Ghomeshi's Acquittal

Photo via  CBC

Photo via CBC

Yesterday, former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted in one of two sexual assault cases that have been leveled against him. I’ve written about him previously, but for anyone not aware, Ghomeshi was not fired by the CBC for the alleged assaults against him. He was fired for harassment (sexual and otherwise) and bullying at work, which was validated by an independent investigation conducted by Janice Rubin. In her report, Rubin highlighted a “host centric culture” where Ghomeshi, and possibly other hosts, were able to abuse others with impunity. In fact, the report concluded that “CBC management condoned [Ghomeshi’s] behavior.”

To date, the CBC has not taken similar action against any of their other hosts. Ghomeshi may well fight his termination legally, and he could successfully argue that the real reason he was fired was the negative publicity regarding his sexual assault charges, rather than his behavior at work – behavior that other hosts have echoed before him and may well be continuing at this time.

The CBC would be wise to dust off Rubin’s report and take action against other hosts implicated in the report, in an attempt to avoid any successful attempts by Ghomeshi to challenge them. This would be a tragic outcome for those he abused at work.

Check out my previous blog posts on Ghomeshi for more commentary: 

Comparing Entertainment Scandals Through Time

The more I learn about the BBC sex abuse scandal, the more I am reminded of the 2014 CBC Jian Ghomeshi scandal, which I’ve written about before. Both cases involve sex abuse, fame and what appears to be willful ignorance on the part of upper management. The practice of allowing star employees are allowed to harass others with impunity is a horrible tendency that some workplace cultures seem to be taking on in the entertainment industry. The only true substantive difference between these two cases is the time in which they took place – Saville’s abuses happened decades ago, while Ghomeshi’s are more recent. This is an ongoing problem that entertainment industry leaders cannot ignore, and need to take a firmer stand against. Read more on the Saville case at the New York Times.

Top Fear – Would Jeremy Clarkson’s workplace bullying have been tolerated at the CBC?

BBC’s Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson was let go due to workplace bullying. In Canada, a similar situation with CBC host Jian Ghomeshi was dealt with in a very different way. How does the BBC’s response to workplace bullying compare to the CBC’s?