ESPN anchor and radio personality Tony Kornheiser has been suspended for making crude cracks about an ensemble that his colleague Hannah Storm wore on-air. The 47-year-old Sports Center anchor donned red, suede knee-high boots and a red and white plaid mini skirt.
“She's got on red go-go boots and a Catholic-school plaid skirt, way too short for somebody in her 40s or maybe early 50s by now. She's got on her typically very, very tight shirt. So, she looks like she's got sausage casing wrapped around her upper body,” Kornheiser said.
The comments were quickly picked up by bloggers who stirred up the controversy on the Internet, blasting Kornheiser's remarks as sexist. Kornheiser, who is known for his sarcasm, called Storm to personally apologize.
“I said, 'Hannah, this is Tony Kornheiser. I know we've never met and these are bad circumstances to have this first meeting. But, everything I'm quoted as saying, I in fact said, and I apologize unequivocally,' ” Kornheiser said.
“There wasn’t anything that was hanging out, there wasn’t any fat that was falling over the sides. She’s got a great body. She wants to separate herself from pretty much everybody else and if you’ve got a great body on TV, wear a lot of color, you should celebrate it,” said Sasha Charnin Morrison, Fashion Director of US Weekly.
Kornheiser seems to be something of a self-appointed fashion cop. During his apology to Storm he took a pot shot at another TV anchor, the Today show's Hoda Kotb.
“Not only did I say that I was a dope and do this all the time, and mentioned Hoda Kotb, and why she wears these, as she's wearing today, these idiotic dresses in the middle of the winter bearing her arms,” Kornheiser said.
“I wear the same dresses over and over. What’s the problem?” Kotb shot back on Today.
Kornheiser's apology wasn't enough for ESPN’s top brass who suspended him for two weeks saying "hurtful and personal comments such as these are not acceptable and have significant consequences."
The storm over Hannah's outfit is now making front page news.
Storm has always attracted a lot of attention for her style, which she has described as "fitted and feminine." One viewer has even created an online photo album of Hannah in various outfits.
ESPN executives had reportedly told storm to "tone down" her wardrobe choices before Kornheiser's comments. Now her sassy outfits are sparking a real firestorm!