US & Canada

US reporter vents anger at man who groped her on live TV

Alex Bozarjian was assaulted by a runner (not seen in this picture) Image copyright Twitter/@GrrrlZilla
Image caption Alex Bozarjian was assaulted by a runner (not seen in this picture)

A US reporter has vented anger at a man for striking her backside during a live TV broadcast, saying "no woman should ever have to put up with this".

Alex Bozarjian was covering a race in Savannah, Georgia when it happened.

In the video of the incident, viewed nearly 10 million times on Twitter, Ms Bozarjian is clearly shocked but continues with her broadcast.

The Savannah Sports Council said on Twitter the man had been identified and banned from future races.

Ms Bozarjian was covering the race on Saturday for WSAV, an NBC News affiliate, with people running by, waving and gesturing at the camera.

In the video she can be seen laughing as a runner in a gorilla suit jogs into view, saying: "Woah. Not expecting that!"

But later another runner strikes her backside as he passes, causing her to pause in alarm and stare after the man, before continuing her coverage.

She addressed him directly in a tweet on Saturday: "To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified and embarrassed me. No woman should ever have to put up with this at work or anywhere."

The post has received hundreds of thousands of likes.

A spokesperson for the Savannah police department told NBC News that it had been in touch with Ms Bozarjian and was "going to be working with her in any capacity on how she'd like to move forward with this incident".

WSAV-TV described the conduct of the man as "reprehensible and completely unacceptable".

"No-one should ever be disrespected in this manner. The safety and protection of our employees is WSAV-TV's highest priority. WSAV supports Alex completely as she determines the steps she wants to take next."

The incident is the latest example of a reporter being inappropriately touched while working.

In September, a reporter was kissed on air by a man while covering a music festival in Kentucky.

Last year, multiple reporters were subject to kiss attempts by strangers during live reports from the World Cup in Russia.

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Media captionSports journalist Bibiana Bolson: "They try to kiss us and to hug and to touch us"

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