Early this week, the Canadian broadcast network CBC announced that it had severed its relationship with the broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi, amidst allegations that Ghomeshi had non-consensually beat up four different women during sexual encounters. Ghomeshi responded on Facebook, claiming that his first accuser was a jilted ex and that he enjoys consensual BDSM. That whole “consensual” thing has come under increasing scrutiny in the past few days; The Toronto Star reports that eight different women (including one Canadian TV star) have come forward to accuse Ghomeshi of violence, sexual abuse, or harassment. Amanda Palmer had been planning to have Ghomeshi as a guest during a forthcoming book tour stop in Toronto, and she weighed in on Facebook, writing that “of course” Ghomeshi would still be a guest and that “what happens behind closed doors is never knowable.” Since then, she’s jumped on Facebook to further address the situation, and her latest missive uses the word “hate” four different times. Here’s what she writes:
here’s the deal. a few months ago i asked jian to be my chat-guest in toronto for this book tour along with a bunch of other people in other cities (zoe keating, bob lefsetz, amy cuddy, peter sagal, armistead maupin, etc, etc). if you’ve been following the news, he’s become a lightning rod in the past couple days.
i see all your thoughts and it is my personal style to never shut down a conversation or run away from the fire: a philosophy that often (as you’ve seen before) lands me in hot water. sorry for the mixed fire/water metaphor….haven’t had my coffee yet.
i’m still figuring out what to do about this.
just a request: while i try to figure out what to do about this situation, let me remind you that HATE HAS NO PLACE HERE IN THIS COMMUNITY. it’s just not what we do. i have so much pride in this place we’ve built, and have always been overwhelmed with gratitude for this community’s ability to converse without yelling or harsh judgement, for our ability to stay open and thoughtful and kind. please, let’s keep it that way.
ironically (poetically?) enough, i am spending my days, as we speak, at bard college making a musical with a bunch of students that deals directly with the painful aftershocks of sexual abuse, rape culture and lack of communication. and i’m about to publish a book about how communication and openness trumps anger, hate and fear. these things can’t be coincidental.
i believe deeply that you don’t respond to hate with more hate. it doesn’t make the world a more compassionate place: it drags us all down into the mud. so please, keep the conversation here going, but keep it kind, open, loving, respectful.
(via Palmer’s Facebook)
“Hate” is a strange concern to have when you’re dealing with what appears to be monstrous sexual violence. Also, there is no way Ghomeshi is showing his face in public, at Palmer’s book tour or anywhere else, anytime soon, so the whole thing seems a bit moot.