Oh but it’s so hilarious

Wow. I did not know this was a thing. Now thanks to screechymonkey I do. Men hang around where women are reporting a story for tv news so that they can shout into the camera “fuck her in the pussy!” Because hey, if a woman has the brass-plated nerve to try to do an actual job and be out in public and everything, what is there to do but remind her she’s just a gash?

The tv journalist Shauna Hunt made an issue of it when she was reporting on fans at a recent Toronto FC game.

Watch and be amazed. They’re so pleased with themselves, so brimming with confidence, so contemptuous of Shauna Hunt, so scornful of the idea that men shouldn’t publicly degrade women doing their jobs.

Note that she says it happens to her every day, ten times a day.

The Globe and Mail reports on the aftermath.

Within the span of just one business day, a video showing two men defending the sexual harassment of CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt at a Toronto FC game went viral, the online profiles of the men were posted on social media by internet sleuths and their employers were forced to address what happened – one firing their employee, the other promising to “address” the situation.

I’m not sure I think the guy should have been fired…On the other hand if I worked with him I would probably think it was a great idea. Once he got his face on tv being a complete unrepentant sexist shit, he became a liability.

Like thousands before him, a man at a Toronto FC game thought it would be amusing to interrupt a TV reporter doing a live hit Sunday by making an extremely obscene comment to the camera, a prank that’s become common in the past few years. When others nearby laughed and confessed to planning to do the same stunt, Ms. Hunt confronted them about the “disrespectful” and “degrading” phrase.

“Why is it so funny?” she implores one.

He replies cheerfully that the comment is “hilarious” and “amazing.”

When Ms. Hunt asks him how his mother would feel about his actions, he says with a smile: “My mom will die laughing eventually.”

Not quite; before she finished her question he threw his head back laughing and then said that.

A few hours after the video had circulated online, that man, a Hydro One employee, was fired.

“Hydro One is taking steps to terminate the employee for violating our Code of Conduct,” Hydro One spokesman Daffyd Roderick said in a statement. “Respect for all people is ingrained in the code and our values. We are committed to a work environment where discrimination or harassment of any type is met with zero tolerance.”

But he wasn’t at work at the time.

No, but he was in public, and he was hanging around the reporter in hopes of saying “fuck her in the pussy!” on camera, and he expressed enthusiasm for the hilarity of doing that. It wasn’t going to be a secret from his co-workers. He made himself an issue.

In the past, employees could only be punished for behaviour outside the office if it directly hurt an employment relationship or impacted their employer in some way, says Stuart Rudner, a partner at the employment law firm Rudner MacDonald LLP. But because of social media, an employee can still face the wrath of their employer, even if their inappropriate statements are unrelated to their workplace.

“That’s what we’re seeing more and more of now: people going online and making … offensive comments, and if it’s possible to identify where they work, it can impact the employer and therefore lead to discipline,” Mr. Rudner said.

He referenced a 2012 case in which a Toronto man lost his job after posting a hateful comment on a memorial Facebook page for teenager Amanda Todd, who killed herself after suffering years of bullying. A woman reading the page identified the man’s employer as Mr. Big and Tall and sent them a message, which prompted them to fire the man.

Social media for a lot of people is a tool to unleash their ids, their worst nastiest most aggressive selves. But social media is* also a record of those selves, and the selves don’t always remain anonymous.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne also jumped into the fray, sending a tweet praising CityNews for airing Ms. Hunt’s footage and condemning workplace sexual harassment.

While the two men shut down their Facebook and LinkedIn accounts on Tuesday, they weren’t quick enough. Some who were outraged by their actions quickly harvested photos and information about them and their employers from their profiles earlier in the day and shared them on Twitter, tagging the Hydro One and Cognex corporate accounts, asking if the companies planned to take action. With pressure mounting, both companies released statements before the end of the business day.

“It’s all about public relations,” Mr. Rudner said. “They obviously thought it was in their best interest – not necessarily from a legal perspective, but from a PR perspective – to deal with it expeditiously.”

Social media=a double-edged sword.

* Or are, but I’m treating “social media” as one thing here.


  1. culuriel says

    I have to admit, I wanted these guys to suffer, too. But there are legit freedom of expression issues in employees being fired because some way-over-the-top public behavior may make the company look bad. Technically, these guys made themselves look bad, not their bosses, who may not even know what their employees do on the weekend.
    So what to do with people who are so publicly d-bags? These guys lost their social media presence, for the moment. Which is think is a good start. Their full names should definitely be released. They should definitely have to go through life as “that guy”. They should definitely not be getting any dates. I wish I could count on that happening.

