Ah yes. Remember THAT infamous Facebook post? The one Jian Ghomeshi posted to try to get out ahead of his accusers, to do pre-emptive damage control before they damaged him? The one that ended up blowing right back into his face? Yeah, it’s still relevant here.
So, Jian Ghomeshi is ba-ack. Sort of. Tentatively. He’s dipping his toes in the media pool again…not up here, mind you. He’s discredited in all of Canada. No, he’s trying to break into the US media market now with a shitty, self-pitying essay at the New York Review of Books. And everybody really fucking hates it, for obvious reasons.
And oh yeah, the editor who greenlighted the piece? He’s out on his ass.
So it looks like Jian’s re-entry gambit is going over like a solid lead blimp. At least up here. Because up here, we remember how sleazy and slimy he’s been, ever since he first shot to fame as a member of Moxy Früvous. Some people even remember his grotty side from longer ago than that, as well as the whisper network that surrounded him ever since he was a student politician at York University.
And that all is no wonder. Because what got him shit-canned at CBC in 2014 wasn’t just his alleged kinkiness, the management’s embarrassment at his affront to their wholesome family image, or a vengeful ex-girlfriend, as he’s still claiming it was. No, it was an actual, and quite lengthy, history of being sexually violent with women (and at least one man, too). He’s assaulted dozens of people, and lied about it back when the shit was first about to hit the fan four years ago, and now he’s lying about it again.
And we’re not believing it, because his “remorse” smells more like a bid for pity — and redemption without cause to believe he’s really changed.
Mind you, he probably figured it would go down great in the US. They love a seemingly repentant sinner down there, particularly one who makes a big tra-ra about it. They don’t care if he’s sincere or not, as long as he puts on a good show and sells lots of copy. Jian Ghomeshi seems to be angling for a kind of secular Jimmy Swaggart vibe, one with vaguely literary connotations. He’s even trying to rehabilitate his “feminist” image by appropriating the #MeToo movement — his piece is called “Reflections from a Hashtag”, for fucksakes.
There’s just one problem with that, though: Jian’s not a victim who can say #MeToo — he’s a villain, one who sparked a different hashtag but with the same basic direction up here: #BeenRapedNeverReported. Because for all those who came forward to say that Jian had abused them in one way or another, there are countless others who have never come forward to report or accuse their own assailants before the law. (I am one of those, myself.)
And then, too, there’s the salient fact that he got acquitted. Meaning that all those victims, with their similar, credible accounts of gropey hands and sudden bursts of anger and cruelty, had their own good names dragged through the courts and the mud for nothing. Jian Ghomeshi never went to jail; he just got exiled from the public eye, becoming a pariah as his violent predilections became known and the accusations kept mounting. In this, he may in fact have suffered more in terms of real-world consequences than most abusive men, but let’s be honest: the women he injured, physically or emotionally, still suffered more. Because people were calling them attention-seekers, sluts, whores, and every other gendered slur in the book that applies specifically to women who dare to put a ding in the reputation of some powerful, respected man. Their careers were less prominent and lucrative than his. They had more to lose, and he knew it full well when he harmed them.
And nobody, NOBODY, called HIM an attention gigolo. Not even when he was one. Not even now, when he’s being one yet again.
Because now, he has the chutzpah to try for a comeback.
He’s not the first villain, from #MeToo or otherwise, to attempt that. There’s a whole slew of disgraced male celebrities waiting in the wings for the curtain call that they’re sure is their due.
But this time, the atmosphere is a lot colder than it used to be. All the once-revered men of #MeToo infamy have had their comeback attempts hailed with boos and hisses. The court of public opinion refuses to acquit them. That wasn’t the case four years ago, when Jian got off the hook for what were demonstrably violent assaults.
And it’s a hopeful sign. Even in a fascist-ridden country where men routinely take the sexist, racist, grossly LGBT-phobic antics of Presidunce Pussygrabber as a signal to let their inner pigs out, suddenly — finally — it’s becoming socially unacceptable to be That Guy. Donnie’s eager bandwagon-jumpers are unexpectedly finding out what it’s like to be incels. Nobody loves a sexist wanker. And that’s a mighty damn fine thing, because sexist wankers are all, without exception, scumbags.
Maybe it’s not so good for Jian, who was no doubt counting on breaking into the lucrative, scumbag-friendly market south of the border after a lengthy time-out and some self-serious efforts at image-laundering. But for the rest of us, this latest failure is all the confirmation we needed that he’s irredeemably toxic, and that he hasn’t learned a thing while he was away from the microphone.
It’s also confirmation that if you can’t get justice from the so-called justice system, you can still get it by boycotting toxic males wherever they rear their slimy heads. People don’t want to see Jian come back, even crawling; they just want him to go the hell away.
And the best we can hope for, since jail time is out of the question, is that he stays the hell away.