What a surprise: Report finds CBC "condoned" Jian Ghomeshi's "disrespectful and abusive behavior"

Independent inquiry finds the broadcaster knew Ghomeshi created "an intimidating, humiliating, hostile" workplace

By Jenny Kutner
Published April 16, 2015 6:44PM (EDT)
Jian Ghomeshi leaves court with his legal team after getting bail on multiple counts of sexual assault, Toronto, November 26, 2014.       (Reuters/Mark Blinch)
Jian Ghomeshi leaves court with his legal team after getting bail on multiple counts of sexual assault, Toronto, November 26, 2014. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)

An independent inquiry by a Toronto employment lawyer confirms what we already suspected to be the case: CBC higher-ups effectively turned a blind eye to former "Q" host Jian Ghomeshi's harassing and abusive behavior toward his female coworkers, allowing "an intimidating, humiliating, hostile or offensive work environment" to flourish.

Ghomeshi, who was arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual assault in November, was fired from CBC after several women with whom he was romantically involved accused him of beating them last year. But attorney Janice Rubin's report finds that CBC executives were aware of Ghomeshi's problematic behavior in the office, including sexual harassment of his female coworkers, long before the sexual assault allegations surfaced.

Rubin's investigation concludes that the broadcaster failed to provide a workplace "free from disrespectful and abusive behavior." More from CBC:

The report says there was a tendency that as information was shared "upwards," it became "diluted."

"Less prevalent, but also present in a small number of cases, was behaviour that constituted sexual harassment," the report says, although it asserts that management was unaware of the complaints or allegations about sexual harassment.

It also says management failed to take steps in accordance with its own policies. [...]

Rubin's report finds there were three instances where management failed to investigate allegations and concerns about Ghomeshi's behaviour while he was working for the corporation.

Additionally, the report's author said it is not believed that an allegation of sexual harassment made by an employee in 2010 was brought to the attention of management, but that it was brought to the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), the employee's union, and the union "has failed to respond properly."

In conjunction with the release of Rubin's report on Thursday, CBC announced that two senior managers, Chris Boyce and Todd Spencer, had been fired for their involvement in the mishandling of the Ghomeshi investigation. Boyce and Spencer, who conducted an internal investigation months ago that initially cleared the host, were placed on indefinite leave in January, and have officially been terminated. Ghomeshi is currently out on $100,000 bail, and reportedly plans to plead not guilty to more than half a dozen counts of sexual assault.

Jenny Kutner

MORE FROM Jenny KutnerFOLLOW @JennyKutner

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Cbc Jian Ghomeshi Sexual Abuse Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment