Were Ghomeshi’s Practices Consensual?
Penina Simon (Contributor)
It’s not often that the CBC will fire a notable personality, but they did just that on October 26th 2014. Few people were expecting this person to be Jian Ghomeshi, the host of a popular entertainment show called Q on CBC Radio One.
Earlier that week, Ghomeshi had announced he would be taking an undetermined leave of absence. The next time he publicly said anything was on the day he was fired, wherein he released a 1,000 word long Facebook post. In the post, Jian Ghomeshi claimed to have been the victim of a “jilted ex-girlfriend” spreading lies about him. Ghomeshi admitted that he
frequently practiced BDSM and claimed that all sexual activity had been consensual. He claimed that he had evidence of consent and was being fired due to his sexual practices.
BDSM is practiced by many individuals and involves strict guidelines, respect, aftercare, and consent, among other components. It is designed to be safe and is meant to be enjoyable, not abusive. Since the 26th of October, a total of eight women have publically come forward against Jian Ghomeshi with claims that not only was there no consent, but he had also assaulted and manipulated them, proving that BDSM was not what was going on and this was not something that had only happened to one person.
The CBC had had several meetings with Ghomeshi i
n which he has tried to plead his case, and they tried to find some way to work with him. After he was fired, Ghomeshi threatened to sue the company in the Facebook post on the 2nd.
Many individuals have been speaking out over the internet in the form of blog posts and in comments of articles, demonstrating a pattern of behaviour in how Ghomeshi treated these women. He had also sexually harassed several women in the workplace.
On his show, Jian Ghomeshi had always come across as a kind, gentle person. It was revealed in an article by The Globe and Mail that many of the opening essays he read on his show and passed off as his own had actually been written by other individuals. Many Canadians who saw Ghomeshi as a cultural icon are now in shock at what has been revealed about Ghomeshi. Gomeshigate, as some are calling it, has opened up an important discussion throughout Canada about rape and abuse and how we view our heroes.
The CBC has removed all of Jian Ghomeshi’s episodes of Q from the podcast, has banned him from the building and from communicating with his ex-collegues. Q will continue to be aired on CBC radio one at 10AM and 10PM with guest hosts such as Piya Chattopadhyay and Brent Bambury.