Gilbert Rozon steps down after misconduct allegations surface on social media
'I am stepping down out of respect for employees,' wrote Just For Laughs president in a Facebook post
Gilbert Rozon, president of Just For Laughs, vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce Metropolitan Montreal and the man in charge of the Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations, is stepping down from all his functions.
Rozon, 62, made the announcement on his Facebook page within hours of being called out by a comedian as an "aggressor."
"I am stepping down out of respect for the employees and families who work for these organizations and all our partners. I do not want to shame them," Rozon said in his post.
He did not admit to any allegations.
The news comes on the same day that another prominent Quebecer, media star Éric Salvail, was suspended amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
The Salvail saga prompted comedian Guillaume Wagner to take to social media, saying "Let's talk about the next one."
In his Facebook post, which in seven hours had garnered 16,000 views, Wagner said he worked for Rozon and always heard rumours about his behaviour.
"I will not work for Just For Laughs anymore," he wrote in French.
Wagner does not say he is an alleged victim, nor does his post say that he ever witnessed any inappropriate behaviour.
By 9 p.m., Rozon responded on social media.
"Shaken by the allegations concerning me, I wish to devote all my time to step back and take stock. To all those whom I may have offended throughout my life, I am sincerely sorry."
Rozon was not available for an interview.
Zero tolerance, mayor says
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre responded to the allegations against Rozon, who up until Wednesday was the commissioner of Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations.
"When there is a relationship of authority, you have to protect people,'' Coderre said in a written statement. ''The pressure should not be on the victims but on the alleged aggressors. For me, it's zero tolerance, whether we know the people involved or not."
Coderre added that alleged victims need to be supported while allowing the justice system to run its course.
Police investigation underway
Radio-Canada has confirmed that Montreal police have opened an investigation into Rozon for an incident reported to have happened in Paris in 1994.