Formula One to stop using grid girls amid #MeToo movement | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 31.01.2018
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Formula One to stop using grid girls amid #MeToo movement

Grid girls have long been a staple of Formula One but the sport's new owners have decided to end the practice, days after darts did the same with its walk-on girls. The concept has often been labeled as sexist.

Formula One will no longer use walk-on grid girls before races this season, after deciding the practice is old-fashioned amid the current debate over sexual harassment. 

"Over the last year we have looked at a number of areas which we felt needed updating so as to be more in tune with our vision for this great sport," Sean Bratches, Managing Director of Commercial Operations at Formula One, said in a statement.

"While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms. We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world."

Mexiko Formel 1 Grand Prix 2017 (picture alliance/empics/James Moy Photography)

Grid girls at the Mexican Grand Prix in October

Liberty Media's purchase of F1 was completed at the start of last year and the new owners have been trying to update the sport after it was controlled for decades by former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

They have been pushing the sport more on social media and have looked to garner a younger audience.

The decision to stop using grid girls comes days after the Professional Darts Corporation said it would no longer have women escorting male players to the stage.  

The new F1 season begins on March 25 with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

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