EOC Responds to Media Enquiries
In response to media enquiries about whether a reporter’s remarks constitute sexual harassment during a media organisation’s online news broadcast on 10 May 2020, the Equal Opportunities Commission(EOC) issued the following statement today (13 May 2020):
1. The EOC will not comment on individual cases.
2. The EOC has received some emails this week alleging that during a media organisation's online live broadcast a reporter's remarks constituted sexual harassment, which would cause others to feel offended and humiliated.
3. Based on the available information, the EOC believes that the alleged remarks are inappropriate and would cause others to feel offended and insulted. Whether it falls into the ambit of sexual harassment within the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) cannot be ascertained at this moment without further details.
4. Mr Ricky CHU, Chairperson of the EOC, said, “We encourage the aggrieved person(s) to approach the EOC for assistance and lodging a complaint. The EOC will act diligently and properly in accordance with the laws. Practitioners of media organizations should avoid using expressions which may constitute sexual harassment or even be offensive in their news reporting. These remarks will only intensify conflicts and cause obstacles in building a culture of mutual respect and gender equality.”
5. Under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favours, and other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, where a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated that the victim would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.
6. Individuals are protected from sexual harassment under the SDO which provides protection in specified fields including employment; education; provision of goods, facilities or services etc.
Equal Opportunities Commission
13 May 2020