  2. says

    There are, yes, but there are competing freedom of expression issues – like the issues for the reporters for instance, and those for co-workers. I have reservations about it, but I also have reservations about keeping them on.

  3. Saad says

    culuriel, #1

    I have to admit, I wanted these guys to suffer, too. But there are legit freedom of expression issues in employees being fired because some way-over-the-top public behavior may make the company look bad.

    There’s more than just the factor of company looking bad. It’s also about the specific supervisor and how xe would feel having to pretend that nothing happened while having an asshole guy on his team who has just gone viral yelling that and harassing a reporter. Keeping him on and acting like “hey, his free time is his free time” seems like a pretty insensitive message to be giving to other co-workers who would feel uncomfortable having to work with someone like that (especially women co-workers).

  4. Saad says

    To add to that, I’m not for a blanket rule that people who do that should definitely be fired. But if a supervisor feels it’s better to get rid of him than keep him based on several factors (company looking bad, co-workers and supervisor themselves feeling uncomfortable), then I have no problem with that. Good riddance.

  5. Donnie says

    * Past history of the person in question, current position in the company (supervisory or call center or service tech), setting precedence.

    Lawyer: you knew he said an extremely sexist and harassing thing (shows jury video) and he was proud of it (highlights video) and yet you (company) kept him on board. You were negligent and you should not be surprised he harassed ‘x’ while in service to your company. Now, please pay up for the damage done to my client.

  6. johnthedrunkard says

    If they had been filmed stealing from the poor box, it would not be overdoing it to fire them. I admit this is an emotional response, leaving the ‘meta’ legal concerns aside. Presumably there are people one does not want as employees, for reasons that might escape notice at work.

    Is this a ‘thing’ at football games?
    ‘Men hang around where women are reporting a story for tv news so that they can shout into the camera “fuck her in the pussy!”‘

    It actually sounds worse than that: how many places could one lie in wait for a tv talking head shot? It sounds as if this ‘thing’ is so entrenched that a random location will include a couple of yobs ready to launch this crap.

    Unless, of course, the typical conduct of football games provides a opportunity for premeditated harassment.

    Either way, these Things are scum.

  7. says

    Right, I’m not for a blanket rule either, but if if if lots of things – I’m not for a blanket anti-rule either either. Case by case.

    If the guy were a lighthouse keeper? No reason to fire him.

    He shouldn’t be fired as punishment, because that’s really not an employer’s job. But for work-related reasons? Different kind of thing.

  8. screechymonkey says

    A little additional background: as I understand it, the “fuck her right in the pussy” thing did not start as a thing people did to reporters. I think it began as one of those childish games or stunts where people yell out that phrase in a public place. Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston got in trouble for doing it in the middle of his college cafeteria, for instance — a particularly dumb thing to do if you’re (1) a public figure, and (2) an alleged rapist.

    But it doesn’t surprise me that the next “logical” step was to start trying to say it on television.

    I, too, am somewhat conflicted about employers being the ones to punish this behavior. Largely because it’s an imprecise and unreliable mechanism that only affects some people while leaving others immune. (I can’t be the only one who’s noticed that any blog post or op-ed piece that decries anonymity or pseudonymity on the web is usually written by either a tenured professor who can’t be fired for expressing opinions or a professional journalist whose editors are usually delighted by controversy. In other words, “easy for you to say.”)

    On the other hand, I can’t think of a way to prohibit employers from punishing private speech that doesn’t create as many problems as it solves.

    And in this particular instance, it is exactly the kind of “off-work” speech and behavior that could be of legitimate concern to an employer apart from any public relations consequences. Do you trust Mr. “Fuck Her In the Pussy” to hire or supervise female employees? To interact with female customers, clients, suppliers, and partners? What other things does he think are acceptable behavior or funny jokes? And now that you have knowledge of his attitude, you can’t claim ignorance if you get hit with a harassment claim in the future.

  9. Jean says

    I’d say that this is more a sexual harassment issue than a freedom of speech issue (and freedom of speech is not as absolute in Canada either). Having to deal with that type of “prank” 10 times a day would definitely fall into harassment.

    If this makes a few idiots think before doing something “funny” because there might be serious consequences, that’s a good thing. There needs to be some ways to counteract this idiot bro culture from the net that is also spilling over in everyday life.

