World Cup Reporter Groped and Kissed at Moscow Fan Zone.
Reporter Julieth Gonzalez Theran was sexually harassed while broadcasting live from the World Cup in Russia. Bundesliga referee Bibiana Steinhaus has described the incident as “unacceptable.”
It happened at lightning speed. Correspondent Julieth Gonzalez Theran was reporting live from the Russian city of Saransk for DW’s Spanish news channel when a man appeared out of nowhere, grabbed her breast and kissed her on the cheek.
After a brief moment of shock, she continued talking into the camera, while the man disappeared back into the crowd.
— DW Español (@dw_espanol) June 14, 2018
“I had been at the scene for two hours to prepare for the broadcast and there had been no interruptions,” Gonzalez Theran said. “When we went live, this fan took advantage of the situation. But afterwards, when I checked to see if he was still there, he was gone.”
Bibiana Steinhaus, Germany’s first female Bundesliga referee, is no stranger to such behavior. She told DW: “I feel for her, because this type of attack has happened several times in the past. Don’t kid yourself that similar misogynist things do not happen.”
Steinhaus described the man’s behavior as “unacceptable.”
TV reporters are always aware that their live broadcasts may be interrupted, especially by fans during major sporting events such as the World Cup. International news channels such as Deutsche Welle train their teams for such situations. Indeed, ahead of the World Cup, the broadcaster warned its reporters about the possible dangers they may face in Russia.
Gonzalez Theran blamed the macho-dominated sports culture for last Friday’s incident.
“Lots of people think that the reporter is only there to bring some color to the picture. But we want to talk about systems and strategy,” she said.