The Canadian Press
TORONTO–An incident in which a well-known comic actor nuzzles and licks the ear of an on-air TV journalist reporting from a meeting of comedians sparked widespread public condemnation and prompted the reporter to take the matter to police yesterday.
In a widely-seen clip, CBC’s Chris Glover is talking back to the studio when one man leans into the frame behind him and mugs for the camera before leaving while a second man, dressed in a green Saskatchewan Roughriders’ hoodie, moves in on the reporter.
The man, identified as Boyd Banks, who has appeared on CBC shows, proceeds to demonstratively lick Glover’s ear and kiss his neck while the journalist continues speaking to camera before throwing it back to the studio with the line:
“Things are getting a little awkward out here so I’m going to pass it back to you,” Glover said on Tuesday from the Comedy Bar in Toronto.
“Yeah, that’s a little strange. It’s really unnecessary,” host Dwight Drummond told Glover.
“Just move away from that gentleman.”
While some observers argued the actions amounted to an assault or sexual assault, Glover told The Canadian Press he would leave it up to police to make that determination.
What’s certain, he said, was how the incident made him feel.
“I, as a journalist, was just trying to do my job,” Glover remarked. “I feel deeply disturbed by what happened.
“I still feel like it was completely uncalled for.
“The whole thing just really made me feel really awkward and uncomfortable and embarrassed,” he added.
Saskatchewan-born Banks, 54, who has multiple film and TV credits, including the CBC’s “Little Mosque on the Prairie,” could not be reached for comment.
Gary Rideout, owner of the Comedy Bar, said Banks was a regular visitor, though not as a performer.
He said Banks was now barred from the venue for “displaying reprehensible behaviour that I can’t condone in any way.”
In recent years, female reporters, in particular, have been the subject of crude, harassing catcalls which, in some cases, have resulted in charges against the perpetrator.
More recently, other journalists have been physically assaulted while doing their jobs in public.
“I took the step to go to police because I hope that this person can take responsibility for what has happened,” Glover said.
“Maybe this can prevent this kind of thing from happening again.”