Should The Apology Be Accepted
I am posting below a letter that was sent out by Joe about the matter and the apology received. It looks like Joe kept his word since these letters are circulating widely to those in the community. They were forwarded to me by a reader. I decided that I wanted to comment on them since they raise a question concerning the standards to which we hold our officials. I thought they were important to post.
Should we just in Joe's terms "put this to rest and learn some important lessons from it" or is more needed? Is it enough just to accept an apology or should we require, for instance, that Gordon Orr be given "sensitivity training." After all, we need him to be an effective spokesperson for the City to draw tourists here, especially from minority groups. We cannot allow him to make such a mistake again if we are not to lose millions because of an error like this.
Am I being harsh? Absolutely! Is that fair, No... but we seem to require those people who are in "public" jobs to live by a very high standard. Whether that is right or wrong, is another question that needs addressing at some time.
Accordingly, it would seem to me that some of the $3,000 being given to the Governor's husband might be better diverted for training for Gordon and perhaps others who have contact with the public about how to behave.
Earlier today I had two very good telephone conversations with Gordon Orr, emcee of last Friday’s Business Excellence Awards, and Jennifer Jones, partner and executive producer at Media Street Productions, who produced the show. They both called me about the letter I submitted to the Windsor Star dealing with Brokeback Mountain and the gay one-liners from the show. Apparently, there were other letters on this matter circulating, but the one I penned as Board president of Windsor Pride made it to the Mayor’s office and was forwarded to Gordon and Jennifer.
Both Gordon and Jennifer have expressed their deep-felt apologies for the effect this particular segment had on many in the community. They both said that they did not intend anything malicious, that it was intended to be lighthearted and fun. They now, in retrospect, wish this segment had been removed.
I know these two individuals personally and know their apology and regret to be sincere. They are extremely fine members of our Windsor community. Jennifer is also a board member of the Chamber, so she wears two hats in this matter. I thanked them for being forthright and upfront with us and have accepted their apologies on behalf of all in our community.
The tape of the Friday’s show was scheduled to air tonight on TV Cogeco, with many subsequent repeat showings. Jennifer arranged to have Cogeco postpone tonight’s showing and asked Cogeco to edit out the Brokeback Mountain segment. I thanked her for this action.
Finally, Jennifer indicated that she would be sending to me a letter addressing this matter which I will forward on to all when I am in receipt of it. Please send this current email on to whomever you forwarded my original letter. We all need to put this to rest and learn some important lessons from it.
President of the Board
Mr. Joe McParland
President of the Board
Windsor, Ontario N8X 1P4
Please express our heartfelt apologies to your membership. As explained in phone conversations between you and Gordon Orr and Jennifer Jones it was truly never the intention of any of the parties involved to offend or alienate any specific group or individual.
All individuals involved in this process are most committed to respecting the human dignity of all persons.
This segment of Friday night’s program was a parody of Saturday Night Lives’ Weekend Update and was meant to be a lighthearted look at topical events. We were most cognizant of developing a product that didn’t offend anyone in our community and therefore our reference was made using Hollywood as the backdrop.
The first airing of this program on Cogeco Cable was scheduled for Tuesday, February 14th. Immediately following our conversation this program was pulled and directions to edit this portion were executed.
Again, our sincerest apologies if this translated in the local community. This was never our intention and we are sorry.
Linda Smith, President, Windsor & District Chamber of Commerce
Jennifer Jones, Executive Producer, Media Street Productions, Inc.
Gordon Orr, Show Host