Ben Mulroney steps down as Etalk anchor, acknowledges his “privilege”

Ben Mulroney steps down as Etalk anchor, acknowledges his “privilege”

Ben Mulroney is stepping away from his role of anchoring Bell Media's Etalk entertainment program, giving his reasons in a pre-recorded video posted to social media this morning. 

Here's a partial transcription of what Ben said in the video posted to Twitter.

“I want to take a moment to speak to you about the situation surrounding my wife Jessica and the next steps I will be taking with Bell Media.”

Last week, Ben's wife Jessica “decided to step away" from her own show on Bell Media after being accused of racism: “I was wrong, and that I am truly sorry.”

“I love my wife...”

...but?

“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."

Careful, “blind spot” is ableist.

“So, what does this mean for me? Well, 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 who aren't like me, often in ways that are invisible to us.”

Ben's father is former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Like Justin, Ben is “privileged” because of his surname.

“This needs to change.”

Fire all sons of former prime ministers from their high level jobs?

“Last Saturday, I watched on CTV as my colleagues led a national conversation about how we can take action against systemic racism and that conversation showed me, more than ever, we need more Black voices, more Indigenous voices, more People of Colour in the media as well as every other profession.”

When Trudeau was confronted for blackface, he called it a learning opportunity for all of us.

“And that is why I have decided to immediately step away from my role as anchor at Etalk to create space for a new perspective and a new voice. It is my hope that that new anchor is a Black, Indigenous or a Person of Colour. And they can use this important platform to inspire, to lead, and to make change.”

Etalk is a Canadian evening gossip column. One of their greatest successes was garnering 1.2 million viewers during the 2016 Oscars pre-show, and Ben says that while he will no longer anchor the evening show, he will still be on hand for those red carpet events and will is keeping his gig as a news reporter on Your Morning.

Evenings off, and red carpets. So brave.

You can watch the whole thing here: