Jian Ghomeshi, host of Q on CBC, fired.

I’ve caught the show a few times on satellite, I’d just like to add I’d never have guessed in a million years how to spell his name. Maybe he could come work south of the border-- that’s a classic NPR name if ever I’ve heard one!

My understanding is he’s huge on CBC which makes me think they wouldn’t drop him at the first whiff of scandal.
Question asked from ignorance:

How puritanical does Canadian pop culture tend to be with sex scandals?

I know that in the U.S. it would make huge headlines of course, but as long as he’s making ratings and money for the network he could probably appear in ads for ball gags and fleshlights and they’d stick by him; only if his ratings were slipping would they be likely to take the moral high road.

It isn’t the BDSM that’s at issue: it’s the allegation of (non-consentual) assaults. The BDSM alone would not I think be a big deal - would not be grounds for dumping him.

I suspect that the real issue in the lawsuit will be whether his employer had good reasons for believing the accusations against him, and gave him a meaningful opportunity to contest the accusations before dumping him. If so, he’ll be shit outta luck, I think.

In any event, he’s unlikely to get $50 million! He’ll get his reasonable notice. Not punitives, which are hard to get in Canada.

It is in fact rather unlikely his lawsuit will ever be heard. He’s a unionized employee and thus has to go through the grievance process first. The lawsuit is a sham.

The CBC also employs a woman who appeared in the movie *Shortbus *where she openly masturbated on film and also had non-simulated sex on screen. So I don’t think they’re that puritanical.

I’m assuming innocence until proven guilty on his part. If what Jian Gomeshi did was non-consensual and criminal, it should be proven in court, and he should be punished. If not, he should not have been fired. end of story, for me (except for the part about losing a great radio journalist.)

This isn’t how things work. “Innocent until proven guilty” refers to being convicted of a criminal offense. You aren’t “innocent until proven guilty” with regards to keeping a job.

Rickjay, of course you are right, technically.

WEll, I’m also right, practically. How on earth could a business run itself if it had to have an employee convicted of a criminal offense before they fired anyone?

Seriously, imagine you have an employee cheat on an expense report. You fire them; there’s nothing else to do. Would you actually expect a company to have to go through the rigamarole of charging the employee with theft and having them convicted before dismissing them? For that matter, what do you do about employees who deserve to be fired for things that are not necessarily crimes - such as sexual harassment, which Ghomeshi is accused of?

As other have noted, for a moment, set aside the accusations of assault; he’s accused of sexually harassing a fellow employee. In any decent company, there’s exactly one solution for a harasser; you fire them. If you don’t fire those people, woe betide you, for your company is on its way to doom.

don’t disagree with you Rickjay; as usual I worded my posts poorly.

Just out of curiosity, do you think he should get his job back should the accusations not be proven to be true? (yes, yes, where there’s smoke there’s usually fire; he’s probably guilty scum). Should I be fired if I am only accused of something?

For the record, “Q” was considered a flagship show for CBC Radio – and CBC Radio One, specifically. CBC has much bigger budgets in its television operations, and runs two other radio networks, and though Radio One is the biggie in its radio operations it has a great many excellent programs besides “Q”. I listen to Radio One all the time in the car, and personally always thought of “Q” as just another show among many good ones, like “Ideas”, “As It Happens”, “This is That”, “The Current Review”, “Wiretap”, “White Coat, Black Art”, “Quirks and Quarks” and many others. I wouldn’t even rate “Q” as my favorite, though it was apparently the most popular with audiences. No doubt about it, losing Ghomeshi is not good news for the CBC among all the recent budget cuts and losing a big chunk of their hockey broadcast rights to a competitor.

From what I’ve been reading, and apparently corroborated by Ghomeshi himself, he’s been working with what he regarded as “his team” at the CBC over the allegations, over the course of several months, and it seemed that CBC executives were supporting him in good faith and trying to get this resolved. The basic allegations we’ve been discussing here were apparently known to them for a long time. But apparently something new did surface over the weekend that prompted the CBC to announce his departure around noon on Sunday. The whole thing is really quite intriguing.

Sure, if they felt that the sexual harassment warranted firing him, I’m all for it.

However I assume in Ghomeshi’s case, that is not what we are talking about. They didn’t fire him for the sexual harassment at work when that happened. They fired him now, because "information came to our attention recently that in CBC’s judgment precludes us from continuing our relationship with Jian.”

How is it right for them to fire him for allegations of a personal nature?

We don’t even fire teachers accused of sexual assault, we put them on paid leave until there is a legal determination.

The Billy Bob Thornton interview did seem that way on the surface, but when I heard Billy Bob’s side of the story I realized that he had a good reason to act the way he did - see here for some commentary on that point.

The whole thing could have been avoided if they’d agreed on a safety word.

I’m not entirely sure that makes BB look any better, but I suppose it’s at least another perspective to consider. After reading the Toronto Star article and some other news on this matter (not the BBT interview, but the firing), it’s looking like this is going to be pretty ugly all around.

