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CTV News aired an interview on social distancing with Gillian McKeown, who was visiting a park with her dog, and the segment took an unexpected turn that left the young woman blushing breathlessly and the network apologizing.
“I feel as if masks are not 100% important,” McKeown was in the process of saying, when suddenly a man appeared on screen.
“Sorry to interrupt,” the man says to the camera, before planting a long, passionate kiss on the young woman.
“Oh my god,” she said with a huge smile on her face, after the guy let her up for air.
Here’s the Trinity-Bellwoods CTV interview in case you haven’t seen it yet. pic.twitter.com/uhvsQSkV8K
— Hunter Crowther (@HunterCrowther) May 22, 2020
“No, I met him for a second with my dog,” McKeown said, when asked if she knows the guy.
“That’s insane!” she added, with a snort.
Someone off-camera asked the young lady if she’s okay.
“Yeah, he’s so hot!” McKeown replied, with a hearty laugh.
The guy, identified as Irishman Jack Ring, was asked if he was aware of the risks of kissing someone you don’t know during a pandemic.
“I think the kiss was worth it,” the smitten man replied.
While the incident is somewhat instructive on what people can get away with when seen as attractive, there were concerns raised about the kiss being sexual assault — seems some folks didn’t get the memo from Democrats about the #MeToo movement being sacrificed on behalf of presumptive 2020 party nominee Joe Biden.
McKeown, who is seen on camera blowing Ring a kiss and telling him to text her as she was leaving, insisted “it was not sexual assault,” according to the Toronto Sun.
Spoke to both Jack Ring and Gillian McKeown, the two people shown in the clip @CTVSean posted earlier. They both told me the kiss was not sexual assault. Ring said McKeown had spent some time with him in a group earlier in the day. @goldsbie https://t.co/J3O4B4VOlF
— Jenny Yuen (@SunReporterYuen) May 22, 2020
It’s not clear she’d have the same thought process if McKeown considered him to be ugly.
That Ring would have her number suggests a level of familiarity, and he would later tell the Toronto Sun that they had interacted throughout the day.
“She sat down with us for the whole day and she was telling me she likes me,” he explained. “I went to the shop and when I was away she had to leave, so she left her number with a friend for me and told me she wanted to get together, so I came back and they told me what she said.”
“I seen her being interviewed so I went in for the kiss,” Ring added.
Nonetheless, CTV News took to the airwaves after the incident to offer an apology to viewers.
A statement from CTV News Toronto pic.twitter.com/AAfV6oznEg
— CTV Toronto (@CTVToronto) May 22, 2020
“It was wrong to air this video,” said the appropriately named CTV Toronto News anchor Nathan Downer. “The video demonstrated non-consensual behavior and downplayed the fact that what had occurred was simply unacceptable and offensive.”
Even though both participants found nothing “offensive” about their highly intimate encounter.
Here’s a quick sampling of online responses to the story from all sides:
They called the Trinity-Bellwoods Bellwoods kiss/assault a “spontaneous kiss”.
If that was me…we pressing CHARGES, baby. Reckless endangerment, assault.. the whole book at that mf
— Philly (@Phillyfreee) May 22, 2020
“Daddy how did COVID-19 become known as The Irish Kiss?”
— Jonathan Torrens (@TorrensJonathan) May 23, 2020
Wow this is embarrassing
— michelle mylett (@MichelleMylett) May 24, 2020
But he’s not even hot. She is probably just high 🤔
— Gini Lee (@GiniLee1003) May 22, 2020
Those sneering and judging should check themselves. She clearly felt it was consensual and hers is the only opinion that matters. As for covid it’s an acceptable risk many couples take each day. A person could bring home covid from work, and a good partner would still kiss them.
— Enter your real name (@vickersty) May 22, 2020
There’s a lot to unpack here. A lot. In the meantime, I’m going to try to recover the skin that crawled off me watching this.
— K (@six4nock) May 22, 2020
To go back to the days when we would be all so thrilled for a moment like this.
— FreshGuru Chris (@freshguru) May 22, 2020
That made me wanna bang my head against my desk and I’m sorry I watched it. I am a hater though
— Israel (@CransonGonzalo) May 22, 2020
This entire video is just a utter train wreck
— m a r i n o (@marinogreco) May 22, 2020
I feel it’s not our place to be more outraged than the lady kissed on camera. It’s possible he knew she would welcome his kiss. Perhaps they were on a Tinder park date. I would want to hear from the woman before a lot of people pile on this guy. She didn’t appear upset.
— Nadia Mitkova (@L0_0ney) May 23, 2020