By Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER – A CBC journalist who was kissed by a stranger on live TV has received an apology, but she’s still being attacked by others online for making a complaint to police.
Megan Batchelor was reporting from a music festival in Squamish, B.C., north of Vancouver, Friday when a stranger came up from behind, kissed her on the cheek at the same time as he took a picture of the event.
Daniel Davies, 17, later reached out to her in a direct message on Twitter to identify himself and say he was sorry.
Batchelor said his apology and feelings seemed very sincere.
“He basically just said ‘You know, in the moment I thought it was hilarious. And then when I saw your interviews and I saw the backlash and I put myself in your shoes, I immediately knew I was wrong and this was not appropriate,” she said.
Batchelor said her report to the RCMP prompted a much different response from those online.
People have called her explicit names, written her lewd and aggressive messages, and criticized her intelligence and appearance.
The backlash has been “insane,” said Batchelor, adding that she’s tried to ignore the hateful comments.
She hopes that Davies’ apology helps to calm the furor.
“I’m really hoping that with him now speaking out and agreeing with the way that I’ve been feeling, I’m really hoping that that will perhaps diffuse some of the negativity and people who don’t agree with me will perhaps see that this is not really an appropriate thing to do.”
As for the RCMP complaint, Batchelor said it’s up to police whether they press charges, but she is happy with the apology she’s received.
“In terms of where I’m at, I really don’t want to see this kid lose out on future opportunities because of this,” she said. “I really think he’s paying the price now for his actions.”
The journalist does hope the incident will have an impact on people who think it’s fun to interrupt television reporters while they work.
“I guess I’m just hoping people will take that extra second and think ‘Okay, that’s a person there trying to do their job. How will what I’m planning on doing impact them and their ability to do that and is it really worth it?'” Batchelor said.