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Saturday 28 May 2016

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Chris Gayle sexism row: reporter criticised after hugging female colleague on-air

By Caroline Mortimer

Published 10/01/2016

Hamish McLachlan hugged Monika Radulovic live on air during his weather report. Channel Seven/YouTube
Hamish McLachlan hugged Monika Radulovic live on air during his weather report. Channel Seven/YouTube

An Australian sports reporter has been criticised and compared to cricketer Chris Gayle for hugging his female colleague live on air.

Channel Seven was inundated with complaints after reporter Hamish McLachlan wrapped his arms around his colleague, former Miss Universe contestant Monika Radulovic, during her weather broadcast.

Ms Radulovic, who is a friend of Mr McLachlan and a guest presenter at the channel, laughed and immediately pushed him away saying, “Professional please, my goodness”.

The incident came just days after Gayle, an Jamaican cricketer, was fined AUS$10,000 (£4788) for attempting to flirt with Channel Ten sports reporter Mel McLaughlin while she was interviewing him after he scored 41 runs for Melbourne Renegades.

As the journalist asked him about his innings, he began to flirt with her saying, “I just wanted to have an interview with you as well, that’s why I batted so well.”

“Your eyes are beautiful, hopefully we can win this game and then we can have a drink after as well. Don’t blush, baby."

Ms McLaughlin brushed him off and her boss David Barham later told the local 3AW radio station she had been left “angry and upset” by the incident.

Channel Seven received a barrage of criticism from viewers, with some pointing to perceived double standards over the reaction to the Gayle incident.

Another viewer, John Alexander, commented on the channel’s Facebook page “I'm confused! One minute you guys are discussing Chris Gayle's crappy behaviour and the next you have some horse racing bloke copping a feel of your weather presenter!”

Leanne Kingswell also wrote: “Please advise what actions are you taking to protect your female employees right to not be disrespected, demeaned, groped and/or sexually harassed both off and on-air”.

Mr McLachlan later apologised for the incident saying: “I understand people have made stuff of it on social media and if I’ve offended anyone at home I’m apologising for that absolutely.”

He also apologised to Ms Radulovic who said she had not “thought twice about it”.

Source: The Independent

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