New York local news reporter Brianna Hamblin shared a video on Twitter on Friday that showed the moments she was recently sexually harassed while out in the field reporting.
Hamblin, who works for Rochester’s Spectrum News 1, was seen on camera, moments before she was going to begin her news report, enduring harassment from men walking by.
One man can be heard telling Hamblin, “You look nice by the way,” as he appears to walk away. As Hamblin attempts to return to her job, she is then approached by another man who walks out of the view of the camera, but lingers nearby.
“You’re beautiful as hell,” he says to the reporter. A visibly uncomfortable Hamblin replies and tries to redirect the man’s attention by encouraging him to “Go find a TV and watch Spectrum News,” she said.
But the man, who appears white, continues to harass Hamblin by invoking fetishizing comments about her Blackness and using a racist term to describe biracial people.
“See, that’s why I can’t be left alone with a Black woman … or a ‘mulatto’ chick. Because I can’t stand these fucking white girls,” he says. “You are sexy as fuck.”
“All right, we are done here,” Hamblin says, trying to de-escalate the situation. “Have a great rest of your day.”
“Oh my God,” she adds, after staring directly at the camera.
Hamblin addressed the encounter in a series of tweets, saying that being harassed as a female reporter “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,” she added.
Hamblin pointed out in subsequent tweets that the second man, in particular, used “disgusting” language toward her, calling the situation “uncomfortable” and “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,” she later added. “It just shows you have a disgusting fetish based on stereotypes, which is just as racist.”
Hamblin later noted that she felt grateful that her colleague, Scott Barstow, was with her. She pointed out that she often endures harassment when she’s working alone.
“It’s not safe. It’s scary. But the convo about the dangers of reporters working alone is for another day,” she added.
Spectrum News did not immediately return a request for comment.
Hamblin received wide support after recounting her experience on Twitter, with many women sharing their own stories of facing similar harassment in various situations.
Hamblin thanked her Twitter followers for their support on Saturday, writing, “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,” she added. “Thank you for sharing your own experiences too so men realize how common and unwanted this is.”
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