Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Ghomeshi affair

Jian Ghomeshi has put up a big post on Facebook that is getting a lot of attention.  He claims that he was fired from the CBC because of his interest in BDSM and that allegations of abuse and violence against him are the product of a deranged ex.  There is a huge amount being written on the subject and for once I am shocked at how well the media is doing at presenting a balanced and thoughtful analysis.  See here and here and here.  They aren't perfect, obviously.

My analysis is that if he was actually fired because he engaged in consensual sex acts then the CBC is in the wrong and should be chastised.  Legal action or union arbitration of some sort is obviously necessary.  I will happily and loudly stand up for people who are fired based on private sexual (or non sexual!) desires or activities.


The read I am getting on this situation is that there are a lot of serious allegations of violence and abuse from multiple sources.  Those sources are being intimidated into silence by people impressed by Ghomeshi's celebrity status and his 'I am being oppressed' post.  I also don't think it likely that the CBC actually fired someone because a person in their past wanted to out them as being kinky.  Really?  If that was the standard half the people in the organization stand to be fired as soon as some grumpy ex decides to make it happen.

So we should not understate how challenging it is to come out with these sorts of allegations and how much people are willing to shout down evidence when it incriminates someone they like.  Whether Ghomeshi did commit crimes and immoral acts against these women I don't know.  What I do know is that the way this whole thing is going down is a good illustration of how hard it is to be someone who steps up and reports abuse.

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