Just days after cricketer Chris Gayle was slammed for a ‘sexist’ interview with a Channel Ten sports reporter, Channel Seven has come under fire for what some argue is a similar scenario.
Sports broadcaster Hamish McLachlan was forced to apologise to viewers on Saturday after he placed his arms around Miss Universe Australia Monika Radulovic’s waist during a live weather report on Weekend Sunrise.
The beauty queen, who was filling in as the weekend weather reporter, had to push McLachlan away from her after the prolonged embrace.
Scroll down for video
Too far? Sports presenter Hamish McLachlan has apologised to Sunrise viewers after he gave new weather presenter Monika Radulovic a ‘bear hug’ live on air from the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast on Saturday
The scene cut shortly after Radulovic had stepped away but she and McLachlan returned to front cameras half an hour later for the veteran journalist to issue an apology.
‘I understand people have made stuff of it on social media and if I’ve offended anyone at home I’m apologising for that absolutely,’ 40-year-old McLachlan told viewers after complaints were made on the show’s Facebook account.
Then directing his words to Radulovic, 25, he said: ‘More importantly I apologise if I’ve offended you because I want to have fun and that is my fault if I’ve offended you’.
‘Not at all, I’m so sorry as well guys. I did not think twice about it,’ Radulovic responded, also addressing Weekend Sunrise presenters Edwina Bartholomew and Mark Beretta back in the Sydney studio.
‘Like Hamish said, we’re colleagues and friends and we were just chatting like we normally do off-camera and so nothing on my part.’
First day on the job: Saturday was Miss Universe Australia 2015 Monika’s first day on the job as a fill-in weather presenter for the Channel Seven program
Going in for the hug: Reporting live from the Magic Millions races on the Gold Coast, Monika was doing a piece-to-camera after the nine o’clock weather cross when Hamish appeared in the frame and gave her a hug
McLachlan extended his apology further, saying: ‘Edwina I’m sorry if I’ve offended you (or) anyone watching at home. Mon and I didn’t think anything of it and now I got the phone call saying people have made a lot of it so I apologise to whoever I’ve offended’.
A sports reporter for the Seven network, McLachlan is an ambassador for the Magic Millions races in Queensland, where he and Radulovic were broadcasting from.
Saturday was Radulovic first day on the job as a weather presenter, after she was asked to fill in for Weekend Sunrises’ regular usual reporter James Tobin.
Her on camera role comes a month after she participated in the international Miss Universe competition in which she placed fourth behind the winner from the Philippines.
Reporting live from the Magic Millions race track on the Gold Coast, Radulovic was doing a piece-to-camera after the nine o’clock weather cross when Hamish appeared in the frame and wrapped his arms around her in a hug.
‘Is this your first day?’ he asked.
Taking control: ‘Professional, please, my goodness,’ Monika quipped as she tried to take control of the situation
Backlash: Sunrise viewers quickly took to social media to express their concerns of a double standard
Controversy: The report came just after the Sunrise cast were discussing West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle receiving a $10,000 fine after said to reporter Mel McLaughlin on Monday: ‘Hopefully we win this game and we can have a drink after, don’t blush baby’
The beauty continued speaking as he made the gesture, before pushing him away so she could finish her segment about the sale of horses at the event.
‘Professional, please, my goodness,’ Radulovic quipped as she tried to take control of the situation.
The report came just after the Sunrise cast were discussing West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle receiving a $10,000 fine after he said to Channel Ten reporter Mel McLaughlin on Monday: ‘Hopefully we win this game and we can have a drink after, don’t blush baby.’
Sunrise viewers quickly took to social media to express their concerns of a double standard.
‘How is what Hamish Mcglauchlan just did to the weather girl just then any different if not worse than what Chris Gayle did the other night??? (sic),’ one viewer wrote on the official Sunrise Facebook page.
‘I’m confused! One minute you guys are discussing Chris Gayle’s crappy behaviour and the next you have some horse racing bloke copping a feel of your weather presenter!’ another comment read.
Apology: ‘I understand people have made stuff of it on social media and if I’ve offended anyone at home I’m apologising for that absolutely,’ 40-year-old Hamish told viewers on Saturday morning
Keeping it professional The pair shook hands during a live cross back to the Sunrise studio in Sydney
McLachlan, who’s older brother Gillon is the Chief Executive Office of the AFL, welcomed his first daughter with wife Sophie back in 2012.
Meanwhile Radulovic is engaged to artist Alesandro Ljubicic.
Earlier this week West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle was fined $10,000 for taking a pass at Channel 10 sports reporter Mel McLaughlin.
He made an abrupt exit from a brief ‘apology’ media statement on Tuesday after calling the comments ‘a simple joke’.
Gayle asked the veteran sports journalist for a drink after the Big Bash League game in Hobart on Monday night and then proceeded to tell her ‘don’t blush, baby’.
Renegades CEO Stuart Coventry formally apologised to Mel in a statement, saying: ‘Chris’s comments were completely inappropriate and disrespectful’.
Since then, footage of a Sunrise weather presenter hitting on a ‘muscly’ man on a beach on live television has made waves on social media.
Beauty queen: Monika was crowned Miss Universe Australia in 2015, she placed fourth in the international competition last month
Married: Hamish, whose older brother Gillon is the Chief Executive Office of the AFL, welcomed his first daughter with wife Sophie back in 2012 – the pair pictured in Melbourne in 2014
Channel Seven reporter Nuala Hafner was filmed approaching a man mid-way through her weather report at Balmoral Beach in Sydney in December 2014.
Hafner called out ‘Good morning muscly man!’ as she spotted him doing pull ups and hand stands off in the distance wearing a pair of tiny swimmers.
She eventually approached the man to shake his hand, asking: ‘Hi how are you? I’m Nuala. Do you come here often?’
‘Yeah I just live up the road,’ he replied.
Hafner then asked the man if he was single during her live cross back to the Sunrise studio.
‘No I’m happily engaged,’ the tattooed man said.
The weather presenter, who was filling in for Edwina Bartholomew over the summer, laughed it off as she started walking away saying: ‘Anyway it was nice knowing you!’
The video resurfaced this week with social media users comparing it to Gayle’s interview.
Interview: Gayle came under fire after he asked the reporter on air for a drink after the game, and then proceeded to tell her ‘don’t blush, baby’ during a post-match interview at the Big Bach League match in Hobart
It’s happened before: Footage of Sunrise reporter Nuala Hafner hitting on a ‘muscly’ man on a Sydney beach on live television in 2014 has made waves as some compare her to Gayle