The Daily Wire’s Frank Camp reported an unusual incident involving a Toronto journalist and a stand-up comedian with a rather warped sense of humor. While reporting a story on live TV, CBC Toronto’s Chris Glover was approached from behind by a stranger who began kissing his ear and licking his neck. Glover handled the bizarre incident in good humor and quickly ended the segment. He later filed a police report.
This is so disturbing and I get more uncomfortable every time I watch this creepy guy assault @chrisgloverCBC on live television. Why do people think it’s OK to #harass & #assault reporters while they do their job?! It’s gotta stop! @chrisgloverCBC @CBCToronto #Toronto #reporter pic.twitter.com/rSeTStQI5L
— Jeffrey Vallis (@jeffrey_vallis) February 27, 2019
The comedian, Boyd Banks, called into Canadian radio show “As It Happens” and offered an apology.
There is no excuse for my behaviour last night. I’m guilty of everything. … I am an idiot, and there’s something wrong with me. I’m not making excuses. I want to apologize to the stand-up community in Canada and, of course, the reporter who was doing his job.
Bystanders found the incident to be quite amusing and no one tried to stop Banks or pull him away from Glover. Had he been a woman, it’s likely the reaction would have been very different.
DW: What was your immediate reaction when Banks started to do what he did?
GLOVER: The first thing that I was reacting to was my own confusion because I really didn’t have a full sense of what was happening. It seems pretty clear from the perspective of the lens what’s happening to me, but in that moment, for me, I was processing what was going on and what was happening around me – the things that I was feeling physically on the back of my head, and then on my shoulder, and on my neck, and on my ear. You’re kind of trying to justify and contextualize, and I’m just really at a loss for what’s happening to me. But as my brain kind of kicked in and caught up to the situation, I was able to realize in a more fulsome way what was actually happening, and how wrong it was, and how desperately I wanted to get out of that situation.
As the video goes on, you see at the end, I start talking about how awkward I’m feeling, and that I’m gonna toss it back to the control room or the studio. At that point I’m feeling grossed out, I’m feeling disturbed, and I just want out of that moment.
DW: A lot of people will watch this and think it’s ridiculous; they might laugh, and sort of move on, but this feels more troubling than that, as I’m sure it was for you. What’s your take on that perspective?
GLOVER: It was humiliating for me to be exposed and vulnerable on live TV like that, and to have somebody take advantage of me in that situation. I have been overwhelmed with the support that I’ve received from other journalists, politicians, certainly comedians as well who have reached out to me to say that what happened to me was wrong.
I believe that other people go through far worse and are violated in far worse ways, and I have seen so many of my female colleagues have this happen to them again and again – whether it’s things being thrown at them or yelled at them – it’s something that, I think, it seems like a lot of people who have been writing to me and writing on social media have had enough of.
DW: We see these kinds of things happen in news blooper compilations on YouTube. Is this kind of behavior getting worse in the industry, or are we just noticing it more than before?
GLOVER: I’ve been doing this job for almost a decade, and this is the only time I’ve ever had anything that crossed the line into something that I would consider very inappropriate. So, by my own barometer, it sounds like it’s getting worse. I don’t know. I’m not sure if I have enough collective knowledge to know if this is getting worse or better.
All I can say is that people have named and shamed this as harassment very quickly, and in an unequivocal way that I don’t typically see online. This has certainly enraged many people and spread very quickly, and I don’t know if it would’ve had that kind of reaction or impact five years ago or even three years ago. It seems like people, myself included, are fed up with this kind of thing, and I know that I’ve seen enough of this, and I don’t ever wanna be treated like that again. Ultimately, that’s why I filed a police report.
DW: Have you spoken with Banks?
GLOVER: I have not. CBC was able to reach him for a comment. He apologized for what happened – to me and generally to the comedian community – saying that his actions are not reflective of their community. I’m happy that he did that. I think that it was an important voice to add to this overall conversation – to hear from someone who has done something like this, who says “I’m sorry” and “I own that.” I think that’s a great service to stopping this sort of thing from happening in the future.
DW: Do you have any final comments?
GLOVER: I think people have done a pretty good job of dissecting what’s gone on and respecting the importance of what happened. I’m happy to see that people have had a visceral reaction to this sort of thing. I think that it speaks to the moment that we’re in right now, and the kind of vulnerable state that not just on-air people face on the job, but transit operators, nurses, politicians, and all these sorts of people who are interacting with the public on a daily basis. I think this goes to show that this kind of behavior is going to get called out. I called it out because I found it unacceptable, and I hope that I prevent it from happening again.