Ben Mulroney stepping down as host of CTV's etalk
TORONTO -- Ben Mulroney says he is stepping down as host of CTV entertainment program etalk and hopes a non-white person will take his place.
Mulroney made the announcement Monday on CTV's Your Morning – his first appearance on the program since his wife Jessica Mulroney's reality show "I Do, Redo" was pulled off the air by Bell Media, which also owns CTV News.
That decision was made after Jessica Mulroney was accused of threatening the career of Sasha Exeter, a Black lifestyle influencer from Toronto.
When CTV announced it was removing "I Do, Redo" from all of its platforms, it said Mulroney’s conduct conflicted with the company's "commitment to diversity and equality," and urged all of its employees "to listen to and amplify Black voices, and not to minimize them."
Jessica Mulroney has since apologized to Exeter, said that she respects the company's decision and announced that she is stepping away from her work to reflect, learn and focus on her family. Hudson's Bay, Citytv and "Good Morning America" have also severed ties with her.
Ben Mulroney addressed the issue at the beginning of Monday's broadcast.
"I love my wife, however it is not my place to speak for her, and today we are both committed to doing the work to understand more about anti-Black racism as well as learn and understand more about our blind spots," he said.
Mulroney, who is the son of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, said that his "privilege has benefited [him] greatly" and that he had learned from CTV's recent special "Change & Action: Racism in Canada".
"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. This needs to change," he said.
"More than ever, we need more Black voices, more Indigenous voices, more people of colour in the media as well as every other profession – and that is why I have decided to immediately step away from my role at etalk to create space for a new perspective and a new voice."
Mulroney had been the host of etalk since its creation in 2002. He said that he hoped the next anchor will be "Black, Indigenous, or a person of colour, and they can use this important platform to inspire, to lead and to make change."
Mulroney said he will remain with etalk for red carpet broadcasts and other assignments, and will work on new special projects with Bell Media.
Nanci MacLean, vice-president of Bell Media Studios, said in a statement that the naming of a new host for etalk is a "few weeks" away.
"We're proud of Ben for his decision," she said.
"Ben has played an integral role in the success of etalk, acting as a tireless champion of Canadian artists and producers."