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Female media workers who condemned a calendar with nude photos of their colleagues are facing cyberbullying

09.12.2022, 16:58

Female journalists who had said that distribution of the Channel 5 calendar with nude photos of their colleagues was inadmissable reported facing threats and cyberbullying.

On her Facebook page, war correspondent Iryna Sampan posted screenshots from a Telegram channel which published the list of people who opposed the calendar. The author of the Telegram post said that he was looking for the ex-partners of these women in order to buy the women's nudes from them.

"Threats, bullying, and an auction for my exes. This is what the debate over the Channel 5 calendar has turned into. How can this even be? How did the existence of a different point of view turn into bullying? First is the aggressive rhetoric of all posters who shifted the discussion to personal matters. My personal matters. Not sharing someone else's opinion is fine, not understanding it is fine. But I haven't read so much filthy stuff about myself in a long time. Even from the so-called opinion leaders, who should by leading the discussion, well... intelligently, or something," Iryna wrote.

She stressed: the signatories of the statement did not mention any names and were not criticizing nudes as a phenomenon.

"We only said that we considered the use of female journalists' naked bodies for sale in a calendar to be objectification and a violation of certain ethics. That is all. Because this is what we think. And this can be discussed," the journalist wrote.

In her comment to an IMI representative, Iryna Sampan noted that she is currently abroad on business. She keeps in touch with lawyers and, if necessary, will contact the police.

Hromadske Radio editor-in-chief Tetyana Troshchynska also posted similar screenshots and noted that this was cyberbullying and probably a crime.

"I think that such rhetoric and such threats cannot be coming from reasonable people. By the way, do you know the names of the girls who were allegedly shamed? I don't think so. Is someone threatening them? I think not," wrote Troshchynska.

She also emphasized that the authors of the statement did not get personal, did not insult the participants of the photo session for the calendar: "We were not denying anyone's right to pose for photos, nude or whatever, there was not a single word about 'banning' anything, where did you get that from? There were only doubts about whether it is appropriate to label women and journalists in such a stereotypical way. That's all. No specific persons were mentioned at all."

As IMI reported, Channel 5 released a calendar with nude photos of female journalists for the UAF Day, December 6. The channel called it an action in support of the army and said that the revenues from the sale of the calendar would go to the Armed Forces.

Representatives of public organizations, human rights organizations, and media organizations said that distributing a calendar with nude female hournalists was inadmissable and that the action endorsed a lot of discriminatory and sexist narratives. They urged Channel 5 to drop this action and not sell the calendar.

Moreover, human rights activists called on the government Commissioner for gender policy, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada, and the Commission on Journalistic Ethics to assess the legality and ethics of Channel 5's actions.

In a comment to Hromadske, Channel 5 editor-in-chief Iryna Herasimova, thanked the statement's authors for PR and called on them to channel their energy into supporting the UAF.

Dmytro Lubinets, the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, "saw nothing wrong" with the erotic calendar.

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