Twist after reporter told to leave execution because skirt was too short

·News Reporter
·4-min read

A female reporter who was kicked out of an execution due to the length of her skirt says she’s “thankful” it happened to her.

Ivana Hrynkiw’s story from inside an Alabama prison went viral after she was barred from attending the lethal injection of a death-row inmate on Thursday.

“Tonight a representative of the Alabama Department of Corrections told me publicly I couldn’t view the execution because my skirt was too short,” the journalist from AL.com wrote on Twitter.

“I have worn this skirt to prior executions without incident, to work, professional events and more, and I believe it is more than appropriate.

“At 5’7 and 5’10 with my heels on, I am a tall and long-legged person.”

Ivana Hrynkiw in shorts (left) and a close up (right)
Ivana Hrynkiw said she had worn the skirt (not pictured) to numerous executions without any trouble. Source: Southern Style Diaries

Ms Hrynkiw explained how she tried to pull down the skirt, which was about 3.80 centimetres above the knee according to the New York Post, to make it look longer.

But still she was told “it was not appropriate” for the execution of a man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend.

Fortunately a photographer from a Birmingham TV station was able to lend her his waterproof pants at the WC Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.

But the award-winning reporter was then told that her open toe heels were also “too revealing”.

So again she changed, this time into a new pair of tennis shoes she had in her car.

“Despite wearing a pair of waders from a man I have never met and casual tennis shoes, I continued to do my job,” Ms Hrynkiw said.

“This was an uncomfortable situation and I felt embarrassed to have my body and my clothes questioned in front of a room of people I mostly had never met.

“I sat down, tried to stop blushing and did my work. As women often have to do.”

WC Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore
The reporter said authorities at WC Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore deemed her skirt and open toe heels "inappropriate". Source: AL.com

Outpouring of support

In her Tweet, Ms Hrynkiw explained that she wasn’t going to share her story but then another member of the media called attention to it.

As reported by AL.com, another female journalist working for the Associated Press was made to stand in front of the media centre room and have her outfit scrutinised, however she passed the dress code.

The incidents have since caused outrage on Twitter with Ms Hrynkiw’s tweet receiving more than 50,000 likes and 2,000 comments.

“This is outrageous [and] should not have happened to you my friend,” one person said. “You are a good reporter and good person.”

“It’s exhausting being a woman,” another added. “You did a great job under ridiculous circumstances”

“Alabama loves to tell women what to do with their bodies,” someone else added.

While others shared their own experiences.

“I was told to leave a county jail lobby because I was wearing a sleeveless dress,” one woman wrote. “Apparently naked shoulders are “too revealing.”

“I’ve been forced to confirm by visual inspection that I had on “appropriate underwear” while fully clothed in pants, no less,” another said. “The gauntlet women have to walk to get into prison to do our jobs is dehumanising.”

Ms Hrynkiw in a skirt (left) and in shorts (right)
Ms Hrynkiw said she sat down and got on with her work after the 'uncomfortable situation.' Source: Southern Style Diaries

‘I’m thankful it happened to someone like me’

In thanking her followers for the outpouring of support,” Ms Hrynkiw conceded that she was grateful it elevated the problem.

“I never expected this story to blow up in the way it has but I think it shines a spotlight on an important issue,” she said in a Tweet.

“While I never wanted this to happen, I’m thankful it happened to someone like me who has a platform and can call attention to something that likely happens to women more than we would like to admit.”

Ms Hrynkiw’s company, the Alabama Media Group, is now filing a formal complaint to the Alabama Department of Corrections.

“Going forward, if there is a dress code that is going to be enforced, members of the media need to be aware before the day of the executions,” she told The Post.

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