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Journalist Harassed At Laneway Festival Auckland, Abused On Social Media For Speaking Out

Written by Michael Carr on February 6, 2016

NZ Journalist Kim Vinnell from TV3 was interrupted during a live TV cross from Auckland’s Laneway Festival on Monday night by two men yelling the viral internet phrase “fuck her right in the pussy”.

Not choosing to let it slide, however, Vinnell tracked down the two men — Sean Philip and Terry Insull — and confronted them about their actions on live television like a boss. Unfortunately, Philip and Insull were a little less charming on camera, smiling and waving to their mums and seemingly unashamed of their actions.

Attempting to excuse the incident as a “friendly joke”, Philip went on to suggest that “next time, have a male presenter if you’re going into a Laneway Festival because shit like that gets pretty hectic”.

Meanwhile, Insull blamed his actions on alcohol. “After a 12 pack of Billy Maverick’s, those sort of things aren’t being processed through my head,” he said in response to Vinnell.

Philip later apologised, although the pair have both changed their Facebook profile photos to screenshots of the moment. Insull’s photo is even captioned with the words “right in the pussy”, and the top comment on Philip’s at one point read “making mum proud”.

Things haven’t stop there though, with Vinnell being showered with abuse. While some were quick to support her, Vinnell was nevertheless accused of blowing the event out of proportion and filing “vapid reporting”.

This was soon dealt with, however, as Vinnell has a decade’s worth of experience working as a journalist, and has covered stories in Iraq and Ukraine for Al Jazeera in the past.

While Vinnell seems to have had the last laugh in this case, the fact that a woman still has to face this kind of treatment is ridiculous. “Anyone should be able to go to their place of work and not be accosted,” she says in a video statement posted to Facebook.

“It’s kind of a right. I know that this phrase that this guy used has been popular on the internet, but it still doesn’t make it okay,” she says.

Speaking out about attitudes towards women, Vinnell’s partner Richie Hardcore summed thing up well:

“Why should women and girls learn to laugh it off?” he asked.

“Why is that an even a thing, that it’s ok to make someone feel s****y and females should just deal with it? Why aren’t boys and men learning not to sexually harass and intimidate women and girls?”

Catch Vinnell’s Facebook video alongside her interrupted news broadcast, below.

Following last night's live cross incident, Kim Vinnell has this response…

Posted by Story on Monday, February 1, 2016

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