FHRITP: CBC reporters in Alberta share their stories
WARNING: Story contains explicit language
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.
- FHRITP: CBC Montreal journalists speak out about vulgar 'joke'
- Hydro One employee fired after FHRITP heckling of CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt
- Reporter talks about her viral video takedown of 'FHRITP' perpetrators
But it's not news to many CBC reporters.
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:
- Montreal reporters Morgan Dunlop and Tanya Birbeck both wrote about their experiences with the trend in November 2014. Dunlop said at first she was embarrassed, and then angry, when a protester shouted the words in her ear during a live hit from an anti-austerity demonstration. Birbeck was accosted by two separate "pranksters" in her first day on the job as a videojournalist at a sports event.
- Tory Gillis had the words shouted at her twice in one day in Regina, Sask. last year.
- Someone yelled the words at Toronto reporter Shannon Martin from a passing car as she stood in a children's area at the Exhibition.
- Chris O'Neill-Yates had a driver pull up next to her in St. John's, N.L., stick his head out the window, yell "F--- her right in the p---y" and speed away.
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.
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?
Nothing and calm down everybody. RT <a href="https://twitter.com/MarkConnollyCBC">@MarkConnollyCBC</a> What should the consequences be for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FHRITP?src=hash">#FHRITP</a> and how can we stop it?—@FACLC
Some debated the effectiveness of public shaming:
<a href="https://twitter.com/MarkConnollyCBC">@MarkConnollyCBC</a> Obviously childish, but not sure loss of employment is justified. Public shaming might help bring it to an end.—@trifattytri
<a href="https://twitter.com/MarkConnollyCBC">@MarkConnollyCBC</a> Naming and shaming as punishment is no better than burning people in the public square. It too has to stop. Respect pls—@mckernangirl
Others recommended action:
<a href="https://twitter.com/carillonjane">@carillonjane</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MarkConnollyCBC">@MarkConnollyCBC</a> Takes other guys to step in and say "that's not cool". That's how it gets stopped.—@marnipanas
<a href="https://twitter.com/MarkConnollyCBC">@MarkConnollyCBC</a> how about having obscene hecklers follow him around at his job for a while?—@kendp
A tweet by Edmonton Journal reporter Ryan Cormier seems to have struck a nerve, and has been re-tweeted nearly 600 times:
Step 1: Wait quietly until female journalist finishes live report. Step 2: Yell "Respect and equality for women!" Step 3: Remain employed.—@el_cormier