FULL TEXT OF MEMO TO CBC EMPLOYEES
The past week has been extraordinarily difficult for all of us. Before the weekend I wanted to provide you with the facts that CBC is allowed to share at this time and reiterate some important points about the culture we strive for in this company.
I want to start by reassuring you of our commitment to a safe and healthy workplace. Many of you are asking the questions of when we learned of these activities, what did we know and what did we do. While we remain limited in what we can say, those are entirely appropriate issues for you to be considering and let me explain what I am able at this point.
• In the spring of this year, Jian Ghomeshi advised us that the Toronto Star was looking into allegations by an ex-girlfriend that he had engaged in non-consensual ‘rough sex’. He was in receipt of a letter from two journalists that made allegations about Jian’s private life. We were not contacted at any time by the Toronto Star directly about these allegations and were not otherwise aware of these allegations. When directly confronted, Jian firmly denied there was any truth to those allegations.
• In early summer of this year, a Q employee received a letter from a reporter, asking about Jian’s behaviour and suggesting that his behaviour may have ‘crossed over’ into the workplace. As a result of that information, and with the assistance of our human resources team, we conducted an investigation that included a number of direct interviews with CBC employees and management. That investigation determined that there were no complaints of this nature about Jian’s behaviour in the workplace.
• We also spoke to Jian at that time and asked him directly if there was any truth to the allegations. We were again assured by Jian that the allegations were untrue. Jian was adamant that he and his lawyers would be able to prove that he had done nothing wrong should the Toronto Star pursue the allegations. At that time, the Toronto Star did not move ahead with the story and, based on Jian’s denial, we continued to believe Jian.
• So what changed? On Thursday, October 23, CBC saw, for the first time, graphic evidence that Jian had caused physical injury to a woman. At no time prior to last week was CBC aware that Jian had engaged in any activities which resulted in the physical injury of another person.
After viewing this graphic evidence, we determined that Jian’s conduct was a fundamental breach of CBC’s standard of acceptable conduct for any employee. Treating all people with respect, dignity and fairness is fundamental to our relationship with the Canadian public and contributes to a safe and healthy work environment that promotes engagement, openness and transparency.
Jian’s conduct in causing physical injury to a woman was inconsistent with the character of the public broadcaster, was fundamentally unacceptable for any employee, was likely to bring the reputation of his fellow employees and CBC into disrepute and could not be defended by CBC. As such, we took immediate steps to remove Jian from the workplace and terminated his employment on October 26.
We are very concerned by the additional allegations which have emerged in the media since October 26 and about the impact of these events on all of our employees. We want to reassure you that we are committed to ensuring a workplace that is free from all forms of violence and harassment. We will be engaging in an independent investigation of any complaints of workplace violence or harassment that are brought to our attention. More details to come.
As always, support from human resources and our confidential Employee Assistance Program support remains available to you.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment and focus.
CBC English Services