Alana Kelly

Alana Kelly

Man charged after yelling sexual obscenities at B.C. reporter

Bo Poirier is charged with causing a disturbance after yelling the phrase ‘FHRITP’

She watched it happen to Shauna Hunt and dozens of other female reporters, but she didn’t think sexually explicit vulgarities would be hurled at her while on the job.

Last summer, Kelowna reporter Alanna Kelly was interviewing an athlete about the cancelled Apple Triathlon, she had her camera set up and the athlete’s family near by when she was confronted by a man who yelled notorious sexual slur “FHRITP”.

At first she was shocked, embarrassed and uncertain of what she should do, but after talking it over with her colleagues she reported the incident to the police.

“I won’t forget when he said it and everyone around us gasped,” she explained. “I saw the guy coming and I thought, ‘don’t say it, don’t say it’, and I moved my mic away but he yelled and got in my camera.

I couldn’t show that I was angry because I was in the middle of the interview, so I just shrugged it off and tried to be professional.”

READ MORE: Female Brazilian sports journalists’ plea: Just let us work

Kelly gave her statement and police determined because the incident happened in a public place the man would be charged with causing a disturbance.

“It’s not a harassment charge, which would be better,” she said. “I know it’s a complex thing and I am just happy something is being done. I don’t want to vilify this person, but this is a chance to show what will happen if you think this is funny or this is just a joke and you can get away with it. Police are at least making an example of this and showing that they are doing something.”

Bo Poirier was charged on Oct. 2; however officers were unable to find the man who had no fixed address.

Poirier is known to police and often frequents Penticton and Kelowna.

When Poirier is finally arrested and given a court date, Kelly says she will attend the appearance.

“Some people think because I am a reporter and in the public that this is what happens, but just because I am a reporter does not mean I should be sexually harassed,” said Kelly. “What is going on that makes people think that this is funny, now you’ve not only ruined my story but you think you can say these disgusting and vulgar comments to a female — it should not be accepted.”

READ MORE: Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Kelly who has been working with Castanet media for two years, says she is lucky she has had some great female role models in her life that have helped her cope with this situation, but she still looks over her shoulder when she is out on a shoot.

“I think not talking about it, isn’t going to fix this,” she said. “So maybe if someone hears this they’ll know I have feelings, I am not a robot, and this hurt me, it humiliated me and maybe they will think twice or if they know someone who thinks it’s funny that they’ll tell them it’s not.”


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pet owners are leaving more dog waste than ever before on Nanaimo’s paths and trails, says letter writer. (Stock photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Dog owners need to pick up after their pets

Letter writer says he’s ‘disgusted’ by dog walkers not picking up their dog waste

The Nanaimo African Heritage Society is capping its month of Black History Month celebrations with a virtual gala on Sunday, Feb. 28. (News Bulletin photo)
Nanaimo African Heritage Society presents virtual Black History Month gala

Event to feature a variety of speakers and performers

(Black Press file)
Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools reports COVID-19 exposure at Cedar Elementary

School district says Island Health has completed contact tracing

(News Bulletin file)
RDN warns residents not to give financial info over phone

Resident hung up and called RDN after receiving call for credit card information

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from the beach in rescue attempt in Nanaimo

Animal dies in spite of efforts of marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

1957 photo shows Six Mile House-sponsored #4 1932 Ford stock car with Frank Morris (from left), Ted Mackenzie, Bill Sim and driver Gerry Sylvester. (Bud Glover/Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame)
Memories race as Western Speedway approaches its finish line

‘It was life to us:’ Vancouver Island racers, crew will never forget what the track gave them

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Wayne Allen's graduation photo from Chemainus Secondary School. (Photo submitted)
Brother charged with murder in Vancouver Island teenager’s Ontario death

Jesse James Allen stands accused in the death of Wayne Allen, a 2020 Chemainus Secondary grad

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen to field COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing leads to stabbing in Nanaimo

Suspect arrested on Gabriola Island an hour after incident Wednesday, Feb. 24

Snuneymuxw artist Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is among the artists participating in the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Rain Shadow exhibit. His piece, ‘We Fell from the Sky/Together and Apart,’ depicts a Snuneymuxw creation story. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores the ways people think about place

‘Rain Shadow’ features work mostly by Vancouver Island and Gulf Island artists

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read