashy for the early hours, sparked a slew of emails from disgruntled fans of the KTLA-TV Channel 5 news broadcast, which, in turn, inspired the creation of the #sweatergate hashtag on Twitter, used by outraged individuals who viewed the sweater incident as being deeply disrespectful and ultimately indicative of sexism in the workplace.

The idea that wardrobes may be policed differently depending on gender and role, seemed to be supported with a video Chan later shared, ostensibly detailing the angry emails KTLA was receiving about Chan's dress, but also revealing that Burrous himself was wearing cargo shorts to deliver the news, a wardrobe choice the audience would never see, given his position behind a desk.

On Sunday, Chan took to her personal blog to share her thoughts on the growing controversy, where she emphasized that she was not asked to cover up by her employer and that while she appreciated the support from fans who reached out to her, that she was merely playing along with her co-worker's joke. 

"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. 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," Chan wrote.

The channel itself also responded to the controversy on Monday morning's telecast, explaining that morning shows are full of jokes, before falling back on a version of that well-worn canard, "Aren't there more important things to worry about?"


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