By Stephen Pate – Jian Ghomeshi’s firing by the CBC and his open statements about “rough sex” are titillating news.
Even more sinister is the revelation that Ghomeshi was sexually harassing CBC staffers and artists with impunity. A woman quoted in The Star on Monday was told to move on by CBC management and she did leave her job. This is exactly what happens when a company does not deal with workplace sexual harassment creating a hostile work environment.
Featured image – Jian Ghomeshi, Montreal Gazette Matthew Filpowich / Oh Boy Photography
In March 2013, CBC President Hubert Lacroix appeared before Parliament and denied that any sexual harassment of this sort took place at the CBC, following reports in The Sun. It’s clear now that Lacroix was misleading Parliament.
Related story Did CBC President Lie to Parliament ?
Since Monday, even more shocking revelations of sexual harassment of Q producer and an actress have been reported.
According to The Star, Ghomeshi groped the woman’s bottom and said he wanted to “hate fuck you.” She reported the incident to her union, the CBC Q producer. The sexual harassment victim was told to solve the problem herself and left realizing there was no help from the CBC.
Urban dictionary defines “hate fuck – The act of fucking a person that you despise. Such an act is typically characterized by name calling, roughness, …To have sex, especially in a rough manner, with someone who one finds physically attractive but personally loathsome.”
The Star account of CBC sexual harassment
A fourth woman, who worked at CBC, said Ghomeshi told her at work: “I want to hate f— you.” The Star had several detailed interviews with each of the three women, who said they experienced violence from Ghomeshi without consent, and with the former CBC employee, who complained of verbal and physical harassment in the workplace.
Only one of the alleged victims worked at the CBC. She never dated Ghomeshi. She alleges he approached her from behind and cupped her rear end in the Q studio, and that he quietly told her at a story meeting that he wanted to “hate f—” her.
The woman said she complained about Ghomeshi’s behaviour to her union representative, who took the complaint to a Q producer. As the woman recalls, the producer asked her “what she could do to make this a less toxic workplace” for herself. No further action was taken by the CBC, and the woman left the broadcaster shortly thereafter.
In his Facebook posting, Ghomeshi stated there have been no complaints about him to the CBC human resources department, nor have there been any “formal allegations” or “formal complaints” about his behaviour. CBC fires Jian Ghomeshi over sex allegations
CBC President Hubert Lacroix’s denial
That is not the story CBC President gave the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women. Hubert Lacroix was unequivocal that CBC policy does not tolerate human rights abuse including sexual harassment.
In 2013, the CBC was getting raked over the coals by Sun Media with claims of rampant sexual harassment in the publicly funded broadcaster. Lacroix’s opening statement in March 2013 to the House of Commons Standing Committee , later remarks and those of Monique Marcotte (Interim Executive Director, English Services Human Resources) were meant to reassure Parliament that the CBC is serious about sexual harassment in the workplace.
Some of Lacroix’s comments sounded like hyperbole, over the top in their sweeping claims. There were only 3 claims of sexual harassment said Lacroix. While it does not seem Lacroix gave sworn testimony, his testimony is called “evidence” and as an officer of the court and expected to be truthful in his statements.
Later in the session, his HR director contradicted Lacroix and said there were 62 reports of sexual harassment at the CBC, and those numbers don’t include any of the Ghomeshi allegations, allegations the CBC hushed up until now.
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By Stephen Pate, NJN Network