The complainant, Steve Zradicka, objected to the use of the f-word in an interview with two of the women who accused Albert Schultz of sexual misconduct. He pointed out his two children were in the car with him and it was unacceptable to use foul language, and that the warning ahead of time was not specific enough. The word was used in the context of something Mr. Schultz allegedly said and was not gratuitous. The warning mentioned strong language and disturbing subject matter. There was no violation of policy. (WARNING, THE F-WORD IS USED IN THIS REVIEW).

COMPLAINT

You were offended by the use of the “f-word” during an episode of The Current. You were driving in the car with your children and heard it twice within a minute or so. You said there was no warning. The host of the programme, Anna-Maria Tremonti, stated there would be strong language used – but you questioned whether that covered swearing. You thought the inclusion of this language was a ratings-grab and a deliberate attempt to inflame a situation:

I believe that this is a tactic by CBC to whip up the passion of the listeners with a topic that plays on the hearts and emotions of radio listeners across the country while slipping in foul language like FUCK on national airwaves and not caring about the “regulations” or the “code of conduct” within CBC programs while “justifying” their actions of profanity on the national airwaves of Canada. What topic will they choose next that will “justify” and “warrant” the use of swearing and profanity for Canadians of all ages to hear???

You pointed out that this situation was even more unacceptable because your children were listening, and likely, many others were as well:

Needless to say I’m angry that my children had to hear the word FUCK while i listened to the radio this morning. It made me feel very uncomfortable and I thumb my nose at CBC for their lack of professionalism. It may be an old word to “thumb my nose” at CBC to show my displease to this broadcast but at least I’m not telling them to fuck off. We have an extensive list of words we can use in the English language to convey our message and the profanity I heard used this morning was blatant demagoguery and ignorant to the fact that most people don’t want to hear that kind of language while tuned into the radio.

You think that it should be CBC policy and practice that “profanity within ANY topic on the airwaves will not be acceptable.”

The episode in question was an interview with two of the four women who had just filed a civil suit against Albert Schultz, the co-founding artistic director of Soulpepper Theatre. You said that none of these accusations had been proven in court and it was wrong to damage his reputation before the courts had ruled. Your primary concern was the use of the swear words.

MANAGEMENT RESPONSE

Kathleen Goldhar, who was then Executive Producer of The Current, replied to your concerns. She told you she regretted your discomfort. She mentioned that it is general practice to avoid “coarse language” in radio broadcasts, but this was a case where it seemed justified to make an exception. She said the producers considered it “germane, even important” to the “integrity of the story.”

Continue reading this on the CBC website, where it was first published.