Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - TV anchor Meas says he was ‘just joking’ in rape remark

TV anchor Meas says he was ‘just joking’ in rape remark

Hang Meas TV Deputy Director General Meas Rithy yesterday offers what women’s rights advocates called an insincere apology for inflammatory comments on rape that caused a social media uproar. Photo supplied
Hang Meas TV Deputy Director General Meas Rithy yesterday offers what women’s rights advocates called an insincere apology for inflammatory comments on rape that caused a social media uproar. Photo supplied

TV anchor Meas says he was ‘just joking’ in rape remark

A local TV presenter under fire for comments he made on the air instructing rape victims to give in to assault rather than to fight their attackers yesterday offered an apology of sorts, saying he was only joking when he made the suggestion and intended for it to be “educational”.

Meas Rithy, who hosts Hang Meas TV’s popular morning show and is the deputy director general of the station, was criticised by women’s rights advocates for saying last week that women should not resist rape, advising them instead to just “let them rape you”, while commenting on the sexual assault and murder of an 18-year-old woman in Svay Rieng province.

Addressing outrage on social media, the presenter said he would apologise on air if he had hurt the feelings of women with his comments. In his on-air apology yesterday he said his comments were meant to educate women and had been said in jest, and that he did not mean that women should submit themselves to rape.

“We don’t really mean all women when they get raped that they need to be soft. I already said that I am just joking,” he said on the show.

Rithy also addressed suggestions made by his co-host, Ros Sotheavy, that women should not hire taxis alone but should instead use public transportation for their safety. He said he was only asking women to be careful and find a driver they trusted, and that they were speaking with “good intentions”.

Meas Rithy, a news anchor for Hang Meas TV, seen hosting the show where he made misogynistic comments about rape that caused a social media uproar. Photo supplied
Meas Rithy, a news anchor for Hang Meas TV, seen hosting the show where he made misogynistic comments about rape that caused a social media uproar. Photo supplied

Rithy couldn’t be reached yesterday. His comments follow the implementation in July of a code of conduct – signed by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Ministry of Information – for reporting on violence against women, which explicitly prevents victim shaming.

Women’s rights advocates yesterday were not placated by his apology, saying it was insincere.

Bun Rachana, who works at ActionAid, said the apology was riddled with excuses, and she was unable to comprehend how a brutal rape could be the subject of a joke.

“I just don’t understand what kind of joke is it when a person is murdered in a cruel way,” she said yesterday.

Rachana had started an online petition last week asking for both presenters to tender apologies for the comments and for Hang Meas to ensure that its reporters were sensitised to reporting on women’s issues, adding that she would send it to the station and to the Information Ministry.

Ros Sopheap, from Gender and Development for Cambodia, said his apology was meaningless.

“It really shows his understanding about women is very limited,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

    Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them. Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway