‘Rude’ Sevens fans kiss reporter: Rights group slams ‘possible’ sexual harassment, TV boss says laugh it off

Screen grab via i-Cable news

The behavior of two rugby fans who kissed a sports reporter without her consent during a live broadcast of the Hong Kong Sevens tournament has drawn a stream of condemnation, with one lawmaker saying it could constitute sexual harassment.

Hong Kong’s i-Cable news anchor Diamond Kwok was doing a piece to camera from the stands on Sunday when two male spectators, standing behind her, simultaneously leaned in and kissed her on either cheek.

Footage of the moment, circulated on social media, shows Kwok appearing uncomfortable and raising her arms to push the pair back before continuing with the broadcast.

Contacted afterwards, Kwok told HK01 that felt the behaviour was “unacceptable” but didn’t feel there was much she could do.

According to RTHK, i-Cable news said it would not pursue the matter, with station director Ronald Chiu saying it should be laughed off.

However, the outlet reported that the display had caught the eye of DAB lawmaker Holden Chow, a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission, who vowed to bring it up at an upcoming meeting of the rights watchdog

“There is a possibility that the incident could actually constitute indecent assault or sexual harassment… If the reporter was kissed against her will, then there is such a possibility,” he said, according to RTHK, adding that the problem of sexual harassment should not be taken lightly.

In another story about the incident, the SCMP also spoke to chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association Chris Yeung Kin-hing, who slammed the fans’ “rudeness”.

Yeung said any action over the behavior should be in line with Kwok’s wishes and he encouraged i-Cable news to discuss the matter with the reporter.

Hong Kong Free Press, meanwhile, reported comments by barrister Senia Ng, originally made to Commercial Radio yesterday.

Ng said that assessing whether the act amounted to sexual harassment would largely come down to whether or not Kwok felt she had been violated. 

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