Toronto comedian assaults reporter on live television
A well-known Canadian stand-up comic is coming under intense criticism today for his bizarre and inappropriate treatment of a Toronto journalist.
CBC Toronto reporter Chris Glover was reporting live on Tuesday evening from Comedy Bar, where the Canadian Association of Stand-Up Comedians were hosting a Town Hall to discuss a controversial new deal between SiriusXM and Just For Laughs.
Comics say the rebranding of radio station Canada Laughs 168 to "Just for Laughs Radio" will negatively impact the livelihoods and careers of countless Canadian performers, as well as hurt the country's comedy scene in general.
It's a serious issue involving one of Canada's greatest cultural exports, making what CBC viewers saw during Glover's live hit all the more bizarre.
This is so disturbing and I get more uncomfortable every time I watch this creepy guy assault @chrisgloverCBC on live television. Why do people think it’s OK to #harass & #assault reporters while they do their job?! It’s gotta stop! @chrisgloverCBC @CBCToronto #Toronto #reporter pic.twitter.com/rSeTStQI5L— Jeffrey Vallis (@jeffrey_vallis) February 27, 2019
Even before anchor Dwight Drummond throws to Glover in the field, a man (comedian Boyd Banks) can be seen poking his face almost desperately over the reporter's shoulders.
As Glover answers Drummond's questions about the station's rebranding, the man behind him becomes increasingly aggressive.
Eventually, Banks starts to lick the visibly uncomfortable reporter's ear and neck. As Glover leans away, Banks follows him closely and continues trying to lick and kiss him.
"Things are getting a little awkward out here, so I'm going to pass it back to you, Dwight," says Glover in this week's greatest understatement.
Drummond calls the man's behaviour "really unnecessary" and encourages Glover to "move away from that gentlemen," but the bar is jam-packed.
"Yeah, I have nowhere to go," laughed Glover as Twitter users took their phones in disgust over what they'd just seen.
People love throwing in the word borderline to shit that is just 100% the case. It WAS SEXUAL ASSAULT.— Lesbo Bitch 3000 (@Miyano_hime) February 27, 2019
That was the creepiest and nastiest thing I've ever seen.
Glover's colleagues, contemporaries and viewers are all praising the journalist for maintaining his professionalism despite the circumstances.
"This is outrageous, and it's assault," wrote CBC Radio host Matt Galloway on Twitter. "Respect to [Chris Glover] for keeping his cool - I would not have been so patient."
"No one would (hopefully) ever do this do a construction worker, a grocery store clerk, or anyone else doing their job in their workplace," noted Global TV News Director Mackay Taggart in response to the clip. "Why do people feel compelled to do this to a TV reporter. [Chris Glover] I'm sorry you had to experience this."
This is beyond gross and disturbing. It’s assault. @chrisgloverCBC you are a true professional for handling that so calmly.— Farrah Merali (@FarrahMerali) February 27, 2019
Even more people are expressing their disapproval of Boyd's behaviour.
"I'm not going to share what [Banks] did on the news," wrote Mark Forward, one of Canada's most-prominent comics on Twitter Wednesday morning. "But fuck you dude. We are begging for fucking respect from our country. Everyone. Grow the fuck up. Cheers and good morning."
"I'm so sorry you were treated so horribly," Forward continued. "It's disgusting and wrong. I truly appreciate you coming to cover our story and I'm so sorry."
@BoydBanksComic why in the hell are you doing this when the media is trying to shed light on our cause? Unreal and unacceptable.— Rhiannon Archer (@RhiannonArcher) February 27, 2019
Banks is described in his professional bio as "a popular stand up comedian and actor" as well as "one of the favourite alternative comedians on the scene." He was born in Saskatchewan but now calls Toronto home.
Banks has not yet commented publicly on the incident, nor have Glover or the CBC. It is not yet known if assault charges will be filed, as so many on Twitter would like to see, but it's safe to say that the comedian's hard-earned reputation is trashed right now—if not forever.
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