Love Island star slammed for inappropriate 'Barbie' comment to cricketer, BBC release statement
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Love Island contestant turned cricket presenter Chris Hughes has landed in hot water following his 'inappropriate' comment to cricketer Maitlan Brown.
Hughes, who first found fame on the reality TV show, was drafted in by the BBC to cover the professional franchise 100-ball cricket tournament.
The opening fixture took place at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge between Trent Rockets and Southern Brave, whose men's and women's teams played a double-header.
During the action, Hughes interviewed Southern Brave's Maitlan Brown on the pitch, but his comments created a significant backlash on social media. You can watch the footage below.
Brown was asked how her team had bonded before the contest got underway.
“We watched Barbie the other night all together and it was really good team bonding,” the Australian replied. “The group is gelling really well together.”
Hughes then replied: “You’re a little Barbie yourself, aren’t you, with your blue eyes.”
Brown chuckles, as Hughes added: “She’s blushing now.”
Twitter was quick to react to his comments, deeming them belittling and unprofessional towards a hugely successful all-rounder.
One user wrote: “Had to rewind to check I’d heard it right. Took a while to go back a few decades but yep, there it was.”
Another added: “Proper grim this…. How cringey and creepy. No need or call for it.”
Whilst a third wrote: “Yikes. Really thought we were well past interviews like this.”
The BBC have since released a statement condemning Hughes' comments.
A spokesperson for the BBC said: "We have spoken to Chris and explained that his comment was not appropriate."
Indeed, Brown, a fast bowler by trade, is far from just a 'barbie', signing for Southern Brave for £18,750 in the first-ever women’s The Hundred draft.
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old plays for the New South Wales Breakers in the Women's National Cricket League, and for the Sydney Sixers in the Women's Big Bash League.