Sexual assault is a very topical issue at the moment, with the Stanford rape case dominating the headlines for the past few weeks.
Wednesday’s episode of This Morning tackled the sensitive, but important, issue with guest Rebecca Reid, who was on the show to discuss a new initiative at the University of York.
The campaign sees the introduction of mandatory classes about consent for freshers.
If you’ve kept up with the Stanford trial and you’ve watched The Hunting Ground (a documentary set in the US, which is currently on Netflix if you want to check it out), you’ll have seen that rape on campuses is argued to be a big problem that seems to be ingrained into student culture.
Both Holly Willoughby and Rylan Clark-Neal, who was co-presenting yesterday’s show, agreed that the Uni of York’s initiative is a great idea.
But Rylan then sparked controversy by following up with: ‘Should there not be a compulsory alcohol class that talks about how much you drink then? This is very much a two-way street.’
Hmm. Considering that ‘drinking’ culture is just one of the victim-shaming tactics that’s been brought to light during the Stanford case, this would have really hit a nerve.
And it did exactly that. Viewers flocked to social media to complain, and Ry was forced to speak out on his own account.
He tweeted: ‘I would just like to acknowledge something that I said during today’s @itvthismorning . I believe my comments have majorly been taken out…
‘…of context and if anyone was offended by what I said I do apologise but in no way to I condone any sexual abuse and I’m mortified that a…
‘Small handful of you got that impression. Apologies if anyone was offended. I was referring to an earlier case study we didn’t actually…
‘Touch on and have been very misinterpreted. Apologies if anyone offended. Have a lovely evening X’.