Ben Mulroney has officially announced he’ll be stepping down as an anchor on CTV’s eTalk to make way for more diverse voices.
He made the announcement on the Monday morning broadcast of Your Morning, saying that he’s decided to “pass the mic” and make way for new people to take on his role.
“Last Saturday, I watched on CTV as my colleagues led a national conversation about how we can take action against systemic racism. That conversation showed me, more than ever, we need more Black voices, more Indigenous voices and more people of colour in the media,” Mulroney, 44, said in the statement. “And that is why I have decided to immediately step away from my role as an anchor at eTalk to create a space for a new perspective and a new voice.
“It is my hope that the new anchor is Black, Indigenous or a person of colour who can use this important platform to inspire, lead and make change.”
Mulroney will continue to co-host the morning show and contribute to special assignments, like red-carpet events. He will also develop and produce projects for Bell Media Studios, according to a CTV statement.
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“We’re proud of Ben for his decision,” said vice-president of Bell Media Studios and president of Pinewood Toronto Studios Nanci MacLean, who thanked Mulroney for all of his contributions. “Ben has played an integral role in the success of eTalk, acting as a tireless champion of Canadian artists and productions.”
“As part of Bell Media’s Content Diversity Task Force, Bell Media Studios is committed to diversity in front of and behind the camera,” MacLean continued. “We will now begin the process of confirming a new anchor at eTalk in the next few weeks.”
Mulroney, who’s been with eTalk since its inception in 2002, spoke out about the recent issues surrounding his wife Jessica Mulroney in a video posted to Twitter.
“I love my wife. However, it is not my place to speak for her, and today, together, we are committed to doing the work to both learn and understand more about anti-Black racism as well as learn and understand more about our blind spots,” he says in the video.
“It means acknowledging here today that my privilege has benefited me greatly, and while I have certainly worked hard to build my career, I know that systemic racism and injustice helps people like me and harms those not like me in ways that are invisible to us.”
The news was announced after Mulroney returned to his Your Morning co-host position following a “scheduled vacation.” The vacation’s timing coincided with accusations made against his wife by Canadian lifestyle blogger and athlete Sasha Exeter.
Exeter shared her story in an IGTV video on June 10, detailing her experience with Mulroney’s wife, a Canadian stylist and on-air personality. Exeter alleged that Jessica took personal offence after she posted a call for people with large public followings to use their platforms to speak out against racism.
“What happened next was a series of very problematic behaviour and antics that ultimately resulted in her sending me a threat in writing last Wednesday, June 3,” Exeter said in an Instagram post.
Exeter said she was not calling Jessica racist but said the media personality is “very well aware” of her wealth and power, along with the privilege she is afforded due to her race.
“Textbook white privilege, really, in my personal opinion,” Exeter said.
Following the accusations, CTV cancelled Jessica’s show I Do, Redo. Hudson’s Bay also dropped her as the face of Kleinfeld Canada, and she stepped down from her family charity The Shoebox Project.
In a separate social media post earlier on June 11, Jessica said she and Exeter had a disagreement and that Exeter “rightfully” called her out. Mulroney then issued a statement regarding “the events that have transpired over the last few days.” She said it’s clear she has “work to do.”
“I realize more than ever how being a white, privileged woman has put me far ahead of so many, and in particular those in the Black community. And while I can’t change the past, I can do my part to do better in the future,” Jessica said.
“I was wrong and for that I am truly sorry.”