Footage from a 2014 airing of the British show, The Xtra Factor, shows Mel B putting former cohost Louis Walsh in his place after he grabbed her butt. After resurfacing on social media over the weekend, the clip sparked outrage around the normalcy of sexual harassment.
sexual harassment on live TV folks pic.twitter.com/tjJtE45ZFk
— icherry yakho (@dys_nania) July 8, 2018
A Twitter user shared the video clip on Sunday (July 8), writing “sexual harassment on live TV folks.”
According to The Sun, the clip was originally posted to YouTube in Dec. 2014, and shows the former Spice Girl, Walsh, Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole being interviewed by Sarah-Jane Crawford on the reality show. During the interview, Walsh places his hand on the star’s bottom. He then cups her backside side before tapping it.
The discomfort can be seen on Mel B’s face as she stops the interview, telling Crawford, “hold on a second.” She then asks Walsh, “Why are you grabbing my butt?”
Mel B’s cohosts tried to reassure her that she was “safe” while laughing off the gesture. Visibly irritated she moved away from Walsh, who said he was only looking after her.
The video caused a debate among users with some defending Walsh based on his homosexuality and the justification that he was unaware of what he was doing. Others pointed out if it can happen so openly in a public setting there is a correlation to how frequently it may happen behind closed doors.
Most men have been socialized to think that this is ok.
— Ohneekla Meenaujh (@notmywill24) July 8, 2018
What a creep……
Louis Walsh gropes Mel B on TV
Can you imagine how much of this goes on when the camera is off??? It's an old clip but still NOT OK. pic.twitter.com/wkdeLUcK3z
— Solo Leveling. (@Quotemeorelse) July 8, 2018
Mel B nor Walsh have commented on the resurfaced video.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.