Ethics Hero: “Good Day New York” Co-anchor Rosanna Scotto

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Rosanna Scotto had the professionalism, decency and the courage to step in and reprimand (and embarrass) partner Greg Kelly who engaged in on-air sexual harassment of a young colleague during today’s morning broadcast on the Fox affiliate.

Reporter Anna Gilligan was assigned to New Jersey’s Action Park to try out the new Tarzan rope swing. This required putting on a bathing suit, in Gilligan’s case a relatively conservative two-piece.

. When she completed the water ride,  wet and probably self-conscious (no fair TV exec should make a young woman expose herself like that on TV), Kelly leered, “Nice bathing suit.” He then began teasing her with questions about her temporary breathlessness, tilting into innuendo  Scotto reminded him him to “stay appropriate,”  but to no avail: Kelly was in full frat boy mode. When Gilligan ended her segment by saying she was going to put some clothes on, Kelly protested playfully, saying, “hold on a second, not so fast, Anna!”

When they  cut back to the news desk,  Scotto gave Kelly a disgusted look and asked, “What is wrong with you?”

I wish she had said more, but she was probably right: any more pointed criticism would be airing dirty linen in public. To answer her question though, here is what’s the matter with Kelly:

  • He’s unprofessional, a fool and a pig.
  • He clearly didn’t get the memo, and it came from the culture many years ago, that you don’t treat a female employee, colleague or subordinate like a sex object, a piece of meat or eye candy in the work place. The conduct is rude, it denigrates her as a professional and a human being, it gives a green light to other harassers in the workplace and creates a hostile environment not only for her but for every female employee who sees or learns of the incident. It is also illegal.
  • He is such a boor and a fool that he not only did this, but did it on live TV.

Greg Kelly owes Gilligan, Scotto and every other woman at at the station and in the audience an apology.

Then he should be fired.

15 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: “Good Day New York” Co-anchor Rosanna Scotto

  1. Yes. He should be and so should many others, but I’ll put money up that they won’t be.

    Unless he identifies as conservative.

  2. The whole sequence was poorly conceived and asking for trouble (Anna disrobing on camera? Seriously? Bad idea.) That said, Greg Kelly acted like a drunk 20-year-old on spring break on national TV and didn’t get the message despite Rosanna telling him at least three times to zip it.

    What bothers me more is that on top of that he had the audacity, after they cut back to the studio, to tell Rosanna “don’t go all frowny on me” or words to that effect, like she was somehow at fault or wrong for telling him to stop acting like a classless, unprofessional jerk in full view of the public. Too often we allow bullies and harassers a pass by either telling the victims not to be so thin-skinned or letting the victimizers off if they respond to being called out with a suitably snappy comeback or smart-ass remark.

    Leaving aside the previous rape allegation, since that was all it was and a dropped charge isn’t proof of guilt, Greg Kelly needs to be fired immediately, to make the point that no, you can’t just laugh off behaving like a pig and bringing discredit to your employer in front of the whole damn country.

  3. Why did the network do this at all? And if they wanted to, couldn’t she have worn a one piece OR a one piece with a cover-up of some kind?

    • Nowadays there is nothing racy about a suit like that. She shouldn’t have to cover up in 2014 to avoid being leered at—good lord, Robin Meade on Headline News wears more provocative outfits every morning. A lot of those dumb feature stories are designed to put young reporters in humiliating circumstances to amuse the audience, but this was more unfair and less justified than most. And of course, she can’t refuse, and then has to be ogled by an idiot. Does anyone NOT think he should be fired?

    • It shouldn’t have to come to that. She’s a journalist, not a stripper. Her job is to report news, not take off her coverup and display her body for the viewers’ pleasure. This spot was 10% journalism and 90% ogle.

  4. Watching through, his comments seems so innocuous at first, and the female anchor’s scolding, just banter (by design on her part)… once you stop and think, yuck! Too few stop and think.

    The reporter in the bathing suit was enough, the anchor certainly did not need to point this out to male viewers; the added ‘commentary’ was just gross and inappropriate; the last minute stretching of the segment with half thought out questions so he could ogle, just awkward for everyone (probably even inattentive viewers by that point).

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