studio that had seen performances by Arcade Fire and visits from Margaret Atwood, Ghomeshi began as he always did: with the trademark cheesy pick-up line addressed to a nation: “Well, hi there,” he intoned in his velvet baritone.What followed was another ’s tongue-in-cheek protest against Kraft Dinner removing the artificial dye that made its noodles neon-orange prompted Kraft to create and tweet a mocked-up KD package with Ghomeshi’s face and the message: “Well, hi there, Jian Ghomeshi, you smooth-talking, early-rising, exquisitely coiffed national treasure.” The essay he read on Oct.He referenced Canada as CBC listeners want to believe it—an open, progressive, inclusive “land of peace and order.” He warned of political finger-pointing: “We believe too strongly in this country, this culture, this collective.” He addressed Ottawa: “A nation is grateful. A cryptic CBC memo announced Ghomeshi had been let go.Ghomeshi was quick to fill in the blanks, framing his termination as a high-minded fight over sexual “human rights,” as he put it in a Facebook post hours later.Anger percolated over the seeming disconnect between the allegations and Ghomeshi’s public persona as an enlightened, sensitive progressive who called Jack Layton his “mentor,” who has interviewed political dissidents such as Ai Weiwei, and who tweets out support for white-ribbon campaigns.
His chronic lateness kept staff on edge; he kept people waiting for hours.
“The culture was horrifying because of Jian,” says a former female producer.
“He was a master of mind games,” says another former staffer.
As the allegations unfurled with grisly details, a new chorus emerged, with those close to Ghomeshi coming forth to say, “We knew something was off,” or, at least, “We should have known.” Articles appeared in cartoonist Steve Murray: “Every time a Jian profile is about to come out, I’m like ‘FINALLY,’ and then it’s a puff piece and I get so goddamned angry.” The behaviour they referenced was Ghomeshi’s reputation as a cringe-inducing pick-up artist with a fondness for much younger women.
On Facebook, former producer Peter Mitton reported that he was initially thrilled at being hired in “the media big leagues,” but left due to a “gnawing sense that my labour was being misspent.