Edmonton

FHRITP: CBC reporters in Alberta share their stories

The now viral take-down and firing of a man linked to Sunday's "F--- her right in the p---y" incident in Toronto has introduced many Canadians to the offensive trend - but it's not news to many reporters in Alberta.

WARNING: Story contains explicit language

On Sunday, a man shouted "F--k her right in the p---y" while CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt was interviewing soccer fans at the Toronto FC soccer game. The incident was the most recent in the alarming-frequent trend, which targets news reporters in the field. (CityNews)

The now viral take-down and firing of an Ontario Hydro One employee who was among a group of men linked to the "F--- her right in the p---y" incident in Toronto on Sunday has introduced many Canadians to the offensive trend.

But it's not news to many CBC reporters.

CBC reporter Meghan Grant was targeted by an individual in the truck pictured above. (CBC)
In Calgary, two men screamed the words at reporter Meghan Grant last month while she was covering a story about efforts being made to discourage harassment along 17th Avenue during and after NHL games.

The irony was not lost on Grant — and she's not alone.

On her first day on the job, CBC Edmonton intern Zoe Todd was mid-way through an interview with a young man when "he pulled an FHRITP and quite literally ran away."

"The situation was so absurd that it didn't bother me at first — for the most part, I felt confused and a little frustrated," Todd said. "It bothered me more afterwards, but I realize it was just a disrespectful way of seeking attention and not a personal attack."

Laura Osman and Boris Proulx, both reporters in Edmonton, have had strangers scream "F--- her right in the p---y" at them while out on the job.

"Usually someone shouts it out their window as they drive by," Osman said. "It's upsetting, especially when I'm in the middle of an interview. It's disruptive, disrespectful, and degrading."

Scott Stevenson was recording a stand-up in Edmonton's Churchill Square when a teen walked behind and yelled it out.

"I just said, 'sorry to disappoint you, but we're not even live right now,'" Stevenson said. "I asked if he couldn't think of anything funnier to say." The teen, he said, turned red and quickly left.

Likewise, reporter James Hees was doing an interview when a man walked by and inserted his face between the interviewee and the camera, and said "F--- her right in the p---y," sending Hee's interview subject into a fit of laughter.

CBC videojournalist Travis McEwan had it happen to him four separate times in one night while he covered the Edmonton Crashed Ice finals.

The list goes on. In the time it took me to write this, three other colleagues (not included here) got in touch to tell me their own stories.

Other CBC reporters across the country have also spoken out:

It started with a hoax

The meme got its start in January 2014 when John Cain, an American online prankster, began uploading videos to YouTube.

In one, he poses as a FOX News reporter, editing the video so that is appears he mistakenly says "I'd F--- her right in the p---y" while doing a live hit from the field.

Cain himself admitted to the prank in a 2014 interview with CBC Montreal.

He said he made the videos to be "funny but shocking at the same time." In an email, Cain said he "did not know it would blow up this big."

"Male and female reporters have both encountered being interrupted during a live broadcast so it's not just women. It is not an attack on women in any way.

"In fact, I love women and I would FHRITP all of them if they wanted."

What's the solution?

Shawn Simoes, the Hydro One engineer who was fired after the CityNews clip went viral, is just the latest example of employers firing workers for their conduct outside of work.

On Wednesday morning, CBC Radio put the following question to Albertans: What should be done to discourage vulgar and harassing behaviour like the FHRITP movement?

Some debated the effectiveness of public shaming:

Others recommended action:

A tweet by Edmonton Journal reporter Ryan Cormier seems to have struck a nerve, and has been re-tweeted nearly 600 times:

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