Inappropriate sexual remarks at Ont. university convocation spark anger, apologies
Christy Somos, with a report by CTV News London's Bryan Bicknell
Published Tuesday, June 18, 2019 7:51PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 18, 2019 8:04PM EDT
Western University in London, Ont., was left scrambling to issue an apology Monday after comments made during a convocation speech angered graduates and ceremony attendees.
Oscar and Grammy-nominated musician Stephan Moccio, the man behind hits including Miley Cyrus’s tune ‘Wrecking Ball,’ was at the ceremony to receive an honorary doctorate of music and give a speech.
In a seemingly tone-deaf walk down memory lane referring to his own studies in London decades ago, Moccio recalled “driving in off the 401 with a sign that said ‘thank you fathers for dropping off your virgin daughters,’” and recited a song about an all-female residence, the lyrics of which ostensibly implied oral sex.
President of the university Amit Chakma issued a statement shortly after, apologizing for the remarks that were “unacceptable,” and “not in keeping with what Western values in a respectful learning and working environment.”
Moccio also issued an apology via Western’s website, saying that he made “inappropriate comments” that he “deeply regrets.”
This is the second time in a row a convocation speech at Western University has drawn ire, after businessman Aubrey Dan’s speech last year said his decision to attend Western was due to a Playboy magazine article that stated “the women are among the best in North America.”
Western University says the incident has given it “cause to reflect.”