A Kiwi comedian is in hot water with cricket fans around the world after she tweeted a screenshot of a vulgar, sexually explicit message which appeared to have been sent to her unprompted.
Melanie Bracewell said the message had been sent to her by someone from the Reddit cricket community. But she later admitted it was sent after she had encouraged people to send in erotic cricket stories to the Alternative Commentary Collective.
The 2018 Billy T Award winner was in the commentary box with the collective when she tweeted.
The online response to the comedian's admission was scathing.
"Lying about sexual harassment isn't a joke", wrote one.
Another wrote: "When people make up stories like this, it becomes ammo for mysoginists and apologizes [sic] in future".
Bracewell posted an apology to Reddit, but users challenged her to do the same on Twitter — where she has since deleted her account.
Bracewell couldn't be reached today.
In the original post she wrote, "Oh my God I commented on the cricket subreddit and got this private message my lord (nsfw)???????".
The fake message then goes into detail about a fantasy involving sex in a bar toilet as the Black Caps triumph in their semi-final against India.
In her apology to the Reddit community, Bracewell wrote that she "seriously did not expect this to blow up the way it did".
"I'm a comedian and I was commentating on the ACC (Alternative Commentary Collective) at the time. We made jokes about some weird texts we got on the text line of cricket horndogs.
"Thought it would be funny to post something to prompt some more erotic fanfiction on the show (very on theme for the commentary)."
After it ended up being "far more intense and hilarious" than she expected she decided to put it on social media.
"[I] thought it was funnier to imply it was out of the blue (honestly quite drunk and sleep deprived), hence why I blacked out the name, honestly didnt even think about the culture of the cricket subreddit or bringing the community into disrepute.
"Genuinely was just a laugh. But I'd like to genuinely apologise. I didnt think it through properly and it's not something I'd do again."
According to her LinkedIn, Bracewell has appeared as a panellist on 7 Days, hosts weekend shows on Radio Hauraki (owned by Herald parent company NZME) and is a writer for TV shows on Three and TVNZ.