CBC reporter Megan Batchelor gets support, opposition over unwanted kiss

CBC reporter Megan Batchelor says she's gotten a lot of support and some opposition after she received unwanted attention from a man who kissed her and took a selfie while she was doing a live hit for television.

The incident is the latest in a string of similar on-air disruptions for female journalists

Megan Batchelor describes her reaction to being kissed by a stranger in the middle of a news report 5:43

CBC reporter Megan Batchelor says she has gotten a lot of public support after a man kissed her on the cheek and took a selfie while she was reporting live from the Squamish Valley Music Festival on Friday evening. 

"The support has been just amazing," Batchelor said.

"But of course there are people out there who feel I'm overreacting, and I was at a music festival so I was asking for this kind of thing."

Batchelor says she felt compelled to file a police report about the unwanted physical contact so she could try to halt the wave of similar incidents against female reporters. 

A reporter gets unwanted physical contact during her live hit on air. 0:33

"I felt like if I didn't do something about it, then I'm making it look like it's OK for people to do this to myself and to my colleagues," she said.

"To have someone run up and just touch you or kiss you on the cheek or do something unwelcome, it's just not OK regardless of where I am or what atmosphere it is."

If you know this man who kissed CBC reporter Megan Batchelor, please contact the Squamish RCMP. (CBC)

Batchelor said although the incident wouldn't keep her from reporting and enjoying her job, it would put an air of caution on her future live hits.

"This does change the way I feel when I do go out," Batchelor said. "Now there's that extra thought in my head that this could happen again."

Chuck Thompson, CBC's head of public affairs for English services, said the man's actions were completely inappropriate.

"This is another example of a disturbing trend and we're doing everything we can to ensure our journalists are safe when reporting from the field," Thompson said.

Anyone with information about the man who approached Batchelor should contact Squamish police directly at 604-892-6100 with the file number 2015-5227.

Recurrent issue for journalists

It is one of many incidents over the past year where female Canadian journalists have been disrupted on air.

Earlier this year, Toronto's City News reporter Shauna Hunt confronted the men who shouted crude remarks into her microphone and defended it as part of a popular trend of harassing female reporters on air by yelling "f--k her right in the p---y."

CBC reporter Charlsie Agro also filed a police report in Toronto after a man shouted the same notorious misogynistic slogan during a live broadcast of the Pan Am Games closing ceremony. 

CBC Ottawa reporter Ashley Burke was also verbally attacked with the same offensive remark in Montebello, Que.

With files from CBC's Tamara Baluja

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.