When CTV’s beloved anchor was suddenly ousted from her job, questions about ageism and sexism spread.
Legendary CTV anchor Lisa LaFlamme has revealed she is parting ways with the network after its parent company, Bell Media, decided not to renew her contract.
LaFlamme, 58, made the announcement “with a range of emotions” in a video posted to Twitter on Monday.
“For 35 years I have had the privilege to be welcomed into your homes and deliver the news on a nightly basis, so I felt you should hear this directly from me,” she began. “On June 29th I was informed that Bell Media made a ‘business decision’ to end my contract, bringing to a sudden close my long career with CTV News.”
In 2020, LaFlamme decided to stop dying her hair and let it go grey. Because the pandemic made it impossible for her to visit her hair colorist, LaFlamme had been spraying her roots every morning before she went on air. Finally, she decided she would rather just wear it naturally.
“I finally said, ‘Why bother? I’m going grey,’” LaFlamme explained during the network’s year-in-review special. “Honestly, if I had known the lockdown could be so liberating on that front, I would have done it a lot sooner.”
However, her choice was not always well-received. One opponent to LaFlamme’s decision was the new head of CTV News, Michael Melling. Early on in his term, Melling asked who approved the idea to “let Lisa’s hair go grey.” The issue came up again on set when he pointed out that her hair was looking purple in the studio lighting.
Melling was the one to tell LaFlamme that she was being removed from her role, even though she still had two years left on her contract. LaFlamme, who had worked at the network for 35 years, was understandably shocked.
According to AWM, people on social media were appalled that the news company would fire a woman for having gray hair. They turned to their preferred social media platform of choice saying the following:
“I hope people realize that what happened to Lisa LaFlamme happens to many women. When there aren’t cameras to capture it, when people aren’t celebs, when they don’t have the household name recognition or the legal/financial security to come out with the full story.”
One social media user, a male, wrote: “After all is said about Lisa LaFlamme and her departure from CTV, the inescapable conclusion and indefensible network position are as follows: fifty-eight-year-old women are too old. Fifty-eight-year-old men are not.”
Watch the video report below for more details: