Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Karl Stefanovic’s sexism experiment: Today presenter wears same suit for a year
Angered by the sexism he saw being heaped upon his female colleagues – and attempts to downplay it – Karl Stefanovic decided to conduct an experiment.
He wore the same blue suit on air, two days in a row. Then three. A month ticked by without a ripple.
Now, a full year has passed – and he is still wearing the same cheap Burberry knock-off, every morning, on Channel Nine’s Today program.
Not a single audience member has asked about it, he says. Fashion commentators and other media also seem oblivious.
Yet co-host Lisa Wilkinson still receives regular and unsolicited fashion appraisals, as she revealed in her well-received Andrew Olle lecture last year. (“Who the heck is Lisa’s stylist?” one emailer demanded to know. “Today’s outfit is particularly jarring and awful. Get some style.”) These same viewers, however, have failed to observe – or simply don’t care – that the man beside her happily slips on the same outfit, day after day.
“No one has noticed; no one gives a shit,” Stefanovic tells Fairfax Media. “But women, they wear the wrong colour and they get pulled up. They say the wrong thing and there’s thousands of tweets written about them.
“Women are judged much more harshly and keenly for what they do, what they say and what they wear.”
His frustration at this, he says, sparked his experiment.
“I’ve worn the same suit on air for a year – except for a couple of times because of circumstance – to make a point.
“I’m judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humour – on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they’re wearing or how their hair is … that’s [what I wanted to test].”
Stefanovic is a close friend of Samantha Armytage, co-host of rival breakfast program Sunrise.
Earlier this year, News Corp tabloid The Daily Telegraph dredged up old photographs of Armytage running errands in comfortable clothes, then published them because … well, the purpose of the story was never entirely clear.
“She’s a mate and she was hurt by that,” Stefanovic says, shaking his head. “And I can understand. You’ve got to have a thick skin in TV but there’s a limit.”
He immediately offered Armytage his support, ignoring their professional rivalry. (Continued at the source)