A journalist was allegedly groped by a man in Spain as she was live on air for a broadcaster, sparking outrage among people.
Isa Balado was reporting a robbery in Madrid when a man passing by her appeared to touch her bottom in an incident that was recorded on camera.
The man, who was later arrested by the police, denied touching the reporter inappropriately.
The video by broadcaster Cuatro, where Balado works, showed a man wearing white shorts and sunglasses approaching her and appearing to touch her inappropriately.
He appeared to ask her a question and stood there as Balado continued her live reporting, ignoring the incident.
She was then interrupted by programme host Nacho Abad, who asked her what happened.
“Isa, forgive me for interrupting you… but did he just touch your bottom?” he inquired.
The journalist replied with a “yes” and Abad asked the cameraperson to put the “idiot on the camera” who was standing there, laughing.
“As much as you want to ask what channel we are from, do you really have to touch my bottom? I’m doing a live show and I’m working,” Balado confronted him.
He denied touching her and Balado said “I would like you to let me work”.
The man insisted that he did not touch her before doing it again and this time touching her head before walking away.
As Balado apologised for the disrupting in the live, Abad said: “No, you have nothing to feel sorry for.”
“It makes me so mad,” he added.
After sometime, Balado said the man was still roaming in the streets around her and it was happening to every woman by whom he passed.
“It’s not just me, it’s happening to every woman he comes across,” she said.
The incident has sparked renewed anger in Spain amid an ongoing sexism row in the country in the fallout of former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales kissing World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso unsolicited.
Mediaset Espana, which owns the broadcaster, said in a statement: “We fully support Isa Balado, reporter for En Boca de Todos, after the absolutely intolerable situation she has suffered today.”
The country’s acting equality minister Irene Mantero said on X: “What until now was ‘normal’ is no longer so. Non-consensual touching is sexual violence and we say enough to impunity.”
Demanding the punishment for the man, Yolanda Diaz, the acting labour minister and second deputy prime minister blamed machismo for the assault.
“Machismo is what leads to journalists having to suffer sexual assaults like this and leaves aggressors unrepentant in front of the camera,” she said.
Rita Maestre, a spokesperson for Más Madrid in the Madrid City Council, called the incident “intolerable” and extended her support to the journalist.