Canadian news anchor's antigay slurs caught on tape
January 28 2004 12:00 AM ET
Someone should have yelled, "We're still rolling."
Maybe veteran Toronto television news anchor Gord Martineau wouldn't have been caught making obscene gestures and antigay remarks while filming promotional outtakes for Citytv's 6 p.m. newscast, reports The National Post.
The video clips circulating on the Internet show Martineau mocking an upcoming news item about children with cancer. In another clip he is lisping heavily and swinging his arms from side to side, referring to a Canadian singer as a "homo," according to the newspaper.
The anchors then refer to a news items about a memorial service for a slain Toronto-area high school student and a walkathon for children with cancer. "Boy, we're sensitive, eh? Aren't we?" Martineau says sarcastically. "I'll go to confession tomorrow." Taping of another promo is interrupted by a technician concerned about a graphic, referred to as a key. Martineau leans back, holds a rolled up piece of paper in front of his groin, and says, "Right here is your key. See this key? Right here."
Citytv vice president Stephen Hurlbut apologized Monday for what he said showed a lapse into a "bad sense of humor" that sometimes occurs in newsrooms. But he said there would be no disciplinary action required, according to the Post. Martineau was "embarrassed that something that may speak to a stellar career in broadcasting that might get a bit of smirch on it because he got crazy one day," Hurlbut said. He said the clips are taken out of context and would give viewers an unfair measure of Martineau's character. "It's absolutely wrong. This is not who we are."
Hurlbut also told the newspaper he did not think the comments would offend gay employees who might have heard them live in the newsroom. "I think any employee, whether they be gay or not, is absolutely comfortable with Gord and the value structure within which we operate." He pointed to the station's history of championing human rights. "Our news channel, CP24, is the first station in Canada to have an openly gay show." The offensive segments of the video were never aired. Hurlbut said he did not know how the clips ended up on the Internet. Martineau did not return a phone call requesting comment.