Former reality TV personality and BBC presenter Chris Hughes has received criticism from BBC for making improper remarks about Australian cricketer Maitlan Brown during a live interview. The incident happened on Tuesday, August 1, while The Hundred, a relatively recent cricket tournament in England, was being covered. Hughes interviewed Southern Brave player Maitlan Brown on the sidelines following her team's victory over Trent Rockets.
Brown was wicketless and scored just two runs in the match. Hughes referred to Brown as "a little Barbie" and described her as "blushing" after learning that her crew had seen the Barbie movie together as a form of team building. “We watched Barbie the other night altogether and it was really good team bonding and the group is gelling really well together. That is the key to success I think in tournaments like this, how well and how quickly you can gel as a group,” said Australian cricketer Maitlan Brown in the interview.
Chris Hughes replied, “You’re a little Barbie yourself, aren’t you, with your blue eyes.” As Brown laughed, the English host added, “She’s blushing now.” He received criticism for being impolite and misogynistic on social media after making such comments.
Watch the video here:
Some contrasted his remarks to Chris Gayle's, who in 2016 had on-air flirted with a female reporter. Others questioned the BBC's decision to employ Hughes, who has made appearances on Hunted and Love Island, to cover cricket. The BBC claimed to have spoken with Hughes and made clear why his remark was inappropriate. The company's representative stated, "We have spoken to Chris and explained that his comment was not appropriate."
Brown, the 26-year-old bowler from Taree, New South Wales, has represented Australia A and has previously been called up to the national team but has not yet represented her country on the international stage. Regarding Hughes' words, she has not made any public remarks.