Kiss­ing ban­dit sorry

Ottawa Sun - - NEWS -

MON­TREAL — An uniden­ti­fied man who kissed a Ra­dio-Canada re­porter on the cheek with­out her con­sent dur­ing a live broad­cast last Fri­day has apol­o­gized for his ac­tions.

Jour­nal­ist Va­lerie-Mi­caela Bain also said late Mon­day that she wouldn’t file a crim­i­nal com­plaint af­ter she re­ceived the un­wanted em­brace from a con­cert-goer as she went live from Mon­treal’s Osheaga mu­sic fes­ti­val last Fri­day.

Star­tled, she shoved him away and yelled at him be­fore calmly con­tin­u­ing her re­port.

She later posted pho­tos and video of the man to Face­book in an ef­fort to track him down, mak­ing clear she found it nei­ther adorable or flat­ter­ing.

“In the end I would like him to un­der­stand why his ges­ture is un­ac­cept­able,” she wrote.

Bain took to so­cial me­dia again Mon­day night, pub­lish­ing an apol­ogy she re­ceived from the man — a fa­ther of two who said he was ashamed and re­gret­ted the un­wanted ges­ture.

In a note to the re­porter, he ad­mit­ted he had gone too far in his ac­tions, ex­plain­ing he did it to try to get a laugh out of his en­tourage.

“I sent as a mes­sage that it was funny, even nor­mal, to kiss a jour­nal­ist dur­ing a re­port on the cheek,” he wrote ask­ing for­give­ness. “I can not find any words that jus­tify my ges­ture.”

The fed­er­a­tion rep­re­sent­ing Que­bec jour­nal­ists says the pub­lic needs to be re­minded such be­hav­iour is un­ac­cept­able.

Stephane Giroux, head of the Que­bec jour­nal­ists’ fed­er­a­tion, be­lieves it was a clearcut case of sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

“You would not do that to a ran­dom per­son on the street,” Giroux said Mon­day. “What makes you think you can do this to a re­porter on tele­vi­sion do­ing her work?

“For me, it’s mind-bog­gling that an adult male would think that he has a right to do this.”

The in­ci­dent fol­lows oth­ers in which on-cam­era fe­male re­porters were heck­led with a no­to­ri­ous vul­gar phrase, of­ten ab­bre­vi­ated to “FHRITP.”

There have been sev­eral cases in North Amer­ica, in­clud­ing one in­volv­ing a heck­ler scream­ing it at a re­porter cov­er­ing a Toronto FC soc­cer game.

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