By Ed Jacovino
HARTFORD — WTIC-TV61 apologized Wednesday after it aired more than 20 seconds of images of women’s breasts during a news story about a Women’s Day event at the Legislative Office Building.
The footage — referred to as “b-roll” because it’s used to complement on-camera interviews or to roll while a newscaster reads copy — was shown Wednesday morning as anchor Erika Arias read a story on the annual Women’s Day at the Capitol event. It showed women walking with the images cropped to show only their chests. Many wore shirts with low necklines.
The apology came after women’s rights groups complained about the video.
“The airing of the footage is repugnant and is not of the level of a credible news organization,” Jacqueline Kozin, co-president of the state’s chapter of the National Organization for Women, said in a statement. “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.”
Teresa Younger, executive director of the state’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, called the incident an “insult.”
“We invite the executives at Fox to ask about our sexual harassment awareness and prevention training, which would help them and their staff learn a little more about what goes on above a woman’s shoulders,” Younger said.
Fox CT, which operates the news station, apologized, saying the footage aired “mistakenly.”
“The video should never have aired. Fox CT will publicly apologize on today’s newscasts, as well as through our social media platforms,” the company said in a statement. “We are also implementing procedures to keep this from happening in the future. Fox CT is committed to recognizing and applauding the significant contributions of women, both in Connecticut and throughout the country.”
The Women’s Day event was organized by the PCSW. It featured a keynote address from Marcia Gillespie, the former editor-in-chief of Ms. and Essence magazines.