HE SAID, SHE SAID: A comment aired on the hit show's Oct. 11 episode stirs controversy.
As fashion and local television become increasingly in tune, Mission Catwalk (now in its fourth season) got some extra attention last week, owing to a remark by hostess Keneea Linton-George about a contestant's fabric of choice resembling something a "government worker" would wear.
The utterance, aired on the fashion reality series' October 11 episode, took many of the show's fans by surprise, including one individual who went so far as to express his grouse via a letter to the Gleaner's editor. Clearly, he felt very strongly about Linton-George's statement, which he described as "disparaging", "flippant and callous."
"The remark was an insult to a cadre of persons who have been unswerving in their dedication to a national initiative to correct the macroeconomic indicators of the island and have done so through a series of sustained and consecutive wage freezes that commenced in 2009," he pointed out. "So the sackcloth that these government workers wear are testament to their sacrifice... Might I then implore the good lady to retract her statement and the producers to issue an apology to the thousands of government workers who might be a little less than kin and are a little more than kind."
Responding to the charge with a sternly worded letter of her own, Linton-George sought to clear the air and more or less dress up her argument. "I in no way intended to offend any one person or a group of people with the remark. However, offence was taken and for this I apologize," the showrunner and executive producer explained.
Spoken like a true lady. "I have the utmost respect and appreciation for government workers. My comment that the fabric looked like a government worker was based on the high-fashion nature of the competition in contrast to the conservative fabric chosen by the designer," she added. "My comment was not an attempt to offend and was completely taken out of context."
Here at TALLAWAH, from day one we've been huge fans of the Mission Catwalk formula and the tireless efforts of Linton-George and her team of co-producers, sponsors and judges to keep the vision alive and push Caribbean fashion and amazing young design talents forward. So while the remark was indeed unfortunate (the apology crucial and tastefully done0, it goes to show that the fashion industry is still commanding attention and generating debate in some quarters - even if it's of a controversial stripe.
As for Keneea Linton-George, passionate as she is about her fashion, she means absolutely no harm. If anything, her zest and her palpable zeal for the style industry across the Caribbean is nothing short of inspiring. Ambitious and highly driven, she's a trailblazer if ever there was one.