An example typical of men who use a cheeky chap image to get away with being handsy, AKA groping someone.
Mel B did a good job calling Louis Walsh out but did ITV subsequently hold Louis accountable for these actions – I doubt it. There is a commonality here with the “This Morning” scandal – on-screen talent is so cherished that unless there is a risk of scandal, the likes of ITV do nothing. So it never surprises me when on-screen talent doesn’t respect boundaries, as in the Xtra-Factor example above. I’m not being ‘PC’ here; it is obvious that Mel is not enjoying Louis’ treatment. He laughs off her objections and moves closer to her again; the subtext is, “Don’t be silly, we’re mates; I’m only having a bit of fun.” I find it creepy like discovering Santa is a flasher. And it’s one of the most common forms of sexual harassment, as men can get away with it by playing the cheeky chap card. It used to be called being handsy, touching intimate parts in a way that can be passed off as innocent. Mel isn’t enjoying it, and there is a power undercurrent here which Simon seems to support by telling Mel she is “Safe,” obviously, not from groping.
There are other forms of ‘innocent’ sexual harassment – there can be slightly off sexual and discriminatory jokes – to which the target will look uptight if they object. A male colleague enjoyed describing an actress he had worked with and fancied to a female colleague. She said he seemed to enjoy her discomfort and that it would be awkward for her to object and leave. He repeated this behaviour whenever they were alone.