Brianna Hamblin of New York’s Spectrum News 1 shared the video clip on Twitter to bring attention to the type of things women have to go through just to do their job.
Having a safe workplace is the bare minimum requirement for any worker. When your job involves fieldwork, like that of a reporter, you are exposed to even more uncertain elements. The risk is even higher when it comes to women employees and this is something that has been noted before. But this time, the harassment a female reporter had to go through was caught on camera. Brianna Hamblin was minutes away from going live for her segment on New York’s Spectrum News 1. She handled the situation well but she should not have to go through it at all.
Earlier this week Hamblin was standing on the sidewalk prepping for her live video to start. As the camera was already rolling, a man walking by and asks not to be filmed but tells Hamblin “you look really nice, though.” She thanks him politely as she tries to focus on the job at hand. Another man passing by chimes in and tells Hamblin, "You beautiful as hell. God damn." Hamblin's expression becomes visibly uncomfortable despite which she continues to be polite and thanks the man. The man then starts quizzing Hamblin about why she was on TV.
WARNING: CRUDE LANGUAGE— Brianna Hamblin (@BriReports) July 23, 2021
Being hit on and harassed as a woman, especially as a woman reporter out in the field, happens so often you learn how to roll with it or ignore it. This time it happened to be recorded only seconds before my hit. There are A LOT of things wrong with this. pic.twitter.com/5Ok58Vm7e0
Hamblin tells the man to “go find a TV and watch Spectrum News” to find out. But the man persists and goes on to make comments that are becoming more sexual and offensive. He is even making racist comments, at which point Hamblin declares, "Alright. We are done here. Have a great rest of your day." It is unclear if he was escorted away or if he left on his own account but the interaction left Hamblin shaken. “Oh my God,” she exclaimed into the camera. The short video clip was shared by the reporter on her Twitter to bring attention to the type of things women have to go through just to do their job.
What’s infuriating is that as a woman I watched this video and realized I literally got so used to this that my first thought was “at least he kept his distance, when they’re up in ur face it’s much scarier” 🤦🏿♀️— the big kahuna 🇭🇹 (@ladycassu) July 23, 2021
In the tweet, she wrote: "Being hit on and harassed as a woman, especially as a woman reporter out in the field, happens so often you learn how to roll with it or ignore it. This time it happened to be recorded only seconds before my hit. There are A LOT of things wrong with this." She then explains in a series of tweets, "1.If you don’t want to be on camera, simply avoid it or ask nicely to not be on camera. Don’t walk towards it or make a scene. Who said this was about you?" To people who tried to downplay what happened, she said, "'Oh, men these days just can’t give compliments.' No. The first man’s 'you look nice' as he continued to walk away is fine. It’s the 2nd man who took this to another disgusting level it didn’t need to be."
Let’s not lose sight of what I was actually doing this morning: which was reporting on the importance of healthy meals being accessible to kids during the summer!https://t.co/OIyWEMeAdb— Brianna Hamblin (@BriReports) July 23, 2021
The video clip went viral and has been viewed over 5.3 million times. This video has also started a conversation about how women are treated and deal with uncomfortable situations, both professionally and publicly. An online survey by a nonprofit called Stop Street Harassment found that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime. "Sexual harassment until more recently has been viewed as part and parcel of what people experienced," says Michele Decker, director of the women's health and rights program at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health told NPR. "It's often been dismissed because it's considered not as egregious as sexual assault or rape."
A new survey finds 81 percent of women in America have experienced some form of sexual harassment in public spaces, workplaces or at home. The results put some concrete numbers behind #MeToo, writes NPR's @RhituC. https://t.co/gqoCWAMWrg— NPR (@NPR) February 22, 2018
Hamblin further added, "The audacity of the things men say to me never ceases to amaze me. What makes you think women want to be talked to that way? In no way is this endearing. It’s uncomfortable. It’s gross." She went on to state, "Being a Black woman in this industry has its own headaches, but talking down on one group of women to “praise” another group is NEVER okay. It just shows you have a disgusting fetish based on stereotypes, which is just as racist." She even thanked her co-worker who was there to support her, unlike other times when she had to fend for herself.
Thank you to all who have said such kind things to me. I see it and I appreciate it so much ❤️. To all the women who related to this, I’m sorry and want to give you a big virtual hug. Thank you for sharing your own experiences too so men realize how common and unwanted this is— Brianna Hamblin (@BriReports) July 24, 2021