Spectrum News Issues Statement After ‘Disgusting’ Street Harassment of TV Reporter

TV News Reporter Brianna Hamblin was harassed on the street. (Credit: Twitter)

Spectrum News says reporter Brianna Hamblin “handled the situation impeccably” when a man verbally harassed her and got racial while she was waiting to do a live report.

Hamblin, a local journalist at Spectrum News 1 in Rochester, New York, posted video of the uncomfortable encounter when a man called her “sexy as f–k” while she was standing on a sidewalk.

The viral video, which has been viewed more than five million times on Twitter, shows Hamblin in front of the camera when another man walks behind her and says he doesn’t want to be filmed.

The reporter and her photographer both tell the man “we’re not on.” He responds by saying to Hamblin, “You look nice by the way, for early in the morning.” She replies, “Thank you.”

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The photographer then tells Hamblin they have 20 seconds before they go live. Just then, a second man walks into the frame.

“You beautiful as hell. God damn!” he says. Hamblin looks uncomfortable, but politely responds:  “Thank you.”

The man then says, “I better not be on f–kin’ camera. But why are you on camera though?”

Hamblin tells him, “Watch Spectrum News and you can find out. Go find a TV and watch Spectrum News. And you can find out.”

The man, who is White, asks what channel the news crew is from. After Hamblin tells him, he brings up race. “See that’s why I can’t be left alone with a Black woman, or a mulatto chick. ‘Cause I can’t stand these f—ing White girls,” he says.

“Alright. We are done here. Have a great rest of your day,” Hamblin responds.

“You are sexy as f–k,” the man says, before walking away. “Oh my God,” Hamblin replies just before the video ends.

She captioned the post: “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.”

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She followed it up with a thread offering advice to people who encounter reporters on the street.

“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?” she shared.

“2.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,” Hamblin added.

“3.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 continued.

“4.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 adds, before giving props to her photographer.”

“OH WAIT! One more thing: I was LUCKY I had @barstow_scott with me. At my last job, I had to deal with this type of stuff ALONE, like most women MMJs. It’s not safe. It’s scary. But the convo about the dangers of reporters working alone is for another day,” she wrote.

Twitter users praised Hamblin’s professionalism in an awkward situation.

“You handled it admirably, lady. Sorry that was the start to your day,” broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien responded on Twitter.

Fox 4 Dallas reporter Lynnanne Nguyen added: “To everyone surprised at this behavior, I promise you this does not shock a single female reporter. Happens to us all the time.”

Comedian Kathy Griffin tweeted, “So sorry you have to deal with this in any way at all. You’re a terrific reporter. Thx!”

Spectrum News also praised Hamblin in a statement to Mediaite.

“We are glad that Brianna wasn’t alone in the face of such adversity and we’ve never been more proud of her. She handled the situation impeccably, remaining calm and professional throughout. We want our employees to feel safe and are constantly working towards achieving that goal,” the statement said.