Billy Bob didn’t have a “side” to the story. Have you heard the entire actual interview? I’m not particularly a fan of Ghomeshi though I thought he was reasonably competent as an interviewer, but Billy Bob wasted about half the interview behaving exactly like a petulant six-year old, refusing to answer question after question, pretending that he “didn’t understand” anything that was being asked, until Ghomeshi finally calmed him down in what I thought was a very professional manner, sort of like a father dealing with a six-year-old’s temper tantrum, or a psychiatrist calming a mental patient. Normally when kids behave that way they’re sent up to their room without supper. And Billy Bob’s problem? That Ghomeshi had mentioned the word “actor”, and Billy Bob wanted to pretend that now he was a “musician” and nothing else, and mention of “acting” was verboten! What a jerk! It’s not like Ghomeshi was trying to spin a big part of the interview around the guy’s acting career – it was all because he mentioned one word, and the rather psychotic syndrome that Billy Bob had about that word!

Further reading for those insterested, from The Globe and Mail:
Ghomeshi became bigger than the CBC
The Ghomeshi question: The law and consent

Sure I watched the “entire actual interview”, and actually felt the same way you did the first time I saw it, when it was news in 2009. But taking a second look at it a bit later on with more background - yeah, it looks exactly like a passive-aggressive setup by a hipster d-bag interviewer. I’m not even a fan of Billy Bob but I can’t blame him for that interview one bit.

What “background”? Surely not that blog you linked to!

I am not in any way a defender of Jian Ghomeshi, especially after the recent events and this supercilious asshole’s lawsuit.

But look at the facts about the Billy Bob Thornton situation. The guy had some sort of delusion that he could adopt the persona of a “music personality” and that he did not exist as an actor, the function in which this idiot made all the money that allowed him to indulge in this hobby in the first place. And when Jian said something about “OK, fine, we’re not supposed to talk about how you’re an actor” the guy went into some sort of psychotic rage. Come on!

Like I said, I’m not defending Ghomeshi, but I can empathize with him when he says (according to the blogger’s captured off-air quote) that Ghomeshi basically thinks Billy Bob’s music sucks. Apparently it’s supposed to be hypocrisy when Ghomeshi starts the show announcing how (relatively) successful the group’s albums have been. So? They produced three albums that year. Jian said they produced three albums that year. He said they were obviously “ambitious”. Did he say he liked them?

No one who interviews for a living is going to get interviewees if he doesn’t pander to them somewhat – which pissed me off immensely about Piers Morgan, and probably every talk-show host in existence. And Ghomeshi isn’t any different. What was impressive was his ability to get the best out of his subjects, including calming down Billy-Bob.

I don’t think Ghomeshi was motivated out of some conspiracy to ambush this dude. If anything, that one passing comment was probably out of some fascination with the dude’s reluctance to recognize that his acting fame was what was propelling his music – against which we have the reluctance of this denialist psychotic to recognize the fact that, no, he may not actually be the greatest figure in musical history, and maybe people have only heard of him because he was in a few Coen brothers movies – which is kind of what I think maybe Ghomeshi was hinting at that pissed him off.

Hey, every person being interviewed is entitled to say that he doesn’t want to talk about certain things. I’ve seen several incidents where if the interviewer persists, and just won’t stop, the subject just walks out. That’s fine – the interviewer violates your stated terms, and obviously is going to keep it up in bad faith – so you leave. Good ol’ Billy Bob didn’t do that. He heard one word – one magic word that apparently no one was allowed to utter – and he sat in his chair and went into a six-year-old kid’s tantrum. Wouldn’t leave, but wouldn’t answer questions. He probably made clown faces, too. Until a level-headed interviewer managed to calm him down. Yeah, that’s called maturity – at least in kindergarten.

Meh, it just reinforces my belief that anyone who looks like a hillbilly, talks like a hillbilly, acts like a hillbilly, and has a hillbilly name, is probably a hillbilly.

Oh, and Billy-Bob’s band started a Canadian tour after that interview. They got booed at the first concert, so they quit and went home.

Billy Bob was interviewed by Jay Leno (I think) shortly after all that happened, where he talked at length about his side of the story and explained how it was an act he does with nasty interviewers. I think he said something about once doing the same thing in Germany too. Looks like the Jay Leno talk isn’t on YouTube any longer though.

Billy Bob might be a hillbilly, but Jian Ghomeshi has also been a standard-issue, smug, hipster, know-it-all Canadian media darling that wouldn’t last ten seconds in the U.S. (As a Canadian, that type of celebrity is painfully familiar, trust me)

I never said anything about J.G. being a hypocrite. I just meant that he was displaying a distinct condescension and lack of professional courtesy, and got rightly called out on it, if he chose to gleefully ignore their interview terms. (If he was really a great interviewer, he could have surely been more subtle about it instead of pissing off Billy Bob right at the start.) It may be true that Billy Bob is a lousy musician, but he’s also a world famous personality who has headlined many movies (and usually gives a very normal interview as far as I can tell), while nobody outside of Canada cares about J.G.'s crap.