“The Real” reacts to video showing journalist Alex Bozarjian allegedly being touched by a runner without her consent on live television.
While covering the River Bridge Run in Savannah, Georgia, on Saturday, the WSAV reporter appeared to be swatted on the behind by a man later identified in the media as Tommy Callaway, a youth minister.
After the incident, the journalist went on Twitter and exclaimed, “To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me. No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better.”
To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me. No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better. https://t.co/PRLXkBY5hn— Alex Bozarjian (@wsavalexb) December 7, 2019
On Wednesday’s live episode, hosts Tamera Mowry-Housley, Jeannie Mai, Loni Love and Adrienne Houghton reacted to the shocking story.
To start, Love brought up the point that a male reporter would probably not be put in this type of situation.
“And I think if it would’ve been a man reporter, he would not have done that,” the comic noted. “So, we have an issue with men thinking that they could do whatever they want with a woman’s body. That’s the problem.”
What resonated with Mai was Bozarjian’s shocked reaction after the alleged touch.
“But what strikes me is that look on her face. Like, we’ve all been there where somebody pushed it too far. And I hate that deer-in-headlights moment,” Jeannie exclaimed. “I hate that moment where you are robbed of your voice, and you are stricken, and you don’t know what to do. How dare he put her in such an uncomfortable place in front of live television.”
“He felt that it was okay to even do that, and to do it on live TV,” Mowry-Housley added.
Overall, Houghton said she is glad Bozarjian is speaking out, as this type of behavior has long been uncorrected.
“I actually am so happy that this woman is taking this moment to speak out about this, because growing up in New York, sadly, this was almost normalized in my generation,” the singer/actress explained.
Adrienne continued, “Like, I grew up in a generation where it was just like, ‘Well, now I’m embarrassed, and there goes that,’ but you didn’t come out and speak about it. So I think it’s so important that we support her, and speaking out about it because people now have to check themselves.”
According to TMZ, Bozarjian filed a police report and is pursuing sexual battery charges against Callaway, as he allegedly "approached from behind her and smacked her on the buttocks."
Bozarjian said in an interview with “CBS This Morning” that Callaway reached out to her station and apologized, saying his intentions were not to hurt her. However, she said, "I'm not going to really debate that because he hurt me.”
In a statement, Callaway's lawyer told media outlets, "While we regret the situation, Mr. Callaway did not act with any criminal intentions. Tommy is a loving husband and father who is very active in his community."