U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Boston reporter grabbed from behind while on camera

Incident Details

Date of Incident
November 18, 2023


Was the journalist targeted?
November 18, 2023

WHDH-TV reporter Grant Hermes was grabbed from behind by a passerby while setting up for a live shot outside the TD Garden arena in Boston, Massachusetts, on Nov. 18, 2023.

Hermes, who was preparing to report on a hockey game inside the arena, shared a video on Instagram of the assault. In the video, a man approaches him from behind as Hermes stands in front of the TV camera, shouts “Yeah, boy! Whoo!” and grabs Hermes around the shoulders. Hermes shakes the man off and chases him out of frame.

Hermes wrote in a comment that accompanied the video that he and his photographer were fine after the incident. “But I wanna be clear how not ok this is,” he wrote, adding, “The people you see on TV are at work, at a job where people make threats at us regularly. So we don’t know when you yell at us, run into our live shots or grab us, we don’t know what you’re there to do.”

Hermes told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker by email that he didn’t know what the man was going to do next. “Thankfully he just ran off,” Hermes said.

“Our job can come with inherent dangers because we need to be where the news happens and it’s a privilege to be in those places,” Hermes said. “But a routine live shot isn’t what we should mean when we talk about danger.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].