Controversy has erupted over a sports commentator’s request that tennis star Eugenie Bouchard “twirl” to show off her outfit during an interview at the Australian open.
Following an impressive win against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, Bouchard was asked by Australian reporter Ian Cohen to “twirl” to show off her outfit on the court.
Bouchard obliged and did a quick spin before covering her face for a second.
Although the incident seemed lighthearted and innocent, many people on social media reacted negatively, saying that Cohen put the 20-year-old on the spot and that the question was “sexist.”
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In response to sexism allegations, Bouchard shared her true feelings later on.
“It was very unexpected. I mean, yeah, I don't know. An old guy asking you to twirl, it was funny,” Bouchard said.
Cohen told Bouchard during his interview that he had previously asked tennis star Serena Williams to do the same thing, and after controversy erupted over his asking Bouchard, Williams spoke out about it.
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“A commentator asked me to twirl," Williams said. "I wouldn't ask Rafa (Nadal) or Roger (Federer) to twirl. Whether it's sexist or not, I don't know. I can't answer that. I didn't really want to twirl because I was just like, you know, I don't need all the extra attention. But, yeah, it was fine. I don't think and look that deep into it. Life is far too short to focus on that. We have so many other problems we want to deal with that we should focus on. Whether I twirl or not, it's not the end of the world. It's about being positive and just moving forward.”
Still, following the backlash that Cohen, a reporter for Channel 7 News, received, the news station released a statement distancing themselves from the commentator.
“The interview, which didn’t air on Channel 7 or 7TWO, was in this instance conducted by a commentator who works for the host broadcaster, Tennis Australia,” Channel 7 claimed in a statement to the Daily Mail. “The host broadcaster provides match coverage and some commentary and interviews, which is seen on our live digital streaming service.”