GhomeshiGate – Did CBC Permit A Culture of Sexual Harassment and Entitlement?

To date nine women have accused former CBC star, Jian Ghomeshi, of alleged sexual harassment and physical and mental abuse, occurring before, during and after sexual encounters. Two of these women were former employees of CBC.

(No charges have been laid and accordingly, none of these allegations have been proven in court).Of these nine women, two women have gone public with their experiences of allegedly being physically beaten and/or sexually assaulted by Ghomeshi. One such woman is Lucy DeCoutere, an actress on a popular Canadian film and television comedy, ‘Trailer Park Boys’.

As of this writing, according to the Toronto Star,  three of these nine women have filed complaints with the police in connection with these allegations of physical abuse and/or sexual harassment.

I believe that CBC is in serious trouble because it is being alleged by the National Post and Toronto Sun, that CBC managers and staff must have known about Ghomeshi’s unacceptable conduct towards young CBC women staffers and his apparent attempt to use his powerful CBC position to pursue his personal sexual conquests.  And by turning a blind eye to Ghomeshi, CBC has to take some responsibility for permitting a culture of sexual harassment and sexual entitlement to emerge around CBC’s golden boy.

The following are two allegations, as reported in The Toronto Star and National Post, which if proven true,  may seriously impair CBC’s image and reputation and force a serious restructuring of CBC.

Ghomeshi’s lurid life, including accounts of his hitting and choking dates during sex

According to one of “Q”’s female producers in 2007, when she had first accepted a job at “Q”,  Ghomeshi’s popular CBC’s   late morning entertainment/cultural radio show,  she had heard of Ghomeshi’s lurid life, including accounts of his hitting and choking dates during sex.

Notwithstanding, she accepted a job at “Q”. She alleged that Ghomeshi had created an environment of tyranny. No one stood up to him and everyone enabled his behavior. Specifically, she revealed to a CBC manager and “Q”’s executive producer, Arif Noorani, in 2010, that Ghomeshi told her that he wanted “to hate f…k her, grudge f…k her and he had groped her buttocks.”

Noorani’s response was to ignore this behavior and in effect blame the victim. This woman stated that Noorani stated that Ghomeshi was never going to change and that this woman should try to make this environment less toxic.

This woman concluded that Ghomeshi was too huge and powerful and no one at CBC wanted to take him on or rock the boat.

In another instance, in 2012,  a 20 something CBC producer met Ghomeshi in Montreal on one of his book signings.

After expressing an interest in working at “Q”, Khomeshi allegedly lured her back to his hotel room on the pretense of needing to remove his contact lens. Back at his hotel room, Khomeshi threw her roughly against the wall and kissed and fondled her forcefully. She admitted that she fellated him just to get out the hotel room.

Ghomeshi promised her an interview with his executive producer for a job at “ Q”. The producer did take a meeting with Ghomeshi and her executive producer, but then never pursued this rather distasteful CBC opportunity.

Ghomeshi apparently used his CBC role to pursue his sexual conquests and disturbing sexual behavior

In another instance, the Globe and Mail reported than one of “Q”’s key producers and directors, Matt Tunnacliffe, admitted that they had a code word for female guests whom they suspected had slept with Ghomeshi. This is further evidence that Ghomeshi apparently used his CBC role to pursue his sexual conquests and disturbing sexual behavior. And apparently with the knowledge of many “Q” staff.

In Monday’s Toronto Star, a female University of Western Ontario journalism graduate has come forward and alleged that in 2012, after a “Q” taping in the downtown Toronto studio,  while alone with Ghomeshi, he improperly hugged her and then as she was leaving, she alleged that Ghomeshi came up behind her, grabbed her waist and pressed himself against her backside. He then texted her and suggested to this Western student that he was not interested in a personal friendship, clearly implying that any future meeting would be for sex.

This Western student reported this matter to the Western journalism department and this department has since forbade its students from interning at “Q”.

In last Sunday’s Toronto Star, very well-respected writer, journalist and broadcaster and recently nominated for Governor General’s Award, Noah Richler, wrote that he too had heard rumours of Ghomeshi’s “penchant for a choke hold”. And Richler wrote that he would never permit his daughters in the same room as Ghomeshi.

Clearly, Ghomeshi’s alleged disturbing and physically violent sexual conduct was known both within and without CBC.

So CBC’s classic Sargent Schultz defence, “ I know nothing. I see nothing.”  Does not fly.

CBC culture of sexual harassment and sexual entitlement

Evidence is piling up that CBC knew about Ghomeshi’s unacceptable treatment to women both within and without CBC and it did nothing about it. In fact, CBC apparently enabled this conduct. It did not want to kill one of the few golden CBC geese laying the golden eggs.

For me, CBC has lost all credibility.

It appears that many CBC staffers are directly or indirectly involved in this disgusting Ghomeshi affair.

The Ghomeshi scandal is to CBC what the sponsorship scandal was to the Federal Liberal Party in the early 2000s.

The only way to repair CBC tarnished image and reputation is for CBC to turn over this matter to an objective and impartial judicial inquiry, a la the Gomery Commission. With serious legal power to subpoena and compel witnesses and provide judicial protection to the many people who have been adversely affected by Ghomeshi and his CBC enablers. The objective is to bring all wrongdoers to account and thoroughly eradicate this CBC culture of sexual harassment and sexual entitlement.

Otherwise CBC will continue to rightfully lose public, political and financial support from the Canadian people.

The ball is in your court, so to speak, CBC. Tempus fugit. Because the Canadian public is rapidly losing all confidence and trust in the CBC.

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