Philip L. Redo, general manager of WGBH News, Wednesday sent a letter of complaint to Boston City Councilor and mayoral candidate Tito Jackson about his encounter with a WGBH News reporter at a community meeting Tuesday night in Roxbury.
The reporter was asking Jackson about his past work as a pharmaceutical sales representative when he grasped the reporter's forearm and pushed it aside, before releasing her. He then answered the question, concluding the brief interview.
Jackson initially maintained he had “guided the reporter’s microphone away from my face,” according to a statement an aide emailed to WGBH early Wednesday morning.
Redo sent Jackson a letter Wednesday afternoon.
“You engaged in physical contact with our reporter during a one-on-one interview. We stand by our reporter’s account that you grasped her forearm, pushed it aside and then removed your hand,” Redo wrote. “It is unacceptable conduct to engage with a member of the press physically–in any manner.”
After receiving the letter, Jackson phoned a WGBH editor and apologized.
“I’m sorry... I never want anyone to feel that way... I apologize,” Jackson said. “I really respect the long-term relationship with the station and I should have picked up the phone and apologized from the get-go.”
Jackson also spoke to the reporter by phone and apologized.