An incident in which a man knocks out and licks the ear of a CBC reporter who is in the air reporting a comedy event was convicted on Wednesday, with some arguing that the actions amounted to an attack.
In a widely seen clip, Chris Glover is talking back to the studio when a man leans to the frame behind him and mugs in front of the camera before leaving, while a second man, dressed in a green Saskatchewan Roughriders sweater, is approaching of the reporter.
The man, identified by several viewers as comic actor Boyd Banks, who appeared on CBC shows, begins to lick Glover's ear and kisses his neck while the reporter continues to speak, before returning it to the studio with the phrase:
"Things are getting a little strange here, so I'll pass it back to you," Glover said.
"Yeah, that's a little weird. It's really unnecessary, "Dwight Drummond told Glover. "Just get away from that gentleman."
Neither Glover nor Drummond responded to a request for comment. However, a spokesman for the CBC denounced the man's actions and praised the reporter.
"Chris Glover showed a remarkable stance and professionalism in the face of a very strange situation," said Chuck Thompson. "Unfortunately, the trend of harassing reporters continues and is something we take very seriously."
Thompson called the incident "troublesome because they are unacceptable." He did not say what the station planned to do about the situation. Toronto police said they had no record of a complaint.
Saskatchewan-born Banks, who has multiple credits on movies and TV shows, including CBC's "The Prairie Mosque," could not immediately be reached for comment.
In recent years, reporters in particular have been the target of brutal whistles, which in some cases have resulted in charges against the perpetrator. More recently, other journalists have been physically assaulted while working in public.
Glover's 40-second clip provoked outrage in social media, with some condemning what happened as an attack, and others saying they would not have remained so calm.
"This is disgusting," tweeted CBC reporter Lorenda Reddekopp. "I also can not believe that none of the spectators did anything."
"This is so disturbing and I get more uncomfortable every time I watch," Toronto-based writer Jeffrey Vallis told Twitter. "Why do people think it's okay to harass and assault reporters while they do their jobs?"
Thompson said the task at hand was viewed as "low risk," but the situations noted may be unpredictable. Regardless, Thompson called the incident troubling.
"This type of harassment is completely unacceptable to any individual," he said.