Allegations of violent sexual conduct of the former host of the CBC Radio show Q, Jian Ghomeshi, have raised questions about the standard of morality in place at the national broadcaster.
Mr. Ghomeshi has hosted Q since 2007 and is among the CBC’s most popular on-air personalities. Q is also syndicated in the United States on 180 Public Radio International stations, making its host a valuable asset to the CBC.
Perhaps this might account for why his alleged predilection for violent sex has so long been the subject of gossip, yet only recently have the allegations risen to the level that they cost him his job. Are the CBC movers and shakers guilty of wilful ignorance? Did consideration of the health of its bottom line dissuade the broadcaster from digging deeper when they heard nasty rumours or following up on the complaint of, at least, one former employee of the show?
Consider for a moment what the CBC’s brass would have done if there were rumours of a popular radio host making racial slurs—using the N-word, for instance—at a social gathering. My guess is they’d never have let such an incident pass without some follow up, some consequences. I may be wrong, of course, but what we say seems to carry heavier consequences than what we do—especially if we are famous and influential.
As to excuses that such actions were consensual. Can a women—or any human being—really give informed consent to be physically abused, especially when being slapped and punched in the side of the head and being choked or when the abuse amounts to rape by another name?
Doesn’t your skin crawl when you hear the allegations of abuse by an increasing number of women and then read in the Globe and Mail that Mr. Ghomeshi admits “he participates in ‘adventurous’ sexual practices but denied he had ever done so without consent”?
Granted, none of the allegations against Mr. Ghomeshi from the women who have spoken with the media have been proven in court. Regardless, management at the CBC must have known something wrong was going on.
According to the Toronto Star:
Journalism students at the University of Western Ontario were cautioned against pursuing internships at Jian Ghomeshi’s popular CBC radio show Q due to concerns about ‘inappropriate’ behaviour toward young women by the now-fired host, according to a former student at the school and a journalism professor.”
So, wilful ignorance on the part of the CBC or a massive case of tone deafness to rumours that had spread as far afield as London, Ontario? I believe it’s the former, but you decide for yourselves.