Bell Media has cut ties with Jessica Mulroney following an online spat between the I Do, Redo host and Black social media influencer Sasha Exeter.
The Toronto-based fashion and lifestyle blogger behind SoSasha.com went public Wednesday with details about a disagreement with Mulroney that Exeter says ended with the host and fashion stylist threatening her livelihood.
In a 12-minute Instagram video, Exeter said Mulroney wrongly assumed that a “generic call to action” in reference to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests on her IG Stories was directed at her. After a series of messages, Exeter said the disagreement took a turn when Mulroney wrote “I have also spoken to companies and people about the way you’ve treated me unfairly. You think your voice matters. Well, it only matters if you express it with kindness and without shaming people who are just trying to learn. Good luck.”
Comparing Mulroney to Amy Cooper, the Canadian executive who went viral after video surfaced of her calling police on a Black man in Central Park, Exeter said what she finds astounding is how “effortlessly” the threat was made.
“What makes this situation really horrendous is the claim that she was going ahead and speaking to brands and companies that I have worked with…or could possibly work with. That’s a threat to my livelihood,” said Exeter, who has worked with Joe Fresh, Apple, and Nike, among other brands. “For her to threaten me – a single, Black mom – during a racial pandemic, blows my mind.”
View this post on Instagram
I’ve been silent. Not anymore! I’m used to being so transparent on this platform. I think it’s the main reason why most of you follow me. Today, I’m opening up about something that has been haunting me for the last week. I have felt like a complete fraud fighting for racial equality and using my voice openly here, while letting a white woman silence mine behind closed doors. In sharing this very personal story, I know that I am risking a lot. Opening myself up to criticism, bullying and potential ramifications with my job in this space. However, I must speak my truth. Enough is enough. Hopefully my voice will be heard by many and help change things for the next generation and for my daughter Maxwell… because I will be dammed if my child ever has to deal with this level of ignorance.
Exeter went on to reveal that after posting a public apology, Mulroney followed up with a text threatening to sue her for libel.
CTV Communications issued a statement Thursday saying that it encourages its “entire team including our on-air talent to practice respect, inclusivity, and allyship…and more openly to listen to and amplify Black voices, and not to minimize them.”
The statement went on to say that Mulroney’s conduct “conflicts with our commitment to diversity and equality” and that I Do, Redo would be pulled from all Bell Media platforms immediately.
— CTV Communications (@CTV_PR) June 11, 2020
Similar statements from Cityline, which Mulroney has been a contributor on, and Hudson’s Bay Company, where Mulroney has been a bridal specialist and ambassador for Kleinfeld Bridal, followed.
The latest on Jessica Mulroney – she gets dropped by Canadian media and HBC brand partnership. WOW. Great to see these brands for doing the right thing and standing by their values and promises. pic.twitter.com/8G9w2R8Zcb
— Aleeza Balita (@aleeza_balita) June 12, 2020
Mulroney, who is married to Etalk anchor Ben Mulroney, issued her own statement saying “the events that have transpired over the last few days have made it clear that I have work to do.”
“I respect the decision of CTV and have decided to step away from my professional engagements at this time…I also want to take a moment to clarify that I have no intention of pursuing any legal action. I was wrong, and for that I am truly sorry.”
— jessica mulroney (@jessicamulroney) June 11, 2020
Mulroney’s wedding series I Do, Redo offers couples whose weddings were ruined by circumstances beyond their control a redo on their big day. The CTV Original series, which had its season finale on the main network May 31, was set to anchor Tuesday nights on CTV Life Channel’s summer schedule. A Bell Media collaboration with Netflix, whether the show will still be picked up by the streaming service outside Canada, is unclear. Mulroney is also a fashion contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America.
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