Sunday, October 26, 2014

What's the real story? Jian Ghomeshi gets fired from CBC (Developing)

What's going on with Jian Ghomeshi? That was the question across the country this morning when CBC announced that they had parted ways with the popular host of "The Q".

Earlier this month Jian's father passed away and on Friday Ghomeshi told his audience that he was taking some 'much needed personal time' away from the show...one would assume it was because of his family, but maybe not.

This morning CBC dropped the bomb - Jian was done.

"The CBC is saddened to announce its relationship with Jian Ghomeshi has come to an end. This decision was not made without serious deliberation and careful consideration. Jian has made an immense contribution to the CBC and we wish him well...Information came to our attention recently that in CBC's judgment precludes us from continuing our relationship with Jian...Whenever a decision is made to end a relationship with an employee, terms of separation are never disclosed."

This was all from a statement made by CBC on Sunday morning.

It was clear that Jian got fired from the show, but what did he do? Must have been something major for the network to fire him. Besides Peter Mansbridge (Mansbridge Nation represent), Jian is arguably one of the most popular people in the CBC family.

The Internet went crazy with speculation as to why. Most of the things I read leaned towards it being a sexual issue. Abuse, harassment...just being a creepy to multiple woman.

Jesse Brown, an online media critic also tweeted, "What I have learned about @jianghomeshi after months of investigation will be reported responsibly as soon as possible. Patience please."

There was only speculation. Did he get fired? What did he do?

Then a release came out stating that Ghomeshi was suing CBC for $55 million in damages and that he would like to be reinstated.

(Side Note: As a 'public broadcaster' he is basically suing all of us...just sayin. And that is roughly half of the corporations total budget - which we all know gets slashed all the time.)

Anyways...so he got fired, but what for?

Later in the afternoon Jian released a post on Facebook that claimed he had been dismissed from the CBC after coming forward with information to his superiors that he had a kinky, consensual sex life with an ex girlfriend. And that's why they fired him.

"I’ve been fired from the CBC because of the risk of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex girlfriend and a freelance writer." (Read the full statement after the jump).

The Internet went crazy once again. It seems the post (which was made after Ghomeshi hired a PR firm to assist in his crisis, which makes one assume that he posted it with their council) had done its job.

"Jian got fired for being kinky? Really? In 2014?" was one of many tweets made in defense of the host.

The "report" from Jesse Brown has yet to come out, and there has yet to be any word from the other side of what the full accusation is. I suggest we all put down the gasoline and step way from the CBC until we hear the other side. There's always another one.

Update: Monday October 27, 2014

The Toronto Star has released a story that states that three girls claim that he assaulted him and another that he was sexually inappropriate at work.

None of the woman are named, as the Star says, for fear of public repercussions. None of the woman filed police reports either, which seems to be a point of contention with those who don't believe them. Statistically speaking, there is a large number of people who never report sexual abuse, so it shouldn't be too surprising.

The Star article stated the following about their coverage...
"...Over the past few months the Star has approached Ghomeshi with allegations from three young women, all about 20 years his junior, who say he was physically violent to them without their consent during sexual encounters or in the lead-up to sexual encounters. Ghomeshi, through his lawyer, has said he “does not engage in non-consensual role play or sex and any suggestion of the contrary is defamatory.” (Read the full story here).
Jesse Brown put out a podcast about the situation where he basically stated he didn't have liable insurance so he couldn't say anything, but that he had worked with the Star to get the story out.

There is now a public divide - those who believe the Star's story, and those who believe Jian's.

More to come...




From Jian Gomeshi's Facebook page:

Dear everyone,

I am writing today because I want you to be the first to know some news.

This has been the hardest time of my life. I am reeling from the loss of my father. I am in deep personal pain and worried about my mom. And now my world has been rocked by so much more.

Today, I was fired from the CBC.

For almost 8 years I have been the host of a show I co-created on CBC called Q. It has been my pride and joy. My fantastic team on Q are super-talented and have helped build something beautiful.

I have always operated on the principle of doing my best to maintain a dignity and a commitment to openness and truth, both on and off the air. I have conducted major interviews, supported Canadian talent, and spoken out loudly in my audio essays about ideas, issues, and my love for this country. All of that is available for anyone to hear or watch. I have known, of course, that not everyone always agrees with my opinions or my style, but I've never been anything but honest. I have doggedly defended the CBC and embraced public broadcasting. This is a brand I’ve been honoured to help grow.

All this has now changed.

Today I was fired from the company where I've been working for almost 14 years – stripped from my show, barred from the building and separated from my colleagues. I was given the choice to walk away quietly and to publicly suggest that this was my decision. But I am not going to do that. Because that would be untrue. Because I’ve been fired. And because I've done nothing wrong.

I’ve been fired from the CBC because of the risk of my private sex life being made public as a result of a campaign of false allegations pursued by a jilted ex girlfriend and a freelance writer.

As friends and family of mine, you are owed the truth.

I have commenced legal proceedings against the CBC, what’s important to me is that you know what happened and why.

