Cold water poured on 'hot girl' commentators

November, 28/2022 - 08:52
Good-looking or not, a journalist or presenter picked to appear on camera still has a responsibility to educate, entertain and inform the viewer in an intelligent and knowledgeable fashion.
Hot girl commentators were also used by VTV during the 2018 World Cup. Photo VTV 

Paul Kennedy

There’s a reason my TV career was pretty short-lived. To put it bluntly, I have the perfect face for radio. Sure, I did appear on screen from time to time, but it was clear my talents were more suited ‘behind the camera’.

During the time I spent working for a television news organisation in the Caribbean, I learned a lot of important lessons. And I’m sorry to say, there is a simple rule. Ugly people don’t look good on camera.

But whose fault is that? Are shallow producers to blame for only choosing aesthetically pleasing hosts? Or is it the viewing public, who don’t want to wake up to Freddie Krueger reading the news? I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Good-looking or not, a journalist or presenter picked to appear on camera still has a responsibility to educate, entertain and inform the viewer in an intelligent and knowledgeable fashion.

The balance has to be correct.

Sadly, during their World Cup coverage, it seems one Vietnamese broadcaster got that balance wrong, much to the annoyance of the viewing public.

VTV came up with the unusual tactic of having a ‘hot girl’ commentator represent each team of the 32 countries for their coverage. It backfired in a major way.

If this was their way of including more women on screen, then surely a better collective noun for the group was needed. Describing them as 'hot girls' isn’t exactly #METOO.

One of them mixed up England with Chelsea when she declared: “Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling helped Chelsea FC up their game.”

Another was a little flummoxed with two Asian teams and wrongly identified Japan as South Korea, sending viewers into a rage.

At the back end of last week, VTV decided to pull the plug on their hot girl segment and instead replace this bevy of beauties with more established pundits. Ones, you’d hope, will be able to at least know which team is playing.

This move has been welcomed by viewers, who praised the broadcaster for recognising the error of their ways.

But in the midst of all this furor, I do find myself feeling a little sorry for the 32 hosts who have been unceremoniously dumped from their positions.

I’m sure many of them would have been pretty excited to be given the opportunity, and exposure, to further their careers.

Instead, they have become somewhat of a laughingstock.

Paul Kennedy has the perfect face for radio.

We all make mistakes in life, and in our jobs, and if you were to look on YouTube, you’d find clip after clip after clip of TV hosts getting it wrong.

So what lessons have we learned from this? Ten years ago, major sports broadcasts were very much male-dominated.

That’s changed in a major way, and as a regular watcher of English Premier League football, there’s clearly been a shift in direction, and more and more female commentators and ex-professionals are appearing on screen.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and their opinions are just as valid as the ones of male hosts, but as long as they get it right.

It’s highly unlikely the 32 ‘hot girl hosts’ chosen by VTV will be returning to our screens anytime soon and it’s good to see VTV have chosen some former female Vietnamese players to fill their shoes.

As for the 'hot girls' themselves, if they do get a similar opportunity in the future they need to spend as much time brushing up on their footballing knowledge as they do brushing their hair. VNS

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