Controversy developed on social media this Sunday as CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt confronted hecklers at the Toronto FC game on live tv after dealing with one too many FHRITP’s. The hecklers are shown nearby as Hunt is already dealing with one instance of the lewd phrase, apparently waiting for their chance to yell it on television. They try to defend their right to use the phrase, but it appears to be in vain now that one of the hecklers has been identified and fired by his employer at Hydro One.
The taped confrontation blew up on twitter, leading to statements by Kingston Police and many others regarding the popularization of this practice. The trend started last year after a fake newscast being interrupted by a man yelling “F*** her right in the p****!” blew up on Reddit and Facebook. It later became a hashtag, referred to as ‘FHRITP’, as people began trying to emulate the viral video by yelling the phrase on their local newscasts.
“It happens everyday, sometimes numerous times a day.” said the CityNews reporter, “I hit my limit and it was time to push back.” In fact dealing with these interruptions has become a common problem for reporters all over the city. This incident has brought new criticisms to the ‘joke’, with many stating that it’s rooted in sexism and makes the female reporter feel objectified, while some others argue that the joke is not about the reporter that is being interrupted but rather just about disrupting a newscast with a recognizable string of profanity.
Regardless, the man in question was not only fired from his job at Hydro One but he along with his friends included in the video are facing a one-year ban from from all games of the soccer club and other teams owned by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), including the NHL Maple Leafs and NBA Toronto Raptors. One of the other men prominently featured in the video has also been identified as an employee of a manufacturing company by the name of Cognex Corporation. “While the individual was attending the event on his own time and was not at a Cognex activity, the views expressed are totally inconsistent with Cognex’s values, and we find such comments reprehensible,” said company representative Sarah Laskowski
“We’re appalled that this trend of disrespectful behaviour would make its way to our city, let alone anywhere near our stadium. We are working to identify the individuals, and when we do, they will be banned from all of our facilities.” said MLSE in a statement, adding that they will also give extra support from security for female reporters conducting live interviews at future games.
Believe it or not these men have actually gotten off rather easy. In Calgary, police have issued a statement that taking part in the trend constitutes grounds for a charge and arrest, with Kingston police adding that ‘causing a disturbance seems to apply.’
Do you think these men are being punished fairly? Did Shauna react appropriately? Is the FHRITP trend a harmless joke or is it provoking another generation of concealed misogyny?