Spectrum News reporter Brianna Hamblin handled the situation like a true professional
A reporter was on assignment waiting to go on air when a random white man approaches her, slinging expletives and racist commentary while she tries to remain calm and professional. Not only do our hearts and sympathy rage go out to this reporter, but the video is also a shocking reminder of how women are forced to deal with sexual harassment.
Brianna Hamblin, who works for Spectrum News 1 in Rochester, New York, was working with her cameraman when one man passes her, saying, “You look nice, by the way,” to which Hamblin responds, “Thank you.” He goes about his day. Unfortunately, another man comes immediately after and makes himself at home while she prepares to do her job.
“You’re beautiful as hell,” he says, as Hamblin gives a stiff, “Thank you.” “God damn,” the man continues. “I better not be on camera though,” he says while Hamblin looks visibly uncomfortable. “But why are you over here on camera though?” he goes on. She tries to dismiss him, saying curtly, “Go Watch Spectrum News. Go find a TV and watch Spectrum News and find out.”
You can see Hamblin’s body language change, a move familiar to many women who’ve been forced to receive “compliments” from men while they are working, exercising, dining, or simply walking down the street.
Then: “You see, that’s why I can’t be left alone with a Black woman,” the man states. “Or a Mulatto, shit. Because I can’t stand these fucking white girls.”
Hamblin immediately shuts him down, saying, “Alright, we are done here. Have a great rest of your day.”
But he’s not done degrading Hamblin for his own enjoyment. “You are sexy as fuck,” he says as she is clearly both disgusted and resigned to the fact that, as a woman, it doesn’t matter how she feels, his feelings will take center stage until he decides otherwise.
Hamblin posted the incident on Twitter, saying in part: “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.”
She continues: “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. 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.”
It’s not just gross. It’s scary and unnecessary and a stark reminder that harassing and objectifying women is still alive and well, a sentiment surprising exactly zero women.