A full two weeks since Bell Media’s sudden ousting of former CTV National News anchor Lisa LaFlamme, the public relations firestorm has not died down at all.
In fact, it seems to have spread south of the border, with U.S. news outlets now discussing the dismissal that made waves across the Canadian media landscape.
— CNN (@CNN) August 30, 2022
A report from CNN journalist Poppy Harlow summarized the ousting, touching on allegations of ageism, sexism and the news of Wendy’s Canada’s recent logo change.
— Dean Blundell🇨🇦 (@ItsDeanBlundell) August 30, 2022
“Wendy’s giving its iconic red-headed mascot gray hair. In Canada, the fast-food giant has changed the colour of its logo in support of veteran Canadian journalist Lisa LaFlamme, tweeting ‘because a ⭐is a ⭐ regardless of hair colour.'”
This is truly a Master Class on how NOT to handle a public relations crisis
WOW just WOW
— Simone Jones (@CdnSkyDiva) August 30, 2022
In addition to the very rare instance of the word ‘colour’ spelled correctly on American television, CNN’s coverage brings the Lisa LaFlamme debacle to millions of new viewers, which translates to more PR nightmares for Bell Media.
@BellMediaPR OH boy does it really suck to be Bell. It would be interesting to see the ratings now. Must be a slow news day in the US 😂😂
— Heather (Momma to Sophie the Bouv🌈) (@Cosmic_grl) August 30, 2022
“As for Bell Media, CTV’s parent company, they say LaFlamme’s hair colour had nothing to do with the decision to let her go,” says Harlow.
— Pascale (@Angelleena) August 30, 2022
Harlow also touches on the high-profile leave of absence announced for Bell Media’s vice-president of news, Michael Melling.
— AP (@Ant_of_Fat_Pong) August 30, 2022
“The head of CTV is now on leave after it was reported that he asked who approved the decision to let Lisa’s hair go gray.”
Bell media is now an international embarrassment…wonder how proud they are
— Cathleennotyourbroodmare (@Gymnastmom2014) August 30, 2022
CNN isn’t the only U.S. outlet talking about LaFlamme’s ousting. The New York Times took a deep dive on the topic, delving into the issues of workplace sexism, ageism, and how it plays out publicly in the media.
Along with fast-food brands and domestic and U.S. news outlets, LaFlamme’s firing has faced criticism from other major brands like Dove Canada, fellow journalists and former colleagues, politicians, celebrities, and voices on social media.