Celine Galipeau called and texted her friend Lisa LaFlamme after she was fired from her position as CTV National News host because of her graying hair.
Céline Galipeau, head of the Téléjournal antenna since 2009, was “thrown down” and “shocked” by Bell Media’s dismissal of Lisa LaFlamme.
“In 2022, how can we treat an experienced woman like her, who tops the ratings with the country’s most-watched bulletin?” she told the QMI Agency on the sidelines of the unveiling of the informational program on Radio-Canada in Montreal on Tuesday.
For her part, the 65-year-old has “never felt any pressure” from management or even the public in recent years. “I’m living proof that you can grow old on screen these days. […] Have gray hair, why not? We should make a mark: all female presenters should wear a gray wig one night in support of Lisa LaFlamme. I start the challenge!“
Céline Galipeau has “tremendous respect” for Lisa LaFlamme, who has won multiple awards and whom she has often met on the ground, particularly in Afghanistan. The two women have similar backgrounds, having been foreign correspondents before returning home to take charge of a major late-night bulletin.
Was Lisa LaFlamme a victim of ageism and sexism considering she was 58 and looking to continue her career with two years left on her contract? “Pierre Bruneau left when he was ready and it would have been completely insane for TVA management to remove him when he was at the peak of his game. That’s hard to understand on Lisa LaFlamme’s file,” added Celine Galipeau, who herself is pondering what to do next.
During her vacation, the head of the “Téléjournal” antenna was replaced mainly by Madeleine Blais-Morin, Marie-Maude Denis, Catherine Mercier and Véronique Prince, who “confronted” her long before the Lisa LaFlamme affair, when he later retired.
“[…] I told myself that maybe I should start planning my departure at some point because I won’t be here forever. It’s funny to say, but I grew up and aged at Radio-Canada and never felt any pressure from management or the public because of my age. I felt it myself for the first time this summer, without any external pressure, when I saw the other journalists with the energy that it brought to the Téléjournal, also the freshness.”
Bell Media will conduct an independent assessment following the firing of Lisa LaFlamme after 35 years with CTV News. In a statement, the company said the “climate in [la] newsroom” will be analyzed “in the coming weeks”.
In addition to her gray hair, it’s also been reported that she’s lashed out at her new boss, Michael Melling, over budget cuts tied to reporting and editorial decisions.
Anne-Marie Dussault, who takes over the helm of RDI’s 24/60 season 15, agrees with Céline Galipeau that Lisa LaFlamme is “amazing” with her gray hair. She reminds us that we don’t know all the facts and that a confidentiality agreement has probably been reached between the parties.
“I can give my word it wouldn’t matter here [les cheveux gris]. We are beyond. The information has long been run by women, we age well in the air, we accept that we age in the air. I’m 69 years old, so if I decided to go grey, I would have no hesitation in doing it,” she said, speaking of a “personal choice.”
“Nobody tells me how to dress, do my hair, and do my makeup. Jane Fonda has never looked so beautiful [à 84 ans]Lisa LaFlamme was beautiful in grey, I didn’t think she was taking a chance.”