TORONTO (AP) — A Toronto engineer lost his job Tuesday after a social media firestorm was created by a female TV reporter who fought back against offensive and vulgar comments that disrupted her live interview.
Ontario’s largest electricity provider, Hydro One, issued a statement saying it has fired one of its employees in connection with the lewd disruption Sunday at a Toronto FC game. In the video, CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt is shown confronting and questioning the men who shouted crude remarks into her microphone and defended it as part of a popular trend.
A Hydro One official identified the employee as Shawn Simoes, but spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to name him for privacy reasons. Simoes is shown in the video using an expletive and calling his friend’s remark hilarious before telling the reporter she is lucky they didn’t have a vibrator.
Hunt said she has often been the victim of the remarks while doing live television interviews.
“I hit my limit and I had to push back,” she said Tuesday. “I wasn’t going to stand for it anymore. It was time to say something.”
The men also face a one year-ban from all games of the soccer club and other teams owned by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, which include the NHL Maple Leafs and NBA Toronto Raptors.
“We’re appalled that this trend of disrespectful behavior would make its way to our city, let alone anywhere near our stadium,” MLSE said in a statement. “?We are working to identify the individuals, and when we do they will be banned from all of our facilities.”
MLSE said it would also provide extra security support to female reporters doing live interviews at future games.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne weighed in on Twitter, thanking CityNews for airing the disruption.
“Whether or not it’s caught on film, sexual harassment at work is no joke,” Wynne tweeted.
Former Florida State quarterback and top NFL draft pick Jameis Winston was benched for a half of football last year after being caught on camera shouting the same comment about female anatomy.