  10. stevewatson says

    I’m very leery about the firing as I can imagine the rationale being applied to other situations. Suppose someone goes to a rally for pro-choice or #blacklivesmatter or Pride or, well, pretty much any political cause about which there is some controversy. Their image is captured by news media — maybe they even get a ten-second personal sound bite. And the next day someone on the other side tracks down their place of work and threatens a boycott and bad publicity over their employment of this horrible troublemaker (I believe things like this have actually happened, though I can’t recall where I read it sufficiently well to find it again). Corporations already have too much arbitrary power over their peons.

    Donnie@5: Would it be sufficiently ass-covering if the employer put a reprimand on file, and required them to take anti-harassment training? Dismissal is like the capital punishment of the working world, and should really only be deployed as a last resort.

  11. says

    I guess what I worry about more (than these guys getting fired) is activists getting fired over activism…perhaps like a bank employee “caught” fighting for tougher regulations on banks. The bank may have a hard time showing a violation of a code of conduct, though. Or what about an atheist criticizing religion? Might that be incorrectly viewed as not showing “respect for all people”?
    In short, I worry that firing employees over social media = a double-edged sword itself. Maybe I’m just overly pessimistic.

  12. Jenora Feuer says

    Needless to say, this was one of the big things discussed on the CBC Metro Morning Show in Toronto this morning (ten and a half minutes of audio available at the link; needless to say, they didn’t actually mention the exact words on the radio):


    With regards to the firing, one of the things brought up during the discussion on the radio was that, if this guy had any sort of customer-facing job at all, he is now pretty much completely unable to do that job anyway due to his new notoriety.

  13. ZugTheMegasaurus says

    I have no qualms supporting these guys being fired. It’s not only customer-facing positions that would be a problem; it’s any position where they would be dealing with women in a professional context. Why? Because that video shows their version of acceptable behavior toward women just doing their job. And they defended it even after being confronted about it. Any HR person or attorney for a company is going to identify that kind of person as a harassment suit waiting to happen.

    I’m also in the boat of being concerned about activists losing jobs over their views, but I think it’s inappropriate to put that in the same category of this speech. Not all speech is the same, and sexual harassment is something that companies are not allowed to tolerate. It’s not a matter of disagreeing with what they’re saying; it’s that those particular things are specifically problematic in the workplace. Sure, I get people saying “but this wasn’t the workplace,” but you’d have to be pretty damn gullible to think people this outspoken about their misogyny can leave it at home from 8-5 every day.

  14. Saad says

    stevewatson & Leo Buzalsky,

    I share some of the concern, but I don’t think it can be nearly as bad as that.

    Or what about an atheist criticizing religion?

    This can be covered under religious protection.

    Suppose someone goes to a rally for pro-choice or #blacklivesmatter or Pride

    Those can be covered under gender, race and sexual orientation.

    Or if not strictly covered, I don’t think that’s a firing that the employer will be able to defend if there is a lawsuit or appeal of some sort.

    What will harassing someone by yelling “fuck her in the pussy” into their mic be covered under?

  15. Jean says


    Corporations already have too much arbitrary power over their peons.

    Again, this is Canada. Firing someone for the activist activities would not be legal. That the US has unique labour policies amongst the developed countries should not be the driver for deciding what is appropriate in a case of harassment. I understand the concern but I think this should be a different debate about your national policies.

  16. cuervocuero says

    Yelling ‘fire’ in a theater is freeze peach innit?

    What the men were caught on video doing and being unrepentant about is also up for legal review by the police. Whatever their drunken intent, it’s being seen as a public safety issue. I can’t imagine why, when men’s hilarity results from exploiting a woman’s objectified presence for media infamy; after all, it wasn’t about her at all, it was about their own amusement and team bonding after enjoying a sporting event. Because when a lone woman is zoomed and yelled at by strange men, who might also physically grab at her and her equipment, that’s just a joke. No harm done. No hyper vigilance built and psychological assault involved.

    And ppffft, multiply to several times a day in public for the woman? She’s over reacting to being a pissing post for strangers who care more for their own bravado than the humanity of people around them. The question also arises how many women who don’t have a camera handy while out in public are getting this done to them? He-larious putting that stunned and likely scared look onto a woman’s face, anytime, anywhere.

    Yeah, take that ‘tude back to work and expect co-operation and trust from your fellow employees. Tell the story around the coffee machine. Walk that role modeling.

