Ben Mulroney steps down as host of 'etalk' to 'create a space' for diversity

By Zach Harper

Ben Mulroney is stepping down as the host of CTV's etalk and says he is doing so to help build diversity on the show.

The son of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announced his decision on Your Morning on June 22. It comes after Bell Media pulled his wife Jessica Mulroney's show I Do, Redo from its networks and Hudson's Bay and Cityline cut ties with the celebrity stylist over a dispute with Sasha Exeter earlier this month.

"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," Ben said.

"I love my wife. 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 blindspots."

"Last Saturday, I watched on CTV as my colleagues led a national conversation about how we can take action against systemic racism," he continued. "That conversation showed me, more than ever, we need more Black voices, more Indigenous voices and more people of colour in the media.

"And that is why I have decided to immediately step away from my role as an anchor at 'etalk' to create a space for a new perspective and a new voice."

"It is my hope that the new anchor is Black, Indigenous or a person of colour who can use this platform to inspire, lead and make change," he finished.

MORE: Seven ways you can educate yourself about anti-Black racism and take action

Ben will continue to co-host Your Morning and will remain a contributor to etalk for special events.

In a video posted to Instagram on June 10, Sasha, a popular social-media influencer, said Jessica "took offence" to a call to action she made encouraging bloggers and influencers to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

MORE: Jessica Mulroney apologizes, promises to 'reflect and learn' as CTV, 'Cityline,' Hudson's Bay cut ties

Sasha said "a series of very problematic behaviour and antics" ensued, culminating in "a threat in writing last Wednesday.” Jessica apologized on June 11, promising to "reflect, learn and listen."

"We're proud of Ben for his decision," Nanci MacLean, Bell Media Studios' Vice-President said in a statement. "Ben has played an integral role in the success of 'etalk,' acting as a tireless champion of Canadian artists and production."

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