CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt confronted several young men about vulgarities said to her while covering a Toronto FC soccer game on Sunday.
The crude trend, which started in the United States, involves people bombarding live reporters and yelling “f**k her right in the p***y” into their microphones.
Hunt patiently endured several instances of the degrading phrase before confronting some of the men who she overheard talking about doing the same.
“Can I ask why you would want to do say something like that?” she asked one man.
“I feel like it’s quite substantial,” he responds.
Later she noticed several other men lurking behind her and asked if they were waiting to bombard her as well.
They admitted that they were.
“You know I’m sick of this,” Hunt said. “I get this every single day, ten times a day…It’s disrespectful and degrading.”
“And If your mom had saw you talk like this?” she asked, ironically, on Mother’s Day.
“Oh my mom would die laughing, eventually,” he responded.
Hunt isn’t the only one who’s “sick” of the vulgarity.
Calgary police are prepared to press charges, sending a letter to broadcasters in the city that reads: “…We had a legal opinion obtained and have concluded this activity constitutes grounds for a charge and arrest.”
“Please report it to us as soon as possible so that we can follow up on it. I think if we collectively address this early, it may mitigate similar occurrences in the future.”
Calgary police say it violates section 175(1)(A) of the Criminal Code: Everyone commits an offence who “not being in a dwelling-house, causes a disturbance in or near a public place, (1) by fighting, screaming, shouting, swearing, singing or using insulting or obscene language.”
Several CityNews reporters have been on the receiving end of the so-called prank.
“What is it that makes them think that this is OK?” asked political specialist Cynthia Mulligan. “Because it’s a verbal assault. It just is.”
Breakfast Television’s Melanie Ng said it’s not only men who are guilty.
“We’re now starting to see not just guys, but women doing it and again of all ages. You’re seeing little girls and women in their 40s and 50s yelling in the background.”
And female reporters aren’t the only targets. Recently, CityNews’ Adrian Ghobrial got blindsided.
“For my female colleagues and female reporters and journalists across North America, it’s sexual harassment and it’s disgusting and needs to stop,” he said.
Toronto police say charges can indeed by laid, depending on the circumstances.
“I think there are a number of charges that could be laid,” said Meaghan Gray, Toronto police. “You could be looking at breach of the peace, or harassment, sexual harassment, mischief…”
NOTE: This story has been corrected to state that the men Hunt confronted were not hurling vulgarities.