Lisa LaFlamme revealed her decision to leave in a video uploaded to Twitter on August 15. She described being “blindsided” by it and expressing shock and sadness.
In her video, she said, on June 29, she was informed that Bell Media decided to end her contract, which suddenly showed her exit from the CTV News channel. The management asked her to keep the decision to be confident from all her colleagues and the public until the exit from the channel was resolved. She continued in her video by saying,
“Being 58, she still believes that she has a lot more time she got to share her tales that make a huge impact on our daily lives. She left CTV humbled by the people who trusted me to tell their stories.”
Until now, Bell Media has not detailed why LaFlamme was fired. In the notification, the company claimed that “changing viewer habits” is a part of their business decision to move on with their acclaimed show CTV National News, and the role has now been changed. The Globe and Mail stated that Michael Melling, the head of CTV News, had questioned LaFlamme’s hair, which sparked controversy.
According to a senior CTV employee who attended the discussion, Melling allegedly questioned who had given their OK to “let Lisa’s hair grow grey.” According to a LaFlamme, hair color was a problem on set another day when Melling claimed that the studio lighting was “taking on a purple tinge.”
But then the journalist explained that due to the pandemic, she couldn’t get an appointment with her hair colorist and started spraying on her roots before going on air. “I finally said, ‘Why bother? I’m going gray.’ Honestly, if I had known the lockdown could be so liberating on that front I would have done it a lot sooner.”
There has been heavy criticism after Lisa Laflamme’s contract ended. Following LaFlamme’s resignation, organizations like Wendy’s and Dove showed their support by temporarily changing their logos to include grey features and spreading awareness of women’s aging. Dove Canada posted to Twitter stating the firm is donating $100,000 to Catalyst, which helps “create inclusive workplaces for all women.”
In response to the criticism, CTV posted a report headlined “In aftermath of LaFlamme’s leave, companies should be mindful when diving on hot topics: experts” that included Wendy’s, Dove, and Twitter users responding to the dismissal.