A News Anchor Was Reportedly Let Go Because She Let Her Hair Turn Gray. Now, Companies Are Showing Support By Changing Their Branding.

Wendy's Canada and Dove are among companies taking a stand against an alleged discriminatory firing at a Canadian media company.

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By Emily Rella

Alejandro Guzmani | Shutterstock

Wendy's signature mascot — the image of a young girl with her signature bright red hair and freckled face — is iconic and instantly recognizable.

But recently, across social media in Canada, the beloved burger joint has changed its logo to give Wendy a startling new look — gray hair.

The new logo was first noticed on Wendy's Twitter account where the company Tweeted out a photo of the image before changing the account avatar to match, alongside the hashtag #LisaLaFlamme.

The change was made in support of Canadian news anchor Lisa LaFlamme, who worked at Canada's Bell Media for 30 years (an on-camera anchor for 11) before she was told her contract would not be renewed at that her longstanding run with the company would be ending.

LaFlamme revealed the news on Twitter in a two-minute long video where she lamented about the company's decision, saying that she was "blindsided" and clarified that she was leaving her employer "in a manner that's not my choice."

Rumors had swirled that the reasoning behind LaFlamme's departure was because amid the pandemic, especially during lockdowns and business shutdowns, LaFlamme had stopped continuing to dye her hair her signature blonde color, thus opting to stay naturally gray while on-camera.

Mirko Bibic, President of Bell Media, denied the claims in a statement posted to his LinkedIn profile over the weekend.

"The narrative has been that Lisa's age, gender or grey hair played into the decision. I am satisfied that this is not the case and wanted to make sure you heard it from me," he claimed. "To address concerns raised regarding the working environment in the newsroom we have begun an independent review involving confidential interviews with all newsroom employees who choose to participate. Any necessary changes that become evident will be implemented swiftly to ensure a respectful, unified workplace."

However, Bell Media executive Michael Selling has taken a voluntary leave from the company after it was reported by multiple outlets that he asked during a meeting who had approved the decision to "let Lisa's hair go grey."

Selling has not publicly commented on the matter any further.

Wendy's was joined by Dove Canada who announced a $100,000 donation to Catalyst, a Canadian company that aims to foster inclusive workplaces for women. The brand has encouraged women to change their profile images to greyscale in support.

"Age is beautiful," the company wrote. "Women should be able to do it on their own terms, without any consequences."

Entrepreneur has reached out to Bell Media for comment.

As of Monday afternoon, Wendy's initial announcement of the logo swap on Twitter had received over 46,000 likes.

The company was down just shy of 15% globally at the same time Monday year over year.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Emily Rella is a news writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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