This week Real Sports will be doing a feature on female sports media personalities and the sexism that they still face in the industry, even in 2016. HBO released an eye-opening clip this weekend that will be sure to draw more attention to the issue.
Charissa Thompson of Extra and Fox Sports opened up about a time in 2008 when she was working for Fox Sports and dyed her hair a darker color so that she would be taken more seriously as a reporter. At the time, Deadspin’s A.J. Daulerio wrote an article entitled “Charissa Thompson continues down suicidal path to frumpyville.”
Here’s Thompson talking to HBO about the article and the aftermath:
Here’s the second article Thompson mentions, also written by Daulerio, entitled “Charissa Thompson wisely returns to hair color prefered by boner-popping NFL viewership.” In that post, Daulerio also wrote, “Welcome back to the hussy club, Charissa.”
It should be noted that Daulerio, the former Deadspin editor, was also the writer at the center of Gawker’s Hulk Hogan lawsuit, which led the company to file for bankruptcy and ultimately the shutdown of Gawker.com and purchase of the company’s remaining sites by Univision.
It’s difficult to imagine Deadspin posting those same articles today, but that doesn’t mean another site wouldn’t. We all know these attitudes still exist, all you need to do is open up Facebook or Twitter and see all the hateful, vile, abusive messages women in sports media receive on a daily basis. The more awareness that can be raised about the issue, the more change it can hopefully lead to.