Ontario television reporter speaking out about harassment on the job
By The Canadian Press
HAMILTON – A southwestern Ontario television reporter is speaking out about the stream of harassment she faces at work after misogynistic comments were hurled her way three times last week.
CHCH reporter Britt Dixon says female reporters deal with harassment regularly while on the job, highlighted by three incidents over four days last week where men yelled a vulgar phrase at her.
The latest incident occurred as Dixon interviewed a Hamilton police officer in uniform in front of a police station. The officer stopped the interview and arrested the man, charging a 23-year-old American with causing a disturbance.
Dixon says the other two incidents occurred while she was at Mohawk College talking to students about returning to school after the five-week faculty strike. The college has apologized to Dixon and is conducting an investigation.
“I’d like to think the strong stance that both the college has taken and police have taken will hopefully get a message across to people that it’s not funny, it’s unacceptable and it shouldn’t be happening,” she said.
Dixon said she was talking to Hamilton police media officer Jerome Stewart about victims of impaired driving when the man allegedly yelled the remark around 3 p.m. on Friday. Yet she’s been criticized for going public with her message.
“Some people think it’s a joke, but it’s harassment in the workplace,” Dixon said. “Those people are harassing me at my workplace. I don’t think people would go into a bank or an office and shout that and expect to get away with it.”
There’s been a slew of similar incidents across the country.
In August, police charged a Newfoundland man with causing a disturbance after he yelled the phrase at a reporter. Police laid a mischief charge against another Newfoundland man who yelled the same thing toward a journalist in April.
And in 2015, a Toronto FC soccer fan shouted the phrase during an interview with CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt. His friend laughed, dismissing the comment as a joke.
That man was fired by Hydro One after the station aired the video. He was later rehired as part of an arbitration process, Hydro One said at the time.