Norwegian newscaster banned from wearing cross on air

Nov. 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM

OSLO, Norway, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- A newscaster on Norwegian state television said she was told she can no longer wear a small gold cross on the air because of complaints from viewers.

"What I don't like is that people out there can just call in and tell my boss what I should and I shouldn't wear," Siv Kristin Saellmann told The Local.

Saellmann began wearing the cross encrusted with tiny black diamonds last month on a program broadcast by NRK's regional news for southern Norway, The Local.no reported.

Viewers immediately began to call in and complain to regional editor Anders Sarheim, demanding that Saellmann not be allowed to wear the cross.

Saellmann said her husband husband recently bought the cross for her during a trip to Dubai.

"I didn't wear the cross because I wanted to be provocative," she said. "I am a Christian but right now I see the cross everywhere. It's part of the catwalk. It's part of fashion. It's not like only Christians wear the symbol. I didn't think that people would react."

Sarheim told Saellmann she could no longer wear the cross on the air because there is a "clear policy that news anchors should be dressed neutrally and we encourage them to avoid the use of jewelry with religious and political significance."

Saellmann said she will comply with the policy.

"I wouldn't like it if people that watched me read the news on TV considered me as being apart in some way. I want to be as neutral as possible," she said.

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