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article imageCBC fires two executives, releases frank report of Ghomeshi days

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 16, 2015 in Entertainment
The CBC "severed ties" with two executives today and also published an independent review of the Jian Ghomeshi affair. The public broadcaster sponsored the review, a damning one that says that the CBC failed to prevent Ghomeshi's inappropriate conduct.
CBC review of Jian Ghomeshi climate
The review of the CBC's behaviour during Ghomeshi's long-reign as host and head of the CBC radio entertainment show the 'Q' was compiled by employment lawyers Janice Rubin and Parisa Nikfarjam, who interviewed 99 people during their five month investigation.
“Management knew or ought to have known of this behaviour and conduct and failed to take steps required of it in accordance with its own policies to ensure that the workplace was free from disrespectful and abusive conduct,” the 52-page Rubin and Nikfarjam report reads. "To be clear, it is our opinion that Mr. Ghomeshi's conduct such as yelling, belittling and humiliating those with whom he worked fell well below the acceptable standard."
The former head of radio Chris Boyce and HR director, Todd Spencer, had each been placed on paid leaves of absence in January. Both senior execs are now gone but the CBC did not release specific details of their parting. Though the broadcaster did not say to what degree they were responsible for the climate under Ghomeshi, the report describes a workplace environment that was out of control.
It said management at the CBC on at least three occasions could have done something about the climate employees of Q were being subjected to but failed to do so. It described the workplace as intimidating, humiliating, hostile and offensive.
"There may have been aspects of Mr. Ghomeshi's behaviour that alone, would have been merely inconvenient or inconsiderate and not contravened the behavioural standard," the report said. "Similarly, there may have been aspects of his behaviour that if only occasionally exhibited would not have fallen below what is acceptable.
"However, the aggregate effect of various behaviours and conduct, both in terms of volume, impact, and persistence as described in this report, meant that his behaviour fell well below the behavioural standard."
Seven counts of sexual assault
In addition to yelling, belittling and humiliating, behavioural transgressions described by the report include talking about colleagues in a way they found to be "demeaning, inappropriate and unwanted;" giving back and shoulder rubs described as being "'creepy'" and disrespectful of personal boundaries and sharing "details about his own sex life" colleagues often found "too personal, too graphic and generally unsavoury."
Separate from these transgressions at his former work place, Ghomeshi has been charged with seven counts of sexual assault and one of overcoming resistance by choking. He is next scheduled in court on April 28; his lawyer, Marie Henein, has said that her client will plead not guilty.
CBC president Hubert Lacroix spoke to media in Toronto following the release of the "troubling and disappointing" report and said the public broadcaster would do better.
"As we have said from the outset, we are, and remain, committed to creating a workplace where safety and respect for one another is a fundamental attribute and non-negotiable,” he said. "To the extent that standard has not been met, on behalf of this organization, I offer a sincere and unqualified apology to our employees and to Canadians, who have a right to expect a higher standard from their public broadcaster."
The atrium of the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto.
The atrium of the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto.
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