QUEBEC (Bloomberg) - Hundreds of miles away from Hollywood, Quebec is being shaken by the aftershocks of the Harvey Weinstein scandal as two celebrities from the Canadian province's media world stepped down or lost contracts following allegations of sexual misconduct.
In the wake of the many women who came forward with accusations against movie producer Weinstein and tales of sexual harassment in general, Montreal-based newspapers La Presse and Le Devoir published testimonies against talk show host Eric Salvail and Just for Laughs comedy festival organiser Gilbert Rozon.
Salvail, who appears on radio and TV, also has a production company. Rozon was the president of Just for Laughs and sat on the jury of France's Got Talent. His Instagram account displays pictures of him with actors including Gerard Depardieu and Jim Carrey. Both have stepped away from their positions and some of their shows were suspended.
Here's what happened:
- On Wednesday, digital newspaper La Presse+ published an investigation on Salvail, based on conversations with 11 men and women who told stories of sexual misconduct and harassment over years, including a make-up artist who was cited by name.
- Several witnesses told stories of Salvail exhibiting himself, touching people inappropriately and making sexual comments repeatedly in work environments.
- Salvail wrote twice on his Facebook page, saying at first that he was taking a professional break, before posting a long apology, suspending his career and stepping back from activities at his production company on Thursday. "I had the immense privilege to climb quite high" in Quebec's show business, he wrote. "Clearly, the higher you fall from, the heavier the consequences."
- Groupe V Media suspended his TV show En mode Salvail for an indeterminate period and said it's re-evaluating business relationship with Salvail's production company. Mentions of a radio show he hosted disappeared from Rouge radio station and he lost advertising contracts, including one from grocer Metro Inc.
- Nine women gave testimonies to Le Devoir and 98.5 FM radio station, with some accusing him of sexual assault.
- The women came forward after a director described Rozon - without naming him - in a Facebook post that called on other victims to contact her.
- Before the newspaper hit the newsstands, Rozon announced on Facebook that he quit as head of the company as well as vice president of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.
- "Shaken by the allegations about me, I want to devote all my time to reflect" he said.
- In France, TV station M6 said it would suspend France's Got Talent, which was scheduled to start airing Oct 26