This ponder begins with a preface – I promised myself not to ponder Jian Ghomeshi. My jaw hit the ground last Sunday – news of his unceremonious dismissal rocked the core of my admiration for Ghomeshi. I cautioned myself to wait, reserving judgement, opinion and ponders until reasonable foundation became apparent. As an avid listener of “Q” on CBC radio, a person who often discovered musical gems, was introduced to arts, trends, and perspectives courtesy his radio show – deciding the polite and respectful reaction, ” wait and see” came easily. Then I heard about Mr. Big Ears.
For those unfamiliar with the star of CBC radio or the reason Canadian tongues are wagging – a snippet of Ghomeshi history….
Jian Ghomeshi is a 47 year old Canadian broadcaster of Iranian descent, born in England, immigrating to Canada when he was 7 years old. Ghomeshi attended York University where he was president of the Federation of Students, graduating with a degree in history and political science. In 1990 he formed the politically satirical band Moxy Fruvous, their first album “Bargainville” achieved “platinum” status in Canada. In 2002 Ghomeshi joined CBC as the host of >play on CBC Newsworld. Three years hosting >play, followed by producing a documentary series “The End”, 50 Tracks and the Playlist for CBC, landed him “Q” in April of 2007. Q aired daily at 10 AM and 10:30 PM across the country on CBC Radio One. Courtesy Public Radio International, 170 American stations picked up “Q” – that was until October 26 when CBC announced on a Sunday afternoon – Jian Ghomeshi was CBC history. Take my word for it – Canada had a collective “holy crap” moment, Rob Ford or Justin Bieber’s shenanigans pale in comparison to Ghomeshi’s firing.
A few hours later, news comes of Ghomeshi suing the CBC for $55 million in damages. What? The plot thickens when Ghomeshi releases a statement on his Facebook page – a portion quoted below….
Click on the link for his full statement.
Forgive me if what follows may be shocking to some.
I have always been interested in a variety of activities in the bedroom but I only participate in sexual practices that are mutually agreed upon, consensual, and exciting for both partners.
About two years ago I started seeing a woman in her late 20s. Our relationship was affectionate, casual and passionate. We saw each other on and off over the period of a year and began engaging in adventurous forms of sex that included role-play, dominance and submission. We discussed our interests at length before engaging in rough sex (forms of BDSM). We talked about using safe words and regularly checked in with each other about our comfort levels. She encouraged our role-play and often was the initiator. We joked about our relations being like a mild form of Fifty Shades of Grey or a story from Lynn Coady’s Giller-Prize winning book last year. I don’t wish to get into any more detail because it is truly not anyone’s business what two consenting adults do. I have never discussed my private life before. Sexual preferences are a human right.
Wow Jian! What am I supposed to think? In the span of a few hours – you’re axed, launch legal action, and post a preemptive admission of bedroom kinks, spiteful ex-lovers, and consensual sex. Hmmm – I’m trying to keep an open mind – no formal charges have been laid, the CBC hasn’t “gone public” other than to say information surfaced to force “severing ties”.
Conjecture erodes over the next few days – Trailer Park Boys actress Lucy DeCoutere comes forward with allegations of non-consensual violence by Ghomeshi – choking her until she couldn’t breath, then slapping her 3 times “hard” on the side of her head. As of October 29, 8 women have come forward alleging violence by Ghomeshi. As of yesterday Jian has been “dropped” by both his management and PR firms, Penguin Books (now opting out of publishing his latest book) and is formally being investigated by Toronto police. I suspect Mr. Big Ears Teddy might have been the last straw.
Big Ears Teddy sheds a whole new light on the sordid mess. It seems Jian had a bear named Big Ears when he was a kid. At the suggestion of his therapist (a fact Jian openly admits) grown up Jian acquired a surrogate Mr. Big Ears. According to Toronto Star reporter Kevin Donovan – 2 women report Ghomeshi turned teddy around just before slapping or choking them, saying “Big Ears Teddy shouldn’t see this”.
I find it difficult to come to terms with his steadfast denial and vehement protestations of innocence. I’m pondering how differently the public might view him if remorse had replaced indignant insolence. Clearly he has complex personal issues, and needs help. Every day another layer of glossy exterior peels, revealing ragged tatters of a man with no concept of “consent”, let alone “respect” for women. Every day another woman has found courage to speak up, in hope this time she will be heard. I wonder if Big Ears Teddy has something to say about that.