For over 50 years, Wendy’s restaurants have used an iconic logo: an adorable cartoon of a girl with bright red pigtails. So, imagine everyone’s surprise when Wendy’s Canada took to social media to change its mascot’s hair from red to gray. As it turns out, there’s a special meaning behind the change.
In Tribute To Lisa LaFlamme
Since 2011, Lisa LaFlamme has anchored CTV National News, Canada’s most-watched nightly news show. But on August 15, LaFlamme announced that her tenure with Bell Media, CTV’s parent company, was coming to an abrupt end.
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“On June 29, I was informed that Bell Media made a ‘business decision’ to end my contract, bringing to a sudden close my long career with CTV News. I was blindsided and I’m still shocked and saddened by Bell Media’s decision,” LaFlamme explained.
Taking her place is 39-year-old Omar Sachedina, an undoubtedly qualified journalist with a master’s degree from Columbia University. So, why are we telling you about a staffing change for one of Canada’s premiere newsrooms in a story about a fast food logo? Just stick with us; it’s going to get dicey.
Accusations Of Ageism
The problem here is that Lisa LaFlamme was a beloved anchor. Only ten years into her position, fans couldn’t understand why she was being pushed out. Her predecessor Lloyd Robertson held the position for 35 years. So, what happened? What changed?
The only conclusion fans could come to was this: LaFlamme had decided to stop dyeing her hair. It sounds silly, but hear us out. While a patch of silver is no problem for male news anchors, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single female anchor with a head full of gray. But during the pandemic, LaFlamme made the brave decision to let her natural gray hair grow out.
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So, this change corresponding with her abrupt severance was certainly suspicious. Once the theory made its way to social media, there was an outpouring of support for LaFlamme.
‘Keep The Grey’
That’s when businesses in Canada decided to protest LaFlamme’s firing by going gray. Dove Canada spread the message by launching #KeepTheGrey, a hashtag encouraging women to show off their silver locks. “Age is beautiful. Women should be able to do it on their own terms, without any consequences.”
That’s when Wendy’s Canada debuted its temporary new logo with the caption, “Because a [star] is a [star] regardless of hair colour.”
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit joined in on the action as well.
While the groundswell of support can’t reverse Bell Media’s decision, we hope it makes LaFlamme feel a bit less alone as she grapples with this major life change.