By Christine Stuart
Wednesday was Women’s Day at the state Capitol. It was time for women to discuss public policy and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women. But that’s not exactly the message Fox 61 Connecticut conveyed during its morning broadcast, which had women’s groups calling for the removal of the story and an apology.
The news story was simply a preview of Women’s Day at the Capitol read by Fox Anchor Erica Arias. It was the footage the news organization decided to use for visuals in the background that has women’s groups outraged — it was b-roll of women’s breasts.
“The airing of the footage is repugnant and is not of the level of a credible news organization,” Jacqueline Kozin, co-president of the Connecticut National Organization of Women, said. “Fox CT News, whether they intended to or not, has just inserted their organization into a culture war and sent the message that women should not be taken seriously. It is an insult to the female employees at Fox and to women throughout Connecticut.”
Click the play button to watch the video.
By Wednesday afternoon, Fox 61 Connecticut was apologizing for airing footage of women’s breasts in a preview about Women’s Day at the state Capitol.
“FOX CT apologizes for mistakenly airing inappropriate file footage in conjunction with this morning’s report on Women’s Day at the Connecticut State Capitol,” Jennifer Humes, spokeswoman for CT1 Media, said in a statement. “The video should never have aired. FOX CT will publicly apologize on today’s newscasts, as well as through our social media platforms. We are also implementing procedures to keep this from happening in the future.”
Teresa Younger, executive director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, said she was “appalled” by the footage, which she didn’t get a chance to view until late Wednesday following the event.
“I’m pissed,” Younger said.
She said if the female anchor had stopped the broadcast once she saw the footage, the commission would have supported her for stepping up. She said it was a completely inappropriate depiction of women.
“We invite the executives at Fox to ask about our Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention trainings, which would help them and their staff learn a little more about what goes on above a woman’s shoulders,” Younger said.