    There’s been at least one instance of this being yelled at a male reporter and people using that weak excuse as it not being misogynist. Oddly, what was yelled was not “fuck him right in the ass.” Is that not as funny? We keep getting told that there are many more male reporters out there doing shoots, so are we going to hear about the overwhelming times this has been done to interrupt their work? Or, for some reason, has the “humour” been disproportionately aimed at female reporters?

    Meanwhile, the White Ribbon Campaign is taking the Toronto reporter incident as a teaching awareness opportunity and is now teaming up with the MLSE owners of the stadium where this specific incident happened; building antimisogyny and anti-harrassment space and profile.

  17. says

    Lindsey Beyerstein posted about this on Facebook, noting that this doesn’t amount to simply harassment or even threats (sure sounds like a threat to me) against the individual woman reporter, though it is certainly that. But it’s also a threat to female reporters in general– if any and all of them run the risk of some fuckhead running up and shouting sexual threats into their microphone, that would discourage their networks from sending them out to report in the field at all. It gets in the way of doing their job, and too many things getting in the way of doing your job means you’re less likely to get and keep the job to begin with.

    Just one more thing that probably never occurred to these assholes, along with the general notion of being a decent human being.

  18. says

    culuriel (#1) –

    I have to admit, I wanted these guys to suffer, too. But there are legit freedom of expression issues in employees being fired because some way-over-the-top public behavior may make the company look bad.

    This is not a “freedom of expression” issue any more than the racist frat at Oklahoma University. Their ability to throw a punch ends when the blowback hits the employer, university or other institution that they signed a code of conduct agreement with.

    This is about violation of an agreement with an employer, one that he agreed to when he was hired. Hydro One’s code of conduct can easily be found on its own website. Pages nine to twelve at the most relevant, outlining behaviour of employees and their actions. While their stupid stunt may have taken place outside of work, his co-workers know who he is and could rightfully claim workplace intimidation and harassment. Cripes, Lindsey Stone’s middle finger was far less offensive (except to phony “patriots”), and she was fired for it. Sure, different country but the point is the same.


    I worked for the Ministry of Forests in BC and had to sign a code of conduct upon being hired. I’ve also had to sign one with every employer I’ve worked for on contract. The contracts explicit rules on behaviour outside of work, but nothing was unreasonable. They all dictate one cannot embarrass the company or do something detrimental to its business (e.g. getting arrested, drugs, offensive hallowe’en costumes, etc.). An employer saying “don’t get arrested” or similar things isn’t even in the same area code, never mind the same argument, as dictating religion or politics on the job.

  19. Saad says

    cuervocuervo, #16

    Great post!

    I thought some more about this social media and employment concern and it seems less and less of an issue.

    Are there laws against firing someone if you find their exploits on social media to be outrageous? If so, then we don’t need to worry about the pro-choice protester being fired. If not, then we’d be seeing people being fired for doing such virtuous acts. I’m not aware of this being a problem. So far whenever I’ve heard of people being reprimanded or fired over social media issues, it’s always been because they’ve spouted something bigoted or acting in a hateful manner.

    To put it another way:

    – Attending a pro-choice rally
    – Being seen at a #blacklivesmatter protest
    – Taking part in an LGBT Pride
    – Harassing a woman by yelling “Fuck her in the pussy” while she’s trying to work

    One of these is not like the other, and we should conduct ourselves in society to make that a point, loud and clear. This includes making people like that asshole feel unwelcome at work. Besides, we know if a company fires someone for protesting in Baltimore, there will be backlash. The news will get around and they will lose. And even if they don’t, that is no reason not to reprimand this scum. Don’t fire the misogynist harasser because then someone might fire a gay rights activist is pretty cowardly and immoral thinking.

    It may be a double-edged sword, but one of the edges is quiet blunt.

  20. karen says

    Shawn Simoe, the now ex-Hydro One assistant network engineer (he was paid $106,510 last year; hardly the wage of a peon, stevewatson), is perfectly free to engage in whatever manner of behaviour, public or otherwise, that he wishes, but cannot reasonably expect to do so without risk of negative consequence.

    The fact that this apparently didn’t occur to him or his buddies before engaging in on-air sexual harrassment apologetics speaks volumes about the way women are socialized to put up with endless crap in the interest of “getting along” or “being nice” or “having a sense of humour”.

    No one, not Hydro One or any other employer, is obligated to employ someone so lacking in judgment or knowledge of acceptable social behaviour as this guy apparently is; as someone pointed out upthread, his unrepentant public behaviour suggests he’s a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen.

