Wendy’s Stands Up Against Age Discrimination

by Wall Street Rebel - Michael London | 08/30/2022 1:04 PM
Wendy’s Stands Up Against Age Discrimination

Companies like Wendy's Canada and Dove are among those speaking out against what is being called a discriminatory termination at a Canadian media firm.


The image of a little girl with her trademark bright red hair and freckled face, which is Wendy's signature mascot, is iconic and easily recognizable. Wendy's is a fast food restaurant chain.

But just recently, across several social media platforms in Canada, the well-known burger joint made a shocking update to its emblem, giving Wendy an unexpected new look in the form of gray hair.

The new design was initially discovered on Wendy's Twitter account, when the firm Tweeted out a photo of the image before updating the account avatar to match, along with the hashtag #LisaLaFlamme. This was the first place where the public saw the new logo.



The modification was made in order to show support for Canadian news anchor Lisa LaFlamme, who had worked at Canada's Bell Media for 30 years (an on-camera anchor for 11 of those years) before being informed that her contract would not be renewed and that her lengthy run with the company would be coming to an end. The change was made to show support for Lisa LaFlamme.

LaFlamme shared the information on Twitter in the form of a video that was two minutes long. In the video, she bemoaned the decision made by the corporation, stating that she was "blindsided" and elaborating that she was leaving her job "in a manner that's not my choice."

It was made quite apparent by her that the choice had not been made by her but rather by Bell Media, the business that is the owner of CTV.

One of the most recognizable faces in Canada stunned viewers, caused a public relations nightmare at a national network, and sparked serious conversations about how companies treat women as they age. This all took place from a makeshift studio with a news anchor's measured tones.

She accomplished this with a gracious and unanticipated farewell.


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In a video that marked the unexpected end of her 35-year career at the CTV, the news anchor Lisa LaFlamme said, "I guess this is my sign-off from CTV."

In the midst of the pandemic, particularly during lockdowns and business shutdowns, LaFlamme had stopped continuing to dye her hair her signature blonde color. As a result, she opted to stay naturally gray while appearing on camera, which caused rumors to circulate that this was the reason for LaFlamme's departure from the show.

The allegations were refuted by Mirko Bibic, the President of Bell Media, in a statement that was published on his LinkedIn profile over the weekend.

Ms. LaFlamme, who is 58 years old, has been met with a tidal wave of support in the two weeks since she uploaded the video to the internet. Many women have come forward to discuss their own challenging experiences in the workplace.

Ms. LaFlamme is a veteran journalist whose resume includes reporting from war zones, winning the most recent national news anchor award, and serving for over a decade as the chief anchor of Canada's most-watched nightly news show. The video generated a steady drumbeat of outrage over how Bell Media treated Ms. LaFlamme, which led to the firing of Ms. LaFlamme.

Neither Ms. LaFlamme nor Bell Media has provided a detailed explanation of the circumstances surrounding her termination. But viewers, other journalists, former government officials, and celebrities were quick to draw their own conclusions and accuse Bell Media of "shameful" and "shoddy" conduct. Some of these individuals even speculated that sexism may have been a factor in the incident.

Following the publication of a report in the Globe and Mail that quoted an unnamed CTV official as saying that an executive had questioned Ms. LaFlamme's decision to stop dying her hair and allow it to go gray, Canadian locations of companies such as Wendy's and Dove changed the color of their branding to gray as a show of support for the anchor.

On Friday night, Mirko Bibic, the chief executive officer of Bell Media, responded to the allegations by stating that he disagreed with them but would not disclose the specifics of the case due to an agreement he had made with Ms. LaFlamme.

Mr. Bibic said these words in a statement that was posted on LinkedIn. "The narrative has been that Lisa's age, gender, or gray hair played into the decision," Mr. Bibic said. "After more investigation, I have concluded that this is not the situation, and I wanted to ensure that you heard it from me. Although I would like to elaborate further on the decision regarding Bell Media, the fact is that we are constrained by a separation agreement that was signed amicably with Lisa and that we will continue to honor it.

According to what he said, the investigation will be conducted without bias and will attempt to "address issues voiced over the working environment" in the newsroom. He did remark, however, that one executive, who had been attacked by some viewers over the firing, had been placed on leave "effective immediately," pending the conclusions of a workplace review. This was done shortly after the firing.

Kim Campbell, a former prime minister of Canada, joined singers Sarah McLachlan, Anne Murray, and other high-profile Canadians to condemn the dismissal over the weekend. Campbell said that Bell had "confirmed one sad truth: Even after all the progress women have made, they continue to face sexism and ageism at work every day." Other prominent Canadians also joined in the condemnation of the firing.

Bell Media explained in its initial statement concerning Ms. LaFlamme that the decision had been influenced by "changing audience patterns," but the company did not provide any further details about this explanation. CTV apologized in a second statement for "how the news of her departure has been handled possibly leaving viewers with the erroneous idea about how CTV values Lisa."


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Although there was some speculation that Ms. LaFlamme's firing was related to the financial crisis in the media sector, the majority of conversations focused on sexism, which is a problem with deep roots that goes far beyond the realm of the news profession. Many journalists and fans observed that Ms. LaFlamme's two male predecessors were able to retire at the ages of 69 and 77, respectively, and that both of them were permitted to say their goodbyes on air.

Alongside Wendy's, Dove Canada announced that they will be donating $100,000 to Catalyst, a firm based in Canada with the mission of creating more inclusive workplaces for women. In an effort to show support, the brand has urged female consumers to update their profile pictures to grayscale.

The firm stated in their writing that "age is lovely." "Women should be able to do it on their own terms, without any consequences," is something that should be possible.

Alt:(Dove Tweet)


The quick service restaurant brand updated its profile photo across all of its social media channels one week ago, replacing Wendy's signature fiery red pigtails with a more sophisticated gray tone. The distinctive bright red hair from the Wendy's emblem has been removed from the Wendy's Canada character. This decision was made for the restaurant to show their support for a seasoned television journalist from the country who was recently terminated from her position without warning. Because a star is a star regardless of the color of their hair, the appropriate caption that accompanied the image stated. By the end of the weekend, the post had received more than 45,000 likes.


                       Wendy’s Canada logo goes grey online in a ‘risky’ marketing move




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