Jian Ghomeshi Is In The New York Review Of Books’ Issue On ‘The Fall Of Men’
The New York Review of Books’ Oct. 11 issue, featuring the theme “The Fall of Men” and a piece by Jian Ghomeshi, made the rounds on social media on Friday, with many people ― particularly women ― saying that the publication offered a platform for the disgraced writer.
The former CBC Radio host had been charged with seven counts of sexual assault and one count of choking. Two charges were dropped. He was acquitted in March 2016 of four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking involving three complainants and signed a peace bond on a separate sexual assault charge, which did not include an admission of guilt.
Despite the bond, the complainant on that charge later issued a statement to the media that maintained Ghomeshi was guilty of sexual assault and that “a trial would have maintained his lie, the lie that he was not guilty, and would have further subjected me to the very same pattern of abuse that I am currently trying to stop.”
For the magazine, Ghomeshi penned an essay, “Reflections From a Hashtag,” in which he says he has “deep remorse” for how he treated some people in his life. The piece includes his meditations on what he did and didn’t do, his suicidal thoughts and his life, going from high-profile media player to the recipient of “enough humiliation for a lifetime.”
A representative for The New York Review of Books did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“I’ve become a hashtag. One of my female friends quips that I should get some kind of public recognition as a #MeToo pioneer. There are lots of guys more hated than me now. But I was the guy everyone hated first,” he writes.
Ghomeshi goes on to say that he “equivocated about writing this essay for many months,” initially because of legal reasons and then because “it’s been about gaining some certainty about what I would want to say.” In several paragraphs he attempts to unpack what redemption means in the age of Me Too ― a question no one has been able to clearly answer.
“In a maelstrom of confusion, humiliation, resistance, and conflicting feedback from those around you, how much can anyone really inhabit “I’m sorry”?” he writes.
The piece and the “fall of men” theme started a firestorm on social media, with many women offering incredulous missives on Twitter.
Stunned that that New York Review of Books would commision Jian Ghomeshi for a cover story. Ghomeshi faced trial for 4 counts of sexual assault and 20+ women come forward w/ accounts of abuse, forcing a reckoning w/in Canadian music and media bc EVERYONE KNEW HE WAS A CREEP.
— Jessica Hopper (@jesshopp) September 13, 2018
Do you mean “The Fall of Men… off their gilded pedestal of privilege down to the same base level of accountability, human decency, and mutual respect the rest of us have socially contracted to show each other?” https://t.co/uOVWZRK55W
— Hanna Masaryk (@ThePiebrarian) September 14, 2018
All I can say about this is I wish that the fall of men had really happened, so we wouldn't be subject to this. Absolutely despicable https://t.co/yi1VXf5xUg
— Sarah Bernstein (@coeurdelilas) September 14, 2018
The Fall of Men, are you fucking kidding me? pic.twitter.com/T4p7hCybQM
— Mark Krotov (@markkrotov) September 14, 2018
It gets worse. Not only did America's leading intellectual/literary magazine give Ghomeshi a platform, his article is part of a thing they're running on, get this, "The Fall of Men." pic.twitter.com/vNZJpOuoS4
— ReadingDoonesbury (@ReadDoonesbury) September 14, 2018
LOL. You literally couldn’t make this up. Impressive. pic.twitter.com/jcMMYmDJNK
— roxane gay (@rgay) September 14, 2018
What a fun reminder that the accusers have their lives trampled over and over again and the accused will always find a prestige publication happy to tell their side of the story.
— Nicole Cliffe (@Nicole_Cliffe) September 13, 2018
OH LOOK IT'S ANOTHER MAN WHOSE BEEN ACCUSED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING MULTIPLE WOMEN FINDING REFUGE FROM HIS SO-CALLED "EXILE" IN THE PAGES OF WELL-RESPECTED NATIONAL PUBLICATION https://t.co/vmCWns2wzR
— Ruth Spencer (@ruths) September 14, 2018
2. The piece over all is drenched in self-pity. Although he makes a few nods at contrition, the vast majority of it is about how it is he, Ghomeshi, who has suffered. To give you a flavor, it opens with a woman apologizing to him.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) September 14, 2018
This is all to say Jian Ghomeshi is a violent sexual predator, accused of being such by many credible women, & acquitted because such prosecutions seem to often fail. He is not “innocent.” He is not a victim. That NYRB piece smells like John Wayne Gacy’s oil paintings.
— Dan O'Sullivan (@Bro_Pair) September 14, 2018
The decision by a publisher to give space to Jian Ghomeshi cements the fact that publishing is always, ALWAYS, a political act.
— âpihtawikosisân (@apihtawikosisan) September 14, 2018
Ghomeshi’s return to the public writing sphere comes on the heels of the re-emergence of many men accused of sexual misconduct amid Me Too.
On Thursday, John Hockenberry, a former host of “The Takeaway” on public radio, had an editorial published in Harper’s, much to the dismay of many readers. He was accused of harassing several female colleagues at New York’s WNYC and subsequently left last December. Last month disgraced comedian Louis C.K. performed at two comedy clubs in New York ― with no mention of the sexual misconduct he was accused of a mere nine months ago.
TwitterSexual Assault#Me TooJian GhomeshiThe New York Review Of Books