May 17, 2017 4:58 pm

CBC leader reassigned from ‘The National’ after cultural appropriation incident

Steve Ladurantaye, managing editor of CBC's The National, will step away from his role amid cultural appropriation incident.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
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The managing editor of CBC’s “The National” is being reassigned after wading into a controversial debate over cultural appropriation.

Steve Ladurantaye was among the journalists that engaged in a late-night Twitter conversation last week that was sparked by a contentious magazine article advocating for more cultural appropriation in Canadian literature.

The opinion piece in the Writers’ Union of Canada’s magazine, written by novelist and then-editor Hal Niedzviecki, suggested “anyone, anywhere, should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities.”

It also suggested there should be an appropriation prize in literature.

Former National Post editor Ken Whyte tweeted he would “donate $500 to the founding of the appropriation prize if someone else wants to organize.”

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Ladurantaye replied that he would contribute $100. He later deleted the tweet and apologized, saying “what I did was hurtful, and my apology is without condition.”

“In short, I wasn’t thinking. I didn’t stop to think,” he said in a string of tweets.

“That’s a problem. I need to address it. I didn’t stop to think about what it is like to not have my position or my power or my voice.”

The move comes a few days after Jonathan Kay stepped down from his job as editor-in-chief at The Walrus magazine.

READ MORE: Walrus editor Jonathan Kay resigns amid cultural appropriation controversy

While Kay said his reasons for leaving the magazine were “somewhat mundane,” his departure followed an opinion piece he wrote in the National Post defending the right to debate cultural appropriation.

In an email to The Canadian Press, Kay said his interests as an editor no longer aligned with the priorities of the organization that produces the magazine.

More to come.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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