The reporter used the inappropriate interaction as a valuable teaching moment
It’s not okay to touch women without their consent. Let alone kiss them on live TV while they are doing their jobs. But that’s what happened to one news reporter while she was on air filming a segment at a music festival.
Sara Rivest works for WAVE 3 News in Louisville, Kentucky. She was speaking live on the air when a man started running in front of the camera, making a scene, and interrupting her segment. Rivest tries to stay focused on speaking to the camera when the man comes up beside her, grabs her and plants a kiss.
Rivest handled the situation like a pro, calmly and professionally saying, “That was inappropriate,” while continuing to do her job. But she was outraged by the situation. She became even angrier about what had happened when she returned to the news station and watched the clip back. Then she saw that not only did the man kiss her, but he was also pretending to spank her, as well.
It’s incredibly maddening to watch the exchange. Luckily, the news station gave her the opportunity to speak out about what happened in a segment they ran a few days later. “This is not okay,” she said during the segment. “In his mind I’m sure he thought this was harmless fun…” she stated. “I was shocked. But my nervous laughter does not equate to my approval of his actions… This embarrassed me, “she went on. “It made me feel uncomfortable and powerless.”
It’s really brave of her to speak out, especially because, as she tells it, it’s far from a rare occurrence. “Journalists in the field, especially women, again — just trying to do their jobs– experience harassment like this all the time and it is not okay. If you want to act like an idiot behind me in a live shot that’s your choice… but when you put your hands on me or anyone else without their approval that is wrong.”
In addition to speaking out on TV, she got vocal on her Twitter page, too. She posted the clip of the exchange with the caption, “Hey mister, here’s your 3 seconds of fame. How about you not touch me? Thanks!!”
Hey mister, here’s your 3 seconds of fame. How about you not touch me? Thanks!! pic.twitter.com/5O44fu4i7y
— Sara Rivest (@SRivestWAVE3) September 20, 2019
The good news is that the man in the video was identified, Rivest let her followers know in another tweet. She wrote, “Eric Goodman has been identified as the guy who pretended to spank me and kiss me during the live shot Friday. He’s charged with harassment with physical contact. He has written me an apology letter, I’ll read that on
@wave3news later today.”
It’s great that this man is being held accountable. But what’s even better is how this reporter took a really uncomfortable moment and used it to speak about how what can seem like “harmless fun” can make a woman feel really uncomfortable and even threatened. It is absolutely not okay. At the very least, hopefully this will teach a few men who caught her segment about how not to treat women.