Fox News has addressed the viral video actress Shoshana B Roberts created highlighting catcalling in New York – and, unsurprisingly, the US television channel completely missed the point.
Rob Bliss filmed from a hidden camera as Roberts walked round New York for 10 hours, during which time she received 100 comments from male passers-by, some of whom just yelled words about her appearance, others of whom hounded her for attention and followed her.
One man chastised her for not saying thank you after he told her she was beautiful.
She didn’t respond to anyone, but has since allegedly received rape threats via YouTube’s comments system.
Fox News has now added its weight to the issue of street harassment.
“She got 100 catcalls, let me add 101,” said co-host Bob Beckel on The Five show. “Damn, baby, you’re a piece of woman.”
Fellow co-host Eric Bolling said that Roberts had nothing to complain about.
“Look, I'm not going to condone it, but I will tell you nothing was disrespectful there,” said Bolling. “There were a lot of people there saying 'God bless,' 'you look fantastic,' very complimentary. She may not have wanted it, but I find it hard to find what she called verbal harassment going on.”
Dana Perino adds: “Verbal harassment is in the ear of the beholder” – her statement met with unanimous nods of agreement.
The debate continued, with Greg Gutfield commenting that those who find catcalling offensive are “classist”.
“She is finding fault with men in the street saying hello to her which may in fact be their only way of contacting women,” Gutfield said. “It's their bar, and she's walking through it.”
“If these guys were in a bar or a supermarket, she probably wouldn't feel the same way.”
Roberts’ film was commissioned by Hollaback, an organisation dedicated to ending street harassment.
“I'm harassed when I smile and I’m harassed when I don't,” said Roberts on the Hollaback website. “I'm harassed by white men, black men, latino men. Not a day goes by when I don't experience this.”