Foul-mouthed photobomb gets TFC fan fired

Shauna Hunt confronts men who shouted FHRITP phrase on CityNews.

Could a pack of drunken, sexist morons have inadvertently become a force for good?

It might make an entertaining superhero movie, but we’re talking more grassroots social change.

News reporters and assorted idiots are well-acquainted with the FHRITP phenomenon (Google it), but for those of you who have never heard, it involves hijacking a live news report and yelling a particular vulgar phrase into the camera.

It’s occurred all over Canada and abroad.

Now, a recent incident in Toronto has blown up online and resulted in rare consequences for the bigot in question.

CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt became a viral star after she confronted some sexist hecklers during a live TV report. The unapologetic goons got plenty of screen time and the exposure is bringing unwelcome consequences.

In particular, it may have cost as least one guy his job.

The hecklers haven’t been all publicly identified, but at least one apparently works for power provider HydroOne.

Well, used to work for it.

Global News reports that the now ex-employee made Ontario’s “Sunshine List” as a public-sector employee who makes over $100,000 per year. That’s gotta hurt.

Still, firing him may be easier said than done. Ontario’s employee-friendly labour laws can make it difficult to terminate someone for extracurricular obnoxiousness, no matter how bad it may be.

“In general, terminating an employee for just cause for off-duty conduct is difficult,” says labour lawyer Todd Weisberg of Toronto-based Shields O’Donnell MacKillop LLP.

Weisberg adds: “In order to rely explicitly on the code of conduct that code will need to refer to off-duty conduct. If it doesn’t it will be hard to terminate solely on a reliance on the code of conduct.”

See: What kind of mistakes can get me fired?

One great example is a 1995 case where salesman Kenneth Ditchburn, who was fired after a drunken brawl with a client was ultimately awarded hefty damages from the employer.

But the public shame and threat of a lost job might finally throw a scare into FHRITP fans everywhere and hopefully put this obnoxious fad to rest.

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