Today’s forecast: Awkward with a chance of sexual harassment.
That was the case for Liberté Chan, a meteorologist who was handed a sweater while delivering a weather report on KTLA after multiple viewers complained that the dress she was wearing was inappropriate for the Saturday morning broadcast.
“What’s going on?” Chan asked to an off-screen anchor who was holding up a grey cardigan during her 8:20 a.m. report. “You want me to put this on? Why? ‘Cause it’s cold?”
“We were getting a lot of emails,” an unidentified male voice replied.
Chan reluctantly obliged.
“I look like a librarian now,” she said before finishing the forecast.
— Megan McGrath (@meg_mcgrath) May 14, 2016
Chan had originally planned to wear a different dress, but explained to Twitter followers that it did not work against the green screen that weather reporters stand in front of while delivering their forecast. She even previewed her dress in a tweet before the newscast.
— Liberté Chan (@libertechan) May 14, 2016
“Even if it’s early in the AM, can’t beat a black beaded dress,” she tweeted.
It’s unclear who decided to urge Chan to cover up live on the air. The network did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But in a video later posted to her Facebook page, Chan and her colleagues read some of the emails complaining about sartorial choice.
“Liberté Chan’s dress is totally inappropriate for a Saturday morning newscast,” one email read. “Looks like she didn’t make it home from her cocktail party last night.”
“No doubt about it,” wrote another. “Liberté Chan’s New Year’s Eve cocktail dress was inappropriate. That would’ve been true even if it was a 10 p.m. broadcast. Overall this was a display of very poor judgment.”
Even viewers who didn’t think the dress was appropriate thought KTLA should’ve handled things differently.
“The show’s producers should not have allowed her to do it in a cocktail dress,” another viewer wrote. “Handing her the sweater during her report was also in poor taste. Should have given it to her afterwards. All in all, poorly done all around.”
Chan was mystified by the criticism.
“I don’t know what to tell ya,” she said in the Facebook video. “It’s a black dress. I’m sorry if I was inappropriate.”
The Los Angeles native and University of Southern California graduate is known, in part, for her on-air attire, as she explains on her website, LifeOfLiberte.com.
“I discovered that people were not only interested in my forecast, they were also interested in my fashion,” Chan writes on her “About” page. “I love answering viewers who ask, ‘Where did you get your dress? I want one!‘”
In an April 27 blog post, Chan revealed that she has recently been renting the dresses she wears on air.
“If you’re like me or like most women I know, there’s nothing like putting on a dress that makes you look and feel great,” she wrote. “But buying a new designer dress for every event or special occasion (or in my case, every time I’m on-air) can be costly.”