Jill Krop, BC Regional Director of News, for Global News has announced she is stepping down a day after VICE News published an investigation on allegations of systemic racism at the company.
Global News announced Thursday that Krop will step down at the end of September. The announcement did not say why Krop is stepping down.
Corus and Krop did not respond to VICE News’ request for comment.
Krop was mentioned in VICE News’ story in which 12 current and former Global News and Corus Entertainment employees alleged the company has a culture of racism, retaliation for speaking out, and a lack of accountability. Several of the most outspoken internal critics were laid off.
Last fall, diversity speaker Mo Dhaliwal wrote in the Georgia Straight about how he overheard a blackface joke when he was being interviewed on Global News. He said Global didn’t air the segment after he brought up the joke during the interview.
Krop subsequently had an on-air conversation with Dhaliwal about the incident during which she said he was “unwilling to accept our apologies” and insisted that Global News was “happy to be held accountable.” Krop also accused Dhaliwal of being slow to respond to her and told him that an employee of colour had praised the outlet’s handling of the situation.
“I would ask you: what are some of your suggestions to help solve this?,” Krop said, later inviting him to join Global’s diversity and inclusion committee.
When Dhaliwal said that Global BC’s decision not to air the segment did not demonstrate accountability, Krop responded, “that is your perception of the process."
On October 1, 2019, after the interview aired, a group of Global News employees sent an email to Ward Smith, senior vice president of Global News, outlining their concerns with her approach.
“The manner in which Global addressed the racist joke has made it clear to us that there is a deep disconnect between Global's admirable attempts to bolster diversity and address racism within the organization, and the actual actions being taken. We have questions about the decision not to air the original segment as well as the process and outcome of the internal investigation into the employee’s racist joke. We believe the interview between Jill and Mo exposed blindspots within our organization that can — and should — be addressed,” the email said.
Multiple employees said the company refused to do a diversity audit at the time. Sources inside Corus have said the company has not internally addressed VICE News’ investigation to staff.
Corus has hired the firm Diversipro to conduct an investigation into racism at the company and has said it will use the results to create a multi-year plan.
A Corus spokesperson previously told VICE News it is committed to an open and collaborative environment.
“We strive for positive experiences for all of our team members, but we also acknowledge that this has not been the experience of everyone and this leaves us deeply troubled. Our company is committed to a culture where we stand up for each other and actively work to challenge our biases and assumptions,” the spokesperson said in an email.
According to the announcement, Krop has worked for Global for 23 years. Smith described her as a “caring leader and mentor to her team.”
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