Ann Curry: Gray Hair Might Have Cost Her “Today” Job
Ann Curry was a beloved figure on the “Today” show for years, and when she was let go back in June, the news shocked America. NBC News president Steve Capus explained that the time had come when Curry’s heart just wasn’t in it, and that was the reason for her sudden departure; although, according to him, it was anything but sudden.
“I think it was not where her real passion was,” he said. “In her heart of hearts, I think she would admit that. I think her real passion is built around reporting on international stories. It’s tough to convey a sincere interest in something if you don’t possess it. We live in a HD world. Dan Rather used to say the camera never blinks. Well, this is an HD world now, and the camera picks up everything. And you could tell with her, you can tell with any anchor, whether they’re into it or not. And I think we’ve now come up with a role that will play to her strengths…We gave her a year to prove herself, and ultimately we came to the conclusion that she had played at the highest level she could… When you’re in the major leagues of our profession, you’ve got to continue to be at peak performance in order to stay there.”
But according to Ann, who did an interview with Ladies’ Home Journal for their August edition, the real reason may have been simply that she’s getting older.
The 55-year old news anchor said she liked to wear brightly-colored clothes on air, which often rankled the men upstairs for some reason.
“One day I wore a multicolored dress and someone asked if I was trying to be Toucan Sam. But I chose it because I thought, ‘This will perk up America’. I’m encouraged by my bosses to wear these ridiculously high-heeled shoes because women say, ‘I love your shoes!’ So if it makes women happy, I’ll wear them. But I’m still going to be me… I’ve tried to wear clogs and flats on TV and it hasn’t gone well with my bosses.”
She also refuses to dye her hair, because, as she says, aging ties her to her family. It hasn’t gone over well with her employers, Curry says, but it’s not something she’s ready to change.
“I’ve decided not to buy into the idea that I want to stop aging,” she said. “My wrinkles connect me to my family, to my ancestors and to my future. This is how my father looked when he was my age. I’ve got cellulite because it runs in my family. I’ve got gray hair because I won’t dye it. … But I don’t want to change the fundamental parts of me because it means changing who I am.”
When Curry tried wearing more age-appropriate shoes, such as flats and clogs, producers encouraged her to switch them out for heels, mostly because women of a certain age group–who made up a huge part of the show’s audience–would tune in just to see what she was wearing.
As for her appearance, Curry says she’s not sure how much longer it will be tolerated; she’s still employed by NBC.
Image credit: Mediaite