A stand-in broadcaster on a popular New Zealand morning TV show was accidentally outed this morning during a live broadcast.
Watching the footage of the show (also broadcast on radio), it’s impossible not to feel sympathy for him that his decision when to publicly come out was taken out of his hands.
The incident happened on broadcaster Three’s The AM Show. Ryan Bridge was filling in for regular host Duncan Garner. Bridge was talking on-air with sports reporter Mark Richardson and news anchor Amanda Gillies.
The topic was collectors items, and the hosts invited viewers to let them know if they collected anything unusual.
Richardson and Gillies asked Bridge if he collected anything. When he didn’t come up with anything, Richardson quipped, “ex-boyfriends?”
Bridge is visibly taken back by the ‘joke’. You can watch the whole exchange via Stuff.
After struggling to come up with a response, an uncomfortable-looking Bridge says, “Yes, it’s true, I’m gay. There we go, it’s out there.”
Shortly later, Bridge again addressed what had happened.
“If you caught what was said before on the show … it’s not something I’ve tried to hide. It’s something all my friends and family have known about for a very long time. The reason I haven’t chosen to share it with you at home, with listeners on my radio show, it’s just that, I don’t know, it’s not that interesting really, is it?
“And it’s my private business and my life and not something I have necessarily tried to hide, but it’s not something I’ve really bothered or cared to share with the world.”
He revealed he’d already received messages of support from viewers. He went on to say his co-host didn’t intend any malice.
“Mark didn’t do this on purpose. It wasn’t like he was being mean or he was trying to get me to say something I didn’t want to say. That was an innocent, honest mistake.”
Co-host Richardson then apologized.
“In three years of doing this job, this is as bad as I’ve ever felt. I say a lot of stuff on this show, and I mean it, and some of it walks the line. I just want to say I’m sorry.
“It’s because obviously, I love you so much as a person. Just me being a smartass and trying to poke fun at you for a comedic moment on the show has led to this, and I’m dreadfully sorry.”
Bridge concludes by saying his co-host has nothing to apologize over: “These things happen. It’s live television.”