During a news segment on social distancing and masks at a park in Canada, a young woman was kissed mid-interview by a man she had met earlier in the day and to whom she gave her phone number.
The segment was posted online Friday by a CTV Toronto News anchor, though it was deleted soon after going viral due to concerns of a supposedly “non-consensual” kiss. The station later apologized on-air for the “offensive” segment.
“I feel as if masks are not 100% important; I feel as if –,” Gillian McKeown started telling CTV Toronto News before a young man, lated identified as Jack Ring, interrupted the interview to kiss McKeown on the mouth.
“A spontaneous kiss from someone that she doesn’t know,” a reporter states during the segment.
However, it appears McKeown had earlier met Ring and gave the young man her phone number.
“Oh my God,” a smiling McKeown says to camera following the kiss. “I met him for a second with my dog. That’s insane,” she later added, still smiling.
“Are you alright?” the young lady was asked. “Yeah, he’s so hot,” she replied, laughing and smiling.
“Having met just minutes earlier. Gillian McKeown says she’s okay with the kiss,” a reporter says.
The segment ends with a smiling McKeown blowing kisses to Ring and telling him, “Text me!”
Ring told the Toronto Sun on Friday that “he’s been getting a lot of comments that his actions were sexual assault,” the report said. “But he said he met the woman, Gillian McKeown, earlier that day at Trinity Bellwoods Park and they had spent some time together.”
“She sat down with us for the whole day and she was telling me she likes me, I went to the shop and when I was away she had to leave, so she left her number with a friend for me and told me she wanted to get together, so I came back and they told me what she said,” Ring, 25, told the Sun. “I seen her being interviewed so I went in for the kiss.”
“People are assuming it’s just a random girl I don’t know, which is weird,” he added.
McKeown told the Sun the kiss “was not sexual assault,” but declined to comment further.
CTV Toronto News anchor Nathan Downer told viewers the segment had been pulled and apologized for the “offensive” content.
“In a story on social distancing, we included an interview with a woman in a park,” Downer said. “During the interview, a stranger came up to the woman and kissed her directly on the lips.”
“Our story then focused on the dangers of kissing a stranger on the lips during a pandemic,” he said.
“It was wrong to air this video,” the anchor continued. “The video demonstrated non-consensual behavior and downplayed the fact that what occurred was simply unacceptable and offensive, did not meet CTV Toronto News editorial standards and we apologize.”
A statement from CTV News Toronto pic.twitter.com/AAfV6oznEg
— CTV Toronto (@CTVToronto) May 22, 2020
Here's the Trinity-Bellwoods CTV interview in case you haven't seen it yet. pic.twitter.com/uhvsQSkV8K
— Hunter Crowther (@HunterCrowther) May 22, 2020
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