Former Corus employees claim that John Deringer Q107's behavior has long been a problem

Former Corus employees claim that John Deringer Q107’s behavior has long been a problem

Sadaf Ehsan Canadian Press

Posted Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 11:00 AM EST

Last update Thursday, May 26, 2022 11:00AM EST

TORONTO — Three days after former Q107 broadcaster Jennifer Valentine allegations of workplace harassment, Corus Entertainment Inc. Derringer in the Morning is on hiatus as it is subject to an ethical investigation.

On Sunday, Valentyne posted a 12-minute video on social media in which she described her experience of years of verbal abuse and gender discrimination by an unnamed co-worker.

In the video, Valentine says, “What would you do if a co-worker yelled at you, belittled you, called you names, shut you up, brought you to tears, and then laughed when he told you to cry all you wanted? He didn’t feel sorry for you a little bit, and told you with conviction. So that if you go to the HR department, will they pick it up?… Like many women, I have endured and been silent.”

In the days that followed, several former Corus employees launched similar allegations against the show’s host, John Deringer, and the company, which some say turned a blind eye.

The Canadian Press made several attempts to contact Derringer for comment, but he did not respond. Corus said Valentine shared her concerns years ago and that the broadcasting company took action to review them at the time. She also noted that the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s allegations process was continuing.

The company added that it has received new information over the past few days and has appointed Rachel Turnpney of Turnpney Milne LLP to conduct an external investigation. Derringer’s offer will remain in a hiatus during the investigation.

“Any concerns about employee experience are of the utmost importance to us and we are committed to listening, learning and taking any appropriate action,” the company said, adding that it would not comment further during the investigation.

Former radio host Erin Davis described Deringer’s behavior as “the best kept secret on radio”.

Although she has never worked face-to-face with Derringer, Davis says he actively “scared” her on the airwaves while she hosted 98.1 CHFI’s Morning Show.

“He was constantly shooting at me; he was disheartening. Like, why me? I always thought there was enough reward for everyone, but he saw someone irresistible or couldn’t fight and chased me down relentlessly,” she said in a phone interview from her home in Victoria, Columbia. British.

Another woman, Jackie Delaney, now Senator Leo Husakos’s director of parliamentary affairs, spoke on social media about her experience working on Derringer’s Show in 2002, and resigned two months later due to the “toxic” atmosphere.

“From very early on when he broke up with me, I made a decision that this was not what I signed up for and that either he would change immediately or I would be gone — and management agreed to that assessment,” Delaney said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press from her home in Ottawa.

Delaney says she was Derringer’s third co-host in a short period of time, something management acknowledged was a “problem” even before her arrival. After her initial complaints, they moved her to a separate booth, but the verbal abuse continued at a level that Delaney says she’s never experienced before.

“I left with the understanding that they would monitor him and keep him in check, and that they would take steps to make sure this didn’t happen to anyone else. That’s why I was so appalled when I saw Jen’s video, I couldn’t believe that after all these years, she was describing the exact same behavior I’d seen.”

Davis says she believes the broadcaster allowed Derringer to continue because “if you take him off the broadcast, you’re going to lose money.”

“And in the end, all the co-hosts, the revolving door of the female who sat in the chair opposite him, were conspicuously consumed, and they could say nothing, for (the company) would always take Derringer’s side.”

However, the toxic workplace allegations surrounding Corus are not limited to gender discrimination. In a 2020 Vice story, dozens of former and current employees described the company as hosting a culture of racist micro-aggression.

Supriya Dwivedi, a former Toronto-based radio host for Global News whose parent company is also Corus, sacked the workplace that same year after filing multiple complaints about co-workers spreading racist misinformation that she says no one has heard of.

Time spent in company overlapped with time at Valentine, and she remembers often bumping into her in the bathroom, where she finds her “visibly upset, shivering, and crying.”

Dwivedi adds: “It was known what they had to deal with. … Companies could release all the well-designed data in the world, but if they weren’t actually doing the work to improve the workplace environment and make sure toxic behavior was not tolerated, then it’s all just decoration in the end. for the window.”

Until that change comes, she says, “I’m not really sure how to encourage other young women and other young journalists who suffer from racism to get into this industry.”

While Delaney hopes to see Kouros acknowledge the alleged events of the past two decades, Davis says, “I’m so proud and grateful for Jennifer Valentine. She had so much to lose. Once you’re labeled a troublemaker in this business, you’re done, and it’s been forever.” That is why the women never spoke.”

2022-05-26 15:00:10

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