Beirut: A video of a Lebanese protestor kissing Sky News Arabia’s anchor surprisingly while she was live on air went viral yesterday and triggered debate on social media.
Lebanese popular anchor Darine El Helwe was on live broadcast with UAE-based Sky News Arabia from Riad Soloh Square when a male protestor kissed her on her cheek.
In the video, Al Helwe was taken aback by the kiss and froze for a few seconds nervously laughing and then collecting herself before she resumed reporting.
The shared footage triggered a debate online between social media users, activists and journalists, who were divided on the incident.
Some considered it cute and funny while others said it was inappropriate and a form of harassment.
Famous TV host Neshan shared the video on his twitter and commented ‘revolutionist’s kiss’.
Human rights activist Georges Azzi retweeted Neshan’s tweet but said there was nothing funny about the kiss.
Lebanese have been protesting since October 17 demanding an overhaul of the country’s ruling elite widely considered as corrupt.
While the protesters have somber and serious demands, it hasn’t stopped many from enjoying their time whilst demonstrating.
Many protesters have taken selfies and videos with television reporters widely considered to be heroes of the uprising.
Speaking to Gulf News, El Helwi called the kiss “unacceptable”.
“I was live when I felt the kiss, without seeing him. I tried to continue reporting professionally although my voice was shaky. Despite the unacceptable act, I remained emotionally stable and maintained eye contact with the camera,” she said.
However, after the kisser publicly apologised on Facebook, El Hewli said she felt less angry about the incident.
-With inputs from Layelle Saad/Middle East Editor