Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Ghomeshi Scandal and the CBC: Should we Privatize the Public Broadcaster?

Personally, I have never understood why the government did not sell the CBC to private investors years ago. However, with the loss of nearly all of it's NHL games (it's main cash cow), and now the Jian Ghomashi scandal, I think it's time Canadians really took a hard look at the public broadcaster, and decide whether we want to fund the network?

CBC was recently outbid by Rogers Communications, for the rights to broadcast NHL hockey

Losing the rights to the vast majority of NHL games, and the playoffs to Rogers Communications, was an incredibly stupid move, as it was proven to make money for the public broadcaster for years, and Hockey Night In Canada was it's #1 show. That was bad enough. However, this is tame compared to what is in store for the CBC, when attention inevitably focuses on their role in the Jian Gomeshi scandal, and how much the public broadcaster knew of Gomeshi's inappropriate treatment of female co-workers and interns.

Jian Ghomeshi's radio show "Q" was one of CBC's highest rated programs.

I find it very telling that after the CBC finally fired Jian Ghomeshi for his deviant, and arguably criminal sexual lifestyle, a number of well known artists and employees of CBC went on Twitter, and made allegations that it was no secret to anyone about Jian's behavior, and how the CBC had looked away and ignored allegations of sexual harassment and violence for years, as his radio talk show "Q" was one of it's most popular programs, and a big ratings draw, and attracted much needed advertising revenue.

 Trailer Park Boys actress Lucy Decoutere has alleged she was assaulted by Ghomeshi.

It is now known that at least one female CBC worker filed a complaint about sexual harassment by Jian Ghomeshi in 2010, but the complaint was largely swept under the rug. How many other women at CBC were sexually harassed and intimidated by Ghomeshi?  Was Jian Ghomeshi ever even notified of the complaints against him, much less punished and reprimanded by the public broadcaster?

Author and Lawyer Reva Seth is alleging Ghomeshi assaulted her.

I personally think it is only a matter of time, before shit hits the fan, and CBC is forced to be accountable for one of their employee's behavior, due to the fact that there are complaints about Ghomeshi on record, but were largely ignored. The big question is who knew, and for how long did they know the details about Ghomeshi. With each passing day, it appears that the executives at CBC almost certainly knew of rumors about Ghomeshi's conduct, yet ignored it completely.

Toronto Police have opened an investigation into the accusations against Jian Ghomeshi.

Since CBC terminated it's relationship with Jian Ghomeshi on Sunday, October 26, at least 8 woman have come forward, alleging Ghomashi physically and sexually assaulted them on dates.  Recently, three woman have gone to the authorities in regards to being victimized by Ghomeshi, and the Toronto Police Service has opened up an investigation, and is asking potential victims to come forward to Police.   Lucy Decoutere, known for her role on the hit Canadian series "Trailer Park Boys," and author/lawyer Reva Seth had publically come forward, to state that they were assaulted by Jian Ghomeshi at his Toronto home. 

If Ghomeshi is convicted in a criminal court of sexual assault (or worse), it will be inevitable that CBC will face a possible class-action civil suit, which could force the network to shell out tens of millions of dollars to victims of Ghomeshi. I believe it may be more of a question of "when" not "if," in terms of CBC facing a huge backlash for the knowledge of continuing to employ a sexual predator, and placing a higher emphasis on ratings and advertising dollars, then the safety and well-being of it's workforce.

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