Did Fox News personality Jesse Watters make a lewd comment and gesture about Ivanka Trump on his show Tuesday night? Social media users and headlines today suggest Watters was alluding to the microphone Ivanka Trump was holding as a phallic symbol? Watters was accused of doing this on The Five after he and his co-hosts watched a clip of the first daughter on the show. Scores of social media users who didn’t like the direction of Watters’ joke let it be known almost immediately.
What Jesse said about Ivanka could have meant something altogether different than what he is being accused of. Watters is insisting that his comment was not a sexual innuendo of any type. He explains that there is a backstory along with this comment, which keeps it in context.
As The Hill suggests, Fox News is in the aftermath of a storm that started with Roger Ailes and continues with the recent dismissal of Bill O’Reilly, over a “slew of sexual harassment charges.” Because the folks at Fox are still in their damage control mode over the Ailes and now O’Reilly debacle, if anyone has the right to be gun-shy, it is probably the Fox News channel today.
Not only is Watters heading out on a sudden vacation, but he has a lot of folks angry at him today. According to The Hollywood Reporter Watters is under a tremendous amount of fire for what many believe was a “lewd” statement on his part directed at Ivanka Trump. Anyone who has followed Watters knows this guy seriously doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. They also know he has a professional friendship with Donald Trump and has shown nothing but complete respect for him and his family. So what was Watters thinking?
Watters made this comment after only a few nights into his new prime -time slot for his show The Five. Jesse watched a clip of Ivanka Trump discussing women’s’ rights while she was on a panel in Germany. The clip of Ivanka on this German panel was shown on Tuesday night’s show, and Watters watched it along with his co-hosts and the audience. The treatment of Ivanka by the audience was a topic of conversation that Jesse and his co-hosts were discussing. On the clip, you can see that Ivanka was booed and hissed while on that panel. Watters came to Ivanka’s defense by saying the following.
“It’s funny. The left says they really respect women and then when given an opportunity to respect a woman like that they boo and hiss … so I don’t really get what’s going on here.”
That was all well and fine, until he came up with this quip, along with a gesture in his next breath.
“…but I really liked how she was speaking into that microphone.”
Watters said this while gesturing with his hands, bringing them towards his mouth as if he were holding a microphone himself. He then grinned at his co-hosts on The Five. You can see the clip from Fox News, posted in the YouTube video below.
A storm of outrage was seen in the complaints posted across the social media sites following Jesse’s comment on Tuesday night. Then on Wednesday morning, Watters was adamant that his comment was not meant to sound sexual in nature. He claims he was commenting on the low and steady sound of Ivanka’s voice, which reminds him of a “smooth jazz radio DJ.”
Watters explained that the comment came on the heels of a discussion he was having with his co-hosts while they were off the air on a break. It was a conversation that the audience at home was not privy to. “This was in no way a joke about anything else, ” Watters said.
In his own words Watters explained;
“During the break we were commenting on Ivanka’s voice and how it was low and steady and resonates like a smooth jazz radio DJ. This was in no way a joke about anything else.”
Was the backlash too much for Fox on the heels of Ailes and O’Reilly? It leaves one to wonder if this is why Jesse is going on a sudden vacation. On Wednesday night’s show, Watters announced that he would be taking a short vacation from Fox. Uprox suggests “Watters undoubtedly wants people to believe that his vacation was voluntary, but it truly feels like the Murdochs are putting their foot down. A man making teenage-like BJ remarks on air just won’t fly anymore.”
Watters’ comment, along with the gesture that he made with his hands, might have been misconstrued into a sexual innuendo because there was no backstory prior his actions. According to Jesse, his comment was taken out of context, but it was a context that the viewers weren’t privy to see. The comments online weren’t all anti-Watters, as some fans believe this doesn’t sound like the Jesse Watters they follow, they too believe his comment was taken out of context.
With that said it is hard to believe that Watters would attempt any type of sexual joke aimed at Ivanka Trump. He is very friendly with Donald Trump, and he appears extremely respectful to both the president and his family. Some took to social media to convey that Jesse would never put Ivanka in that light, as seen in the Facebook post below.
Waters, who is a family man himself, hasn’t shown any type of inappropriate behavior on Fox, so it really isn’t his MO. With Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly gone, the top spots at Fox now seem to go to Carlson Tucker, who took over Bill O’Reilly’s spot and Jesse Watters. Watters has gained massive attention and popularity for his entertaining ways of reporting on Fox, especially with his segment Watters’ World. According to the Hill,Donald Trump follows both Jesse Watters and Tucker Carlson from Fox News on Twitter.
Seeing Watters’ interaction with Donald Trump on a Fox News video when Jesse scored an interview with the president a few months back, you could see that he respects Trump and that they appear to enjoy each other’s company. One could only imagine that Jesse would feel mortified now that people took his comment and gesture to be lewd and aimed at Ivanka.
Carlson and Watters are the new generation at Fox News, with Carlson pulling in comparable viewer numbers to O’Reilly already on his show, according to Deadline News. Watters, who basically started out on Fox doing a little blurb on O’Reilly’s show, is a rising star at the cable news channel. Seeing Jesse in action in the past and knowing the respect he holds for the entire Trump family makes it much easier to believe that his comment was not meant in the way many took it. He more than likely fell victim after bringing a private conversation between his co-workers and himself onto the air without first disclosing the full backstory so the comment could be kept in context.
[Featured Image by Markus Schreiber/AP Images]