As Paulina Gretzky walked up a staircase at the U.S. Open, Fox News cameras were trailing closely behind. A little too closely, say some. The network is now being blasted for filming the 27-year-old’s rear end as she navigated the steps while wearing a skintight micro-minidress on a live broadcast yesterday.
Off to celebrate her golf-pro fiancé Dustin Johnson’s career-defining win that day, Gretsky was headed with Johnson and their baby son to the nearby Oakmont Country Club. The daughter of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky was clearly trying to prevent a wardrobe malfunction as she clung to the hem of her skirt, making sure it didn’t ride up as she walked. But cameras seemed to be focused on her behind, as if waiting for a slip-up.
That’s when Twitter exploded. Viewers were divided, either vehemently against the leering move or defending the network’s right to film Gretzky this way. After all, they suggested, Gretzky posts far more provocative images of herself on her own Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Gretzky’s defenders were vocal.
— Angelia N. Levy (@angelialevy)June 20, 2016
Whos more pissed off right now - wayne gretzky or the cameramans wife? #paulinagretzky— Ritchie Keister (@RitchieKeister)June 20, 2016
Her dissenters were perhaps even more vocal.
— Brenda New (@Brenda1972)June 20, 2016
And, of course, the video and screenshots of Gretzky struggling to cover up invited more than their fair share of objectification.
— Craig sooty Lord (@craigsooty)June 21, 2016
The divisive scandal brings up a very important issue, especially in the era of social media: consent. If Gretzky posts sexy images to the Internet on her own, does that make it OK for anyone else to capture and post images of her for the world to see — especially without asking her permission first? Does that make it OK for a cameraman to zero in on her derriére on national TV?
Yahoo Beauty reached Dominic Crossley, a partner on the privacy and media team at law firm Payne Hicks Beach, for comment on Gretzky’s legal rights in a case like this. “The Hulk Hogan/Gawker case demonstrates that a significant liability can exist,” said Crossley. “Ms. Gretzky would have to seek U.S. privacy protection that is favorable to publishers and broadcasters. Factors that are likely to be relevant in both jurisdictions are consent and whether she had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the context of these images and previous images she has provided for publication.”
Whether or not Gretzky will pursue legal action remains to be seen, and she has not publicly commented on the situation, but for now, she has made a statement by deleting her racy Twitter account.