UPDATE (10/28/2014 2:10 pm): Owen Pallett (a.k.a. the musician formerly known as Final Fantasy) has just released a statement on Facebook commenting on the abuse allegations levelled at former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi.
Pallett’s commentary on the matter acknowledges his friendship with the ex Q host (“Jian is my friend”;) but also pulls no punches on how he views the situation.
“Three women have been beaten by Jian Ghomeshi,”; writes the Polaris Music Prize winning artist.
We have Owen Pallett’s statement in full below. It has been shared over 1500 times on Facebook in the hour since its posting.
I was challenged by a friend to say something about the recent allegations against Jian Ghomeshi.
Jian is my friend. I have appeared twice on Q. But there is no grey area here. Three women have been beaten by Jian Ghomeshi.
I have sat with Jian over drinks and discussed our respective anxiety disorders. We have been photographed hugging on camera.
Just ten days ago, I helped him find musicians for his father’s funeral. Three women have said that Jian beat them without their consent.
“We will never really know what happened.” Yes we do. Jian beat, at the very least, three women. Three women said so. “They were jilted exes.” Maybe so. They were beaten by Jian.
“They were freelance writers looking to get ahead.” Three women were beaten by Jian Ghomeshi.
At no point here will I ever give my friend Jian’s version of the truth more creedence than the version of the truth offered up by three women. Anonymity does not mean these women do not exist.
“They were engaged in BDSM role-play.” This: this is something I need to talk about.
The beauty of BDSM relationships is that the power is always in the hands of the sub. BDSM and choke play is a subversion of male violence.
To hear that anybody has been abusing the BDSM power relationship for the purpose of engaging in non-consensual violence-against-women is horrifying.
That is not the point of BDSM. BDSM is in fact about the exact opposite thing. It is about repurposing acts of violence into creating a power dynamic of f***ing EQUALITY.
As for the rest. I have seen my Facebook feed littered with comments about how “for years we’ve known Jian to be a shady character.”
I too have heard endless rumours that he’s been a bad date, and have heard stories of shadiness and strange behaviour.
I have heard about his ridiculous pick-up lines and have (to my shame) tittered about them with my friends. But I have never heard, until today, that Jian Ghomeshi beats women.
I am skeptical of arts reporting. I am skeptical of Canadian journalism. I am sensitive toward shaming of people who are so-called sexual deviants.
But let’s be clear. Whether the court decides that predatory men are punished or exonerated does not silence the voices of the victims. It does not make victims liars.
Whether our culture continues to celebrate the works of predatory men is another issue. It does not silence the voices of the victims.
Jian Ghomeshi is my friend, and Jian Ghomeshi beats women. How our friendship will continue remains to be seen.
UPDATE: CBC has announced Rick Mercer is set to host the 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize gala on Monday, November 10, 2014.
UPDATE: Tweeting late in the afternoon on Sunday, The Giller Prize, confirmed that the former CBC host would no longer hosting the annual award show celebrating Canada’s best fiction authors.
We can confirm Jian Ghomeshi will not host the #GillerPrize gala on November 10th. More news will be forthcoming as it becomes available.
— The Giller Prize (@GillerPrize) October 26, 2014
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsReplacing the controversial host is CBC personality, Rick Mercer. Jian Ghomeshi has been abruptly axed by the CBC after shocking allegations of sexual violence against women, reports The Toronto Star. The Q host was fired after execs at Canada’s public broadcaster learned of “information” that, “in CBC’s judgment precludes us from continuing our relationship,” CBC media relations chief Chuck Thompson told The Toronto Star. That information, reports the Star, stems from allegations from three different women — all “about 20 years his junior” — who claim that sexual encounters with Ghomeshi turned horrifically violent. As the Star reports, the women claim Ghomeshi “struck them with a closed fist or open hand; bit them; choked them until they almost passed out; covered their nose and mouth so that they had difficulty breathing; and that they were verbally abused during and after sex.”; Ghomeshi, however, tells a very different story. In a lengthy Facebook post, Ghomeshi claims that his “private sex life [is] being made public” by the “false allegations”; of a vengeful ex trying to get revenge for being spurned. “I have lost my job based on a campaign of vengeance,” he writes. Ghomeshi admits that his “adventurous” sex life — which he suggests is akin to Fifty Shades of Grey and involves role-playing, bondage and discipline — may not be for everyone, but adamantly maintains that any sex, however rough, was always consensual. His lawyers have filed a $55 million lawsuit against the CBC for general and punitive damages, breach of confidence and bad faith. The lawsuit was filed in civil court on Monday afternoon. In addition, Ghomeshi also plans to launch a grievance to be reinstated under his union’s collective agreement. Here’s Ghomeshi’s explosive Facebook post in its entirety: