A particularly heinous video posted on YouTube in December 2014 has recently resurfaced, one which shows former Spice Girl Mel B getting groped by her fellow X Factor judge, Louis Walsh, during a live interview. The video has racked up just under two million views in less than a week, and Twitter is retroactively coming to Mel B’s defense.
In the video, Mel B (whose real name is Melanie Brown), Walsh, and fellow judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole, are being interviewed about the 2014 The X Factor season. Mid-conversation, Walsh slides his hand behind Mel B and obviously gropes her.
The interviewer, Sarah-Jane Crawford, laughs and orders Walsh to keep his hands where she can see them. Cowell (condescendingly) tells Mel that she’s “safe.” The entire thing gets turned into a joke faster than Mel B can finish saying the word “inappropriate.”
Walsh suffered no repercussions for this incident of blatant unwanted sexual harassment and it was promptly forgotten by X Factor fans — until now.
Since the onset of the #MeToo movement, instances of sexual misconduct that had previously been overlooked are now being reexamined with fresh eyes. Survivors and advocates are rightfully unafraid to call out people in power for their wrongdoings. And Twitter is not holding back when it comes to this latest instance.
Many have theorized that Walsh avoided criticism for his actions because he’s a gay man. However, sexual harassment and unwanted touching is never okay.
Neither Walsh nor Mel B have commented on the video’s revival, but we think Mel B deserves an apology — at the very least.