White Man Given A Platform To Explain Why He Found It Acceptable To Smack A Female Reporter's Butt On Live TV
Social media was disturbed that a news outlet gave Tommy Callaway a platform to defend his decision to slap a reporter on the butt on camera.
After becoming embroiled in a reported on-camera sexual assault, Boy Scout leader Tommy Callaway enraged the internet further by using his white male privilege to set the record straight this week.
Millions of Twitter users watched a video on Saturday of Callaway allegedly slapping the behind of Alex Bozarjian, a reporter for WSAV-TV, while she covering the annual Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run.
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To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me. No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better. https://t.co/PRLXkBY5hn— Alex Bozarjian (@wsavalexb) December 7, 2019
Bozarjian was invited onto CBS This Morning to speak about what happened, telling Gayle King, "It's not OK to help yourself to a woman's body just because you feel like it," she said. "It's not playful. He hurt me, both physically and emotionally."
Eventually, the Savannah Sports Council, which oversees the race, released their own set of tweets responding to the situation, writing that they told police Callaway was the man seen on camera. He has since been banned from all future races.
To the surprise of many, however, Inside Edition gave 43-year-old Callaway a chance to explain himself. During the interview, he refused to apologize or show any remorse for his actions.
"I was caught up in the moment. I was getting my hands up and wave to the audience and there was a misjudge in character and decision-making. I touched her back, I did not know exactly where I touched her," he told the reporter.
When the host read Bozarjian's first tweet to him, he said, "I totally agree 100% with her statement. The two most important words were her last two words: do better. That is my intention. I did not see her facial reaction. I just kept on running. If I did see her facial reaction, I would have been embarrassed and felt ashamed and stopped to turn around and went back and apologized to her."
According to Inside Edition, Bozarjian filed a sexual battery report and told CBS in a statement on Wednesday that she wanted Callaway to be charged with a crime.
"I want to make it clear that this doesn't mean I can't/won't forgive him. I hope to get to that point eventually, but as in any sexual assault case, it has to be on my terms when I'm ready," Bozarjian said in her statement to CBS News.
Bozarjian's employer, WSAV-TV, released their own statement calling Callaway's actions "reprehensible and completely unacceptable."
"No one should ever be disrespected in this manner. The safety and protection of our employees is WSAV-TV's highest priority. WSAV supports Alex completely as she determines the steps she wants to take next," the station said in a statement.
Many Twitter users were infuriated that Callaway was given a platform to respond to the video without having to apologize and said it was a clear example of the privilege afforded to white men.
If Thomas Callaway was black he would've been arrested for sexual assault and his employer would have terminated him. This sexual assault took place on TV but the police say it's up to the victim @wsavalexb to press charges #WhitePrivilege #TuesdayThoughtshttps://t.co/5qRHVWNznq— Compliance (@ComplyAnalyst) December 10, 2019
There were cops literally *right there* when that YOUTH PASTOR sexually assaulted a woman he was just running by.— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) December 12, 2019
Can you imagine what would have happened if that young Black man who ran by right before Mr. Callaway had slapped this woman's ass instead? https://t.co/YBoswcMTRF
Imagine the reaction if a Black man, a Muslim man or a Hispanic man had slapped @wsavalexb on her ass.— ERICA JOCELYN CHEW 🍑 (@chewstruth) December 12, 2019
Doubt anyone would be as laissez faire as Tommy Callaway is being about it OR Tweeting the reporter to "get over it" or that it was "a compliment."
Callaway isn't even sorry. https://t.co/zfegNePfzv
Tommy Callaway is a perfect example of a white patriarchal male who believes he can assault a women, lie about it, and all will be well. You can see his face when he smacks the reporter's backside; it was not a mistake. He wanted her to feel it & he enjoyed it.— 🌊 Lily (@Lily_Warrior) December 12, 2019
Cases like this fully exemplifies on how much privilege white men actually have. He touched a woman's backside while she was working and then had the chance to explain his side of the story. To make things worse not a single apology was given to @wsavalexb.— godangit-victoria (@VictoriaHugule1) December 13, 2019
Fuck Tommy Callaway https://t.co/5FdQ1NBHmW
Tommy Callaway is an entitled white man and I have no shame calling him or his name out. Tommy mutherfucking Callaway should be sued and brought to court for his actions. His media ‘apology’ should not make everything go away. HE DIDNT EVEN APOLOGIZE! https://t.co/ZK11vRHEL2— Sage Bates (@Sahgie1) December 13, 2019
A lawyer for Callaway continued to deny any wrongdoing, telling CBS, "While we regret the situation, Mr. Callaway did not act with any criminal intentions. Tommy is a loving husband and father who is very active in his community."
The statement said he has been in touch with WSAV-TV and Bozarjian and is "working with those involved to correct the situation."