Quebec stars Eric Salvail and Gilbert Rozon hit with sexual harassment allegations

On Dira host Rebecca Makonnen discusses the two biggest stories to come out of Quebec this week, both surrounding sexual harassment and assault allegations against television star Eric Salvail and Just For Laughs president Gilbert Rozon.
(Radio-Canada archives, Radio-Canada)

Two very powerful and successful people in the Quebec entertainment industry have been wrapped up in stories involving sexual misconduct. 

Newspapers La Press and Le Devoir have published allegations by men and women saying they'd either been sexually harassed by producer and television star Eric Salvail, or have seen him harass others. Following these allegations, Salvail has been suspended from his roles on TV and radio, and he has lost at least two sponsors. He's released a few statements about all of this. In the most recent, he admits to behavior he now calls "problematic," "inappropriate" and "disrespectful," and says that he is stepping away from his career, maybe for months. 

And that's not the only big story in Quebec this week. 

Gilbert Rozon, the president of the Just For Laughs comedy festival, announced he was also stepping down from his job. That came just hours after a comedian posted on Facebook that he'd "heard stories" about Rozon and called him an "aggressor." Women soon came forward alleging sexual assault and harassment. Their stories were later published in Le Devoir and the radio station, 98.5 FM. 

Rozon has not admitted to any allegations, but in a Facebook post he wrote: "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 was not only the president of Just For Laughs, he was also in charge of Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations and he's the vice-president of the city's Chamber of Commerce. He has stepped down from those positions too. 

CBC and Radio-Canada have not independently confirmed the allegations against either of these people. 

Rebecca Makonnen, the host of On Dira for Radio-Canada, joins us today to discuss these two stories that are taking over the news in Quebec. 

— Produced by Austin Webb


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