CTV apologizes after footage of man kissing stranger in Trinity Bellwoods goes viral
CTV News came under fire today for airing a video of a man abruptly kissing a stranger while she was being interviewed on camera about masks in Toronto's Trinity Bellwoods Park, and the network has now issued a public apology.
It all began last night at 11:30 p.m., when a CTV video of a young woman speaking to a reporter in Trinity Bellwoods aired on live television.
Here's the Trinity-Bellwoods CTV interview in case you haven't seen it yet. pic.twitter.com/uhvsQSkV8K— Hunter Crowther (@HunterCrowther) May 22, 2020
In the interview, the woman begins giving her opinion on mask usage — which she describes as "not 100 per cent important" — before a man enters the frame, apologizes for interrupting and proceeds to abruptly kiss her on camera.
As the two are locking lips, the reporter can be heard calling it a "spontaneous kiss from someone that she doesn't know."
The man then walks away, at which point the woman explains that they had actually met just minutes earlier and she thinks he's "so hot." She then calls after him telling him to text her.
The video began circulating on Twitter this morning and was instantly met with outrage from users who pointed out that, not only was this extremely dangerous considering the fact that we're in the midst of a global pandemic, but it was also a non-consensual (and gross) act.
They called the Trinity-Bellwoods Bellwoods kiss/assault a “spontaneous kiss”.— Philly (@Phillyfreee) May 22, 2020
If that was me...we pressing CHARGES, baby. Reckless endangerment, assault.. the whole book at that mf
Many said the coverage made light of this fact, and some said it was blatantly irresponsible of CTV to air it in the first place.
Trying to unpack everything that was awful about that Bellwoods clip is like trying to put together an ikea armoire.— Jess Koncz (@RedDevilWine) May 22, 2020
"CTV called the Trinity Bellwoods kiss spontaneous, I call it assault and battery," wrote one Twitter user of the incident.
"Can't/won't retweet the video of the Trinity Bellwoods non-consensual intimate act (which is somehow being miscast as a "spontaneous kiss") bc it's effing gross, but I do hope those two make a lasting connection — they deserve each other," wrote another.
Following several hours and countless other tweets like the ones above, CTV deleted the video and issued an official apology during their afternoon broadcast.
CTV News issues a forceful apology for the Trinity Bellwoods clip that went viral on Twitter this morning: pic.twitter.com/kbfMtaPp1m— Jonathan Goldsbie (@goldsbie) May 22, 2020
"In a story on social distancing, we included an interview with a woman in a park. During the interview, a stranger came up to the woman and kissed her directly on the lips. Our story then focused on the dangers of kissing a stranger on the lips during a pandemic," said reporter Nathan Downer.
"It was wrong to air this video. The video demonstrated non-consensual behaviour, and downplayed the fact that what occurred was simply unacceptable and offensive. It does not meet CTV News editorial standards and we apologize."
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