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Alleged groping on Mexican TV sparks national debate about workplace harassment

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A video of what appears to be a groping incident between two Mexican television presenters has gone viral—and sparked nationwide discussions about sexism in the workplace. Tania Reza and Enrique Tovar are hosts of the music program A Toda Maquina (“Full Steam Ahead”), which is aired on Mexican TV. During the now-notorious segment, Tovar tries to lift up Reza’s skirt as she is reading comments from viewers. Tovar’s advances appear to escalate — he repeatedly touches Reza’s necklace and the straps of her dress — until finally, he gropes her breast. Reza then walks off set, shouting, “I can’t work like this!” Tovar asks his audience to excuse Reza because she is “a bit hormonal.”

Televisa, the network that airs the program, quickly issued a statement saying that the interaction was a stunt, and that both presenters had been fired as a result. Reza and Tovar appeared in a YouTube video confirming this version of events, but Reza later took to Facebook to say that she had been pressured to conform to the network’s account. In actual fact, she wrote, Tovar did grope her.

News of the incident has reverberated throughout Mexico, with casual viewers, celebrities, and politicians speaking out in Reza’s defense on social media. Chumel Torres, host of a Daily Show-style news satire, told the BBC that the video struck a chord with the people of Mexico because it “is just something that happens almost daily in offices and homes … I think that it is one of the main reasons everybody is outraged, because we have seen this before.” Reza’s allegations are now being investigated by Mexico’s National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Discrimination.

In the wake of the public outcry, Televisia announced that Reza will be allowed to resume her post—as will Tovar. Both presenters will receive sensitivity training.

Read more at the BBC.

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