Sunday 27 May 2018

Viewer demands heavily pregnant TV presenter stand down as she's 'embarrassing and an eyesore'

Jenny May Clarkson, sports presenter for TVNZ
Jenny May Clarkson, sports presenter for TVNZ
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

A male viewer has demanded that a female TV presenter 'stand down' because she is heavily pregnant.

TV Guide published the public rant by a 69-year-old New Zealander against TVNZ sports reporter Jenny May Clarkson.

"I have no problem with seeing pregnant women in normal situations or places, but to have them remain on TV in a state which I feel is embarrassing and an eyesore?” he wrote.

“Who is responsible for allowing a sports presenter in a very pregnant state to remain on screen?”

The viewer, Mr Rook, demanded the station display some "common sense" and take the expectant mum off air.

TV Guide readers were, in the main, highly offended by Mr Rook's views.

“Believe it or not Mr Rook, your mother looked like that once. It’s delightful women are no longer afraid to show off their bumps," wrote one.

Mr Rook apologised in an interview with the New Zealand Herald.

He said, “I shouldn't have said, 'It looks embarrassing and it's an eyesore' - I wish her well. We've gone through childbirth and it's the best thing on earth. All I wanted to know was, who was responsible at TVNZ and at what stage they should stop presenting on screen?”

However, he added, "I'm old fashioned ... When a woman gets to that stage of pregnancy... a bit of decency - stand her down."

TVNZ responded to the rant by saying they won't be changing their policy regarding pregnant women at work.

“We're thrilled for Jenny-May," they said.

"TVNZ is fully supportive of women working during pregnancy and supports their return to work. Like a lot of Kiwi women, Jenny-May is working during her pregnancy. She's not the first and she won't be the last member of our news team to do so."

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