By Katie Davies
It was supposed to be a day celebrating female achievement and marking the ongoing struggle for equality but for one broadcaster Connecticut’s Women’s Day meant something else: A chance to film breasts.
Fox Connecticut was forced to apologize today after B-roll footage broadcast to preview its coverage of an annual Women’s Day event in Hartford was simply a composite of lingering shots of women’s breasts as they passed on the street.
The footage was played twice this morning as an introduction to the occasion to the horror of several viewers.
The annual event at the Connecticut State Capitol involved a series of speeches by visiting dignitaries timed to coincide with the global celebration of female achievement – International Women’s Day – on March 8.
Viewers rushed to criticize the channel after female anchor Erika Arias first introduced the film this morning despite obvious hesitation in her voice over the accompanying footage.
The clip then went out a second time to preview the day’s events this time with Arias as co-host with a male anchor.
The presenters continued to talk about the segment despite the footage which keeps cutting to passing women’s breasts.
They tell viewers how two high school students will be given the Young Women’s Leadership Program Prize for their essays on women’s issues as the sexist footage plays in the background.
This afternoon the Fox affiliate took to Twitter to say the broadcast was down to a mistake in file footage.
‘Fox CT apologizes for today’s file footage error. We will continue to recognize great contributions of women in CT and around the world,’ it said
However, it didn’t placate viewers who doubted it was an innocent mistake.
Brian Cashion wrote: ‘An ‘error’ happens by accident. That footage did not cut itself into your segment accidentally’.
Gaia Barbara McDermott wrote: ‘How long for an apology? I tweeted you at 7.30am. You don’t apologize until around 3pm. P.s. You ran the video two times.’
Others questioned why Fox CT would even have such a video.
Giulia Gouge asked: ‘Why would you even have that file footage?’
Others have begun distributing the broadcaster’s telephone number urging people to call and make their complaints in person.
Questions remain over the channel’s use of the footage of women who seem unaware their breasts are coming under the scrutiny of a nearby camera crew.
The footage is of women on a busy street and cuts out their faces.
One of the winning essays by senior, Kristen Hinz, from New Milford High School honored in Connecticut today, somewhat ironically takes the objectification of women as its subject.
‘I am left defenseless, victimized by the society that shuns and silences,’ she writes.