Forgive me if what follows may be shocking to some.

I have always been interested in a variety of activities in the bedroom but I only participate in sexual practices that are mutually agreed upon, consensual, and exciting for both partners.

About two years ago I started seeing a woman in her late 20s. Our relationship was affectionate, casual and passionate. We saw each other on and off over the period of a year and began engaging in adventurous forms of sex that included role-play, dominance and submission. We discussed our interests at length before engaging in rough sex (forms of BDSM). We talked about using safe words and regularly checked in with each other about our comfort levels. She encouraged our role-play and often was the initiator. We joked about our relations being like a mild form of Fifty Shades of Grey or a story from Lynn Coady's Giller-Prize winning book last year. I don’t wish to get into any more detail because it is truly not anyone's business what two consenting adults do. I have never discussed my private life before. Sexual preferences are a human right.

Despite a strong connection between us it became clear to me that our on-and-off dating was unlikely to grow into a larger relationship and I ended things in the beginning of this year. She was upset by this and sent me messages indicating her disappointment that I would not commit to more, and her anger that I was seeing others.

After this, in the early spring there began a campaign of harassment, vengeance and demonization against me that would lead to months of anxiety.

It came to light that a woman had begun anonymously reaching out to people that I had dated (via Facebook) to tell them she had been a victim of abusive relations with me. In other words, someone was reframing what had been an ongoing consensual relationship as something nefarious. I learned – through one of my friends who got in contact with this person – that someone had rifled through my phone on one occasion and taken down the names of any woman I had seemed to have been dating in recent years. This person had begun methodically contacting them to try to build a story against me. Increasingly, female friends and ex-girlfriends of mine told me about these attempts to smear me.

Someone also began colluding with a freelance writer who was known not to be a fan of mine and, together, they set out to try to find corroborators to build a case to defame me. She found some sympathetic ears by painting herself as a victim and turned this into a campaign. The writer boldly started contacting my friends, acquaintances and even work colleagues – all of whom came to me to tell me this was happening and all of whom recognized it as a trumped up way to attack me and undermine my reputation. Everyone contacted would ask the same question, if I had engaged in non-consensual behavior why was the place to address this the media?

The writer tried to peddle the story and, at one point, a major Canadian media publication did due diligence but never printed a story. One assumes they recognized these attempts to recast my sexual behaviour were fabrications. Still, the spectre of mud being flung onto the Internet where online outrage can demonize someone before facts can refute false allegations has been what I've had to live with.

And this leads us to today and this moment. I’ve lived with the threat that this stuff would be thrown out there to defame me. And I would sue. But it would do the reputational damage to me it was intended to do (the ex has even tried to contact me to say that she now wishes to refute any of these categorically untrue allegations). But with me bringing it to light, in the coming days you will prospectively hear about how I engage in all kinds of unsavoury aggressive acts in the bedroom. And the implication may be made that this happens non-consensually. And that will be a lie. But it will be salacious gossip in a world driven by a hunger for "scandal". And there will be those who choose to believe it and to hate me or to laugh at me. And there will be an attempt to pile on. And there will be the claim that there are a few women involved (those who colluded with my ex) in an attempt to show a "pattern of behaviour". And it will be based in lies but damage will be done. But I am telling you this story in the hopes that the truth will, finally, conquer all.

I have been open with the CBC about this since these categorically untrue allegations ramped up. I have never believed it was anyone's business what I do in my private affairs but I wanted my bosses to be aware that this attempt to smear me was out there. CBC has been part of the team of friends and lawyers assembled to deal with this for months. On Thursday I voluntarily showed evidence that everything I have done has been consensual. I did this in good faith and because I know, as I have always known, that I have nothing to hide. This when the CBC decided to fire me.

CBC execs confirmed that the information provided showed that there was consent. In fact, they later said to me and my team that there is no question in their minds that there has always been consent. They said they’re not concerned about the legal side. But then they said that this type of sexual behavior was unbecoming of a prominent host on the CBC. They said that I was being dismissed for "the risk of the perception that may come from a story that could come out." To recap, I am being fired in my prime from the show I love and built and threw myself into for years because of what I do in my private life.

Let me be the first to say that my tastes in the bedroom may not be palatable to some folks. They may be strange, enticing, weird, normal, or outright offensive to others. We all have our secret life. But that is my private life. That is my personal life. And no one, and certainly no employer, should have dominion over what people do consensually in their private life.

And so, with no formal allegations, no formal complaints, no complaints, not one, to the HR department at the CBC (they told us they’d done a thorough check and were satisfied), and no charges, I have lost my job based on a campaign of vengeance. Two weeks after the death of my beautiful father I have been fired from the CBC because of what I do in my private life.

I have loved the CBC. The Q team are the best group of people in the land. My colleagues and producers and on-air talent at the CBC are unparalleled in being some of the best in the business. I have always tried to be a good soldier and do a good job for my country. I am still in shock. But I am telling this story to you so the truth is heard. And to bring an end to the nightmare.

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