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Wendy Mesley disciplined by CBC News for using the N-word

CBC News has disciplined news host Wendy Mesley. An internal investigation found that she used offensive language "on two separate occasions during editorial meetings."
Barrett Wilson Montreal, QC

CBC News has revealed that it has disciplined news host Wendy Mesley. An internal investigation found that offensive language was used "on two separate occasions during editorial meetings."

She used offensive language once in a meeting in preparation for an upcoming segment on anti-racism, and a second time while referring to a title of a book.

Mesley took to Twitter to provide an statement that read, "I used a word, and yes, it's the word people think ... I thought that by saying the word, I was somehow exposing the truth. I now realize that my abuse of the word was harmful. I hurt my colleagues, my team and the CBC. For that I am deeply sorry and ashamed."

"Words are powerful. And when people of power use certain words, we abuse our privilege."

Mesley's statement went on to read:

"The book uses the full word, and argues that white francophones are victims of discrimination. The book was written in French, but the title is in English. I said the full title in the meeting," she wrote, in reference to the book "White N*****s of America."

"Shortly after, my colleague told me that using that word had made people deeply uncomfortable. I wish I'd treated that more seriously, instead of assuming it was OK because my intentions had been to share outrage and understanding, not to offend.

"It is in the same context that I used the word while preparing our recent episode in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. I thought that by using the word in reference to journalism I was shining a light on anti-Black racism. I now realize that I did the opposite and I am now one example of the problem."

The punishment was not disclosed by CBC News.

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Barrett Wilson
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