Erin's Journals

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Just a thought… Sunshine is said to be the best of disinfectants. [Louis D. Brandeis]

As always, you can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

Where to begin? What a week! From all of the emotions here in our home about a seismic revelation in Toronto radio to yet another horrific, senseless shooting in the US – this one of children about the same age as our beloved Colin. I have no words, because there are none. Until action is taken, they’re just words and they’re worthless.

We’re not blameless in Canada. There are murders and tragedies and hate crimes and insane people fuelled by nothing but bigotry and the darkest of intentions. But please, for the love of our children, don’t allow politicians and other people who feel they need more “freedoms” here, in one of the world’s freest countries by official and any rankings, any oxygen. We do not need more guns, better access and fewer regulations and steps. Just, NO.

Plenty of our systems are in need of repair, but this week, one is starting to see at least the illusion of change. I’m talking about the industry that gave me my life, my husband and, eventually, our daughter, and everything that we have: radio.

You’ve undoubtedly seen the fallout from the Jennifer Valentyne video I linked you to here on Tuesday. The man to whom she referred, John Derringer, has been suspended pending an investigation of allegations; any trace of him is gone from the Q107 website.

I had the opportunity to do an interview with The Canadian Press yesterday. I could write a book about the behind-the-scenes garbage that went on – and goes on – in radio to this day, but I had just a few minutes to talk about my experiences.

In that brief time, I said repeatedly that I’m in awe of Jenn’s courage in coming forth with this complaint to the Human Rights Commission and even opening this discussion. And of my CHFI successor, Maureen Holloway, as well as Andrea Rooz and Jacqui Delaney – all powerful women in their own right – and countless others (including men) who have added their voices to the outrage this week about how this 2,000 pound gorilla allegedly had his way with the people around him for over 5,000 shows. “Why?” people ask. “Why did it go on for so long?” It’s SO simple: he made the company money. A lot of it.

Countless women have written to me this week and shared their own stories of discrimination in all walks of life: of not being listened to or told not to upset the applecart. Until two decades ago, that was my job: shut up, do the show and don’t make waves.

Well, the waves are here and it’s a tsunami. I like to imagine there are a lot of people these days nervously thinking, I wonder if my name will come up. The good and decent ones – managers and talent alike – have not lost any sleep. The rest? Well, they should ask themselves why it is that when chickens come home to roost, they’re never good chickens?

We’re not chicken anymore.

I’ll be back with a journal on Monday. Thanks for sharing this with me, as you have so many momentous events in this life. I’m grateful. And I’m really REALLY grateful to Jennifer Valentyne.

Rob WhiteheadThursday, May 26, 2022