Television journalist Isa Balado from broadcaster Cuatro was reporting on a robbery in Madrid on Tuesday, September 12 when a man approached her from the back and touched her improperly live on air. The incident led to a huge outcry on social media platforms, reviving discussions about hostile work environments for women in Spain.
The objectionable incident came on the heels of the former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales kissing footballer Jenni Hermoso on the lips at the Women’s World Cup medal ceremony – which led to widespread condemnation, protests, strikes, and, finally, Rubiales’s resignation.
In this case, as Balado was reporting outside a convenience store where shopkeepers were arrested for beating up a burglar who tried to rob the shop, a man approached her and touched her inappropriately. While Balado tried to remain calm and move away from the man to continue reporting, she was interrupted by the news anchor, Nacho Abad, from the studio.
“Isa, sorry to interrupt, did they just touch your butt?” the anchor asked, as translated by Euro News. When Balado replied, “Yes”, Abad asked her to show the man on camera.
“As much as you want to ask me what channel we’re from, do you really have to touch my rear?” Balado asked the offender, as translated by The Guardian. “I’m live on air and I’m working.” The man denied touching her. The Madrid police subsequently arrested him.