Fox Toledo reporter Barret Andrews toys around in a dorky manner with the cute brunette at the Chrysler Delta Concept stand during an on-camera interview at the Detroit Show. Stop. At the end of the interview he asks her if she’s doing anything or if she could give him her phone number. Stop.
Evidently annoyed, she turns the other way and graciously walks away. Stop. We don’t know if the scene was part of an act (most likely) or if the guy was serious, but either way, we smirked at both reactions for about 2.17 seconds. Stop. Goofy; yes. Inappropriate / offensive; no. End of story, let’s move on to the next post.
UPDATE: Response from Barret Andrews
I think the last two sentences above sum up my opinion about this story that was clearly blown out of proportion by some blogs / sites / bloggers / writers, but since it did make headlines, it’s only fare that we share Barret Andrews response in the same way that we did when Chrysler was accused for spending tax payers money on an Italian ad (few bothered to do so then…).
In brief, Andrews says that the scene was staged with the consent of photo model Lauren who was said to be in on the joke.
From Barret Andrews’ Post on Fox Toledo:
It’s been brought to my attention that several blogs have picked up my video of an uncut interview with a Chrysler model, Lauren, who was gracious enough to let me interview her about her job at NAIAS. Not a serious, hard-news interview, but a light-hearted, feature-type interview.
Despite other reports, I told Lauren beforehand that I was working on a humorous piece, and would end the interview by asking her for her phone number (instead, I asked what she was doing later — this was merely an ad-libbing decision). I asked her to shoot me down and to play along with the joke. She laughed and agreed.
I did not “rope” Lauren into the interview, as one blog suggested. I asked her, in front of another Chrysler employee, if she’d be allowed to talk to us. She agreed.
If she wanted to stop at any point, she could have just walked away. But, as I explained to her, it was meant to be a lighter, joking story.
As for accusations that I was being sexist or “creepy,” I would first like to point out that my photographer was in fact a woman and a fellow reporter. If she had felt this story was in bad taste on those grounds, I know she would have said something.
With that, my photographer also knows me personally and understands my personality, knowing that I didn’t truly mean what I said. I took too much trust in expecting everyone else to understand it was a joke, and I understand that now.
Secondly, with as much concern as there seems to be over this interview, there is one major thing to remember: this is what these models have to put up with every day from people who are completely serious. I quickly came up with this idea after a long day of walking around the auto show and watching men, standing at the ropes, snapping pictures and ogling, whispering to each other and staring.
I was sick of seeing it. Honestly. Yes, these are very attractive women — that’s why they are hired. But to stand there and stare like they aren’t even people? A bit much.
So this was my way of poking fun at something that seemed so rampant across the NAIAS floor, in part to draw attention to the kind of environment these professionals deal all the time.
So again, in summary:
Lauren agreed to do the interview.
Lauren was in on the joke.
Lauren agreed to shoot me down as part of the joke.
When we ended the interview, Lauren asked if the video would be posted online, I told her yes and gave her a business card. If she had been offended or felt like I misrepresented the interview situation, she had more than a few minutes to talk to me about it.
Instead, I waved, said “Thanks!” once more, and went on my way. Never did I think this thing would be this misconstrued.