    More background on the FHRITP meme; according to Mediaite, it started as a hoax by some sleazy guy trying to start a meme in order to sell t-shirts:


    (don’t read the comments; it’s full of people insisting it’s hilarious, free speech, people complaining suck the fun out of life, defense of liberty, etc., etc.)

  21. stevewatson says

    Jean@15: I am in Canada, and I’ll admit to being ignorant of our labour laws.

    Further on the matter of firing:
    Point taken that idiot’s behaviour could be a problem back at the office — Can I still trust the guy? Can I still respect him as a colleague? Did he ever actually respect me, or is he secretly thinking about me contemptuously?

    Saad@20: I think the distinction you’re drawing is, that if an activity would be:
    1) Against Code of Conduct if done in the workplace AND
    2) Not otherwise protected under general free expression rights THEN
    Public, off-hours, egregiously bad conduct is a legitimate cause for employer intervention. Which seems a reasonable position to take.

  22. says

    Sexual harrassment in the workplace is apparently irresistable. I warn these chumps I mean business about discriminatory behavior at their new-employee orientation and I still end up firing plenty of guys for sexual harrassment.

    One look at the video and that dude-bro is unemployed. Besides the lawsuit problem, to let that slide would undermine my credibility as a manager.

  23. Lofty says

    It’s not inconceivable that a sexist asshat has been a sexist asshat for a long time, and his very public behaviour made it easier for his co-workers to come forward and report his behaviour at work.

  24. quixote says

    Saad @20:

    – Attending a pro-choice rally
    – Being seen at a #blacklivesmatter protest
    – Taking part in an LGBT Pride
    – Harassing a woman by yelling “Fuck her in the pussy” while she’s trying to work
    One of these is not like the other

    Exactly. It’s really not that hard to distinguish hate speech and expressions that are legitimately protected as free speech. (And when it is difficult, fine, be cautious and protect that expression.) There are no free speech issues around that guy, or any of the other jerkwads who didn’t happen to wind up on video. That’s harassment. Hate speech. If it was directed at anyone other than a woman, nobody would need it pointed out. Hell, it’s probably be clear even to the jerkwads, who’d keep their stupid mouths shut.

  25. latsot says

    I’m not sure whether the guy should have been fired or not but I’m glad he was. Fuck him.

  26. donnie says

    Donnie@5: Would it be sufficiently ass-covering if the employer put a reprimand on file, and required them to take anti-harassment training? Dismissal is like the capital punishment of the working world, and should really only be deployed as a last resort.

    Well, shit. If we are talking death, a grevious injury, one should not commit capital offenses. But, thaank you for highlightimg why dudebros pride their annoymonity and doxxxing is worst “crime” That one can commit.

    As a dudebro friend that I am helping rehabilitate : “one should not get fired for rape jokes. It is just a joke.”

    Me: if it just a joke, why would they get fired?

    I am sure the distinction is lost on you.

  27. says

    latsot @ 26

    I’m not sure whether the guy should have been fired or not

    An employee who entertains himself by being a bully? Do you really think this is the first time dude-bro is exhibiting despicable sexist behavior?

    Likely, it was “good riddance thanks for doing it on TV.”

  28. latsot says


    You ignored the part where I said I’m glad he was fired and fuck him.

    Personally, I’d have fired him. I wouldn’t want someone like that working with me or with anyone else who worked with me. But I’d certainly worry about whether I’d done the right thing.

  29. says

    But I’d certainly worry about whether I’d done the right thing.

    After the first few dozen sexists and bigots, it gets a lot easier.

    Besides, every last living time, they fire themselves. See video above.

  30. latsot says

    All right, Kamaka. I always feel bad about firing people. I always worry that my personal prejudice is a factor. Of course I’d worry whether I’d done the right thing. But I’d still have done it.

    I reserve the right to agonize about it.

  31. says

    There was this stalker dude I had to deal with at work. The masturbation fantasy he was running in the workplace was disgusting. The woman he was victimizing got no traction with her complaints until I happened to witness the fucking creep doing scary stalking.

    After dealing with him, I have zero sympathy for the rest of the workplace abusers.

  32. latsot says


    Sigh, not a debate. I’m talking about firing real people in reality. I don’t find it easy even when people really, really deserve it. I can never be sure that I’m not expecting people to be more like me. It’s one of the reasons that I’m not anyone’s boss these days.

    For some reason you seem to think I’m defending the guy in the video and people like him. I am quite obviously not doing that. As I said, fuck him. I have no sympathy at all.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *