TORONTO – The CBC is removing almost any trace of Jian Ghomeshi from its website as the former radio host awaits trial on four counts of sexual assault.
The public broadcaster confirmed Wednesday it is pulling all of Ghomeshi’s interviews off of its website as the show undergoes a “revamp.”
“We’re not erasing anything, we’re just taking them offline for the time being,” Chuck Thompson, the head of CBC media relations said in an interview Wednesday. “Because Q’s content resides on so many platforms, that’s why it’s not some massive sweep, it’s just pulling back, pulling them down, while we undergo a change.”
He said the CBC wanted to create “an unencumbered space while folks go about figuring out what the show’s going to be.”
Senior radio management had been mulling over the decisions for a few weeks, Thompson said, noting it was not an “obvious or easy decision to make.” Thompson also pointed out that CBC removes content from its website after two years.
Thompson couldn’t say whether the videos will also be pulled off YouTube and said there is a possibility the interviews will be re-uploaded in the future.
He also noted that not all the Q videos will be taken off the CBC website: only the interviews. The musical performances will stay up, but with some slight editing to remove Ghomeshi’s introductions and extros.
Ghomeshi was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcome resistance – choking, on Nov. 26. He plans to plead not guilty. The charges came after nearly a month of allegations in the media about his relationships with women. He had denied the allegations in multiple Facebook posts and maintained his interactions were consensual.