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Volume 24 No. 156
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Female Staffers Speak Out On Sportsnet Culture In Wake Of Gregg Zaun's Firing

Sportsnet's firing of Blue Jays analyst Gregg Zaun last week "came as no surprise to some of the network’s female staffers," though what they "could not understand was why it took so long," according to Lori Ewing of the CP. Two female employees "painted a picture of an offensive workplace environment where sexist comments are tolerated, and they have feared speaking up." One employee said, "Zaun’s on-air brand and image was based around aggressive masculinity so when he wore (undershirts) around the office and made rude sexual comments directly to women, or in close proximity of women, with the clear intention of making us uncomfortable, it was sort of implied: that’s who he was, deal with it." Another employee "spoke about offensive comments that stretched beyond Zaun." She said, "It is openly accepted that over intercom (between the studio and in-game staff) we can objectify women in the stands of hockey games, we can discuss girlfriends and wives of professional athletes and use language that should not be accepted under any circumstances." Neither of the women "filed complaints against Zaun" (CP, 12/1). The NATIONAL POST's Scott Stinson wrote, "When powerful men in the entertainment and media industries are being revealed to have been serial sexual harrassers, it has felt inevitable that the dominoes would eventually fall in sports media." Stinson: "How could this industry, which still has an old-boys-club mentality that must at least rival that of Hollywood, not be harbouring some of the same types that have been exposed in film and television?" (NATIONAL POST, 12/1).