A KGW interview with nail polish company Claws Out's owner (and Portland Monthly fashion editor) Eden Dawn was prohibited from airing last week after the show's producer decided that the conversation veered too political.
The interview was slated to appear on Portland Today, an afternoon culture and entertainment show on KGW whose most recent segments include features on cherry pie recipes and the Voyage to Vietnam culture exhibit at the Children's Museum.
"Our news director has asked us not to air the interview based on a few of the pointed political references," read KGW's e-mail to Dawn after the segment's February 26 taping. "Portland Today is mostly entertainment, but still under the news umbrella of KGW so we have a responsibility to stay balanced. Thanks so much for your understanding."
Dawn posted her announcement that Claws Out was "too hot for TV" on March 1, the first day of Women's History Month.
Dawn tells WW that her ouster from the segment was surprising, given that the feminist nail polish company's open political leanings are a core part of its brand. She says a producer originally reached to out her offering to "brag about [Claws Out] in public."
On Claws Out's website, nail polish colors have names like "Resistance," "Intersectional," and "Uterus," and advertise that 20 percent of profits going to groups like Planned Parenthood, the Cascade AIDS Project and Everytown.
"They knew exactly what to expect from me," Dawn tells WW, adding that she sent the station an outline of her talking points days in advance. One bullet point noted her discussing "what it's like being a brand that's considered political when conventional business logic is not include politics in your brand."
KGW has declined WW's inquiries about their decision not to air the segment. Dawn says KGW also hasn't responded to her own email inquiring about the details of the station's decision.
"The groups we donate to are all wonderful, legal, organizations who are doing their damndest to help people," Dawn says. "From the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization helping immigrants to become self-sufficient in their new communities to the NAACP trying to make sure every person in this country is able to vote and participate in democracy. It's strange to me those ideas, while nestled in the fun vibe of getting a manicure, are somehow too scandalous for TV. But Trump can call Africa a shithole, and there's 50,000 episodes of Law & Order-esque shows that deal with the most detailed horrors of the world seemingly aired at any moment, and both those things are fine to air?"
But Dawn says the snub hasn't hurt Claws Out's reputation.
"One man sent me a message through Instagram that he felt so annoyed about the whole KGW thing he woke up and painted his nails despite not being a guy who paints his nails," says Dawn, "because it was a way he could think to show support."