Note: After publication, CBC reporter Chris Glover filed a police complaint regarding the incident. The story has been updated to reflect this fact.
A reporter had his ear repeatedly licked and neck kissed by a comedian on live television while reporting from a Toronto bar Tuesday night.
The live hit was at Comedy Bar—a comedy club in west Toronto—with CBC reporter Chris Glover reporting on an online radio station switching from playing comedians albums to live tapings from Just For Laughs. A “town hall” was held by the Canadian Association of Stand-Up Comedians Tuesday night to discuss the financial implications the move would have, and for those not in the industry to show their support for local comedians. But instead of discussing the plight of comedians who will be losing a revenue stream, many Canadians are now discussing a video creepy man in the Roughriders jersey licking and kissing a reporter without consent.
The video begins with Glover speaking to a CBC anchor from the bar. It starts off simple and goofy with two comedians behind Glover screwing about and popping their heads over his shoulders. Comedian Boyd Banks takes a lead role in this and stares directly over his shoulder into the camera—strange but nothing completely untoward for a reporter doing a live hit from a comedy club.
However, it quickly moves into extremely uncomfortable territory as Banks—seemingly doing an ill-thought out bit—starts to kiss and lick Glover’s ear. Glover subtly moves away, but he’s on live TV so he doesn’t completely bail. Boyd continues to lick his earlobe and at one point seemingly lightly bites it while Glover continues to discuss the story. While he speaks Glover continues to slowly move away but Boyd follows and starts to kiss his neck. From here, thankfully Glover’s hit is over about half a minute after it began.
“Things are getting a little awkward over here, back to you, Dwight,” he says with a smile.
“Yeah that’s a little strange and really unnecessary, just walk away from him,” his anchor, Dwight Drummond, says.
Since the story originally broke, the CBC has reported Glover has filed a police complaint regarding the incident.
Banks was identified by comedians on social media who apologized to Glover for his behaviour. The 54-year-old has had a long history as an “alt-comic” and an actor of bit parts in movies including “Fat Lou” in Jason X and “Prison Solitary Guard” in Get Rich or Die Trying. In some of his bigger roles, Banks played Tucker, one of the survivors in the zombie apocalypse thriller Dawn of the Dead, and a recurring character in Little Mosque on the Prairie. This latter gig has some hyper-partisans attacking the CBC for their role of hiring Banks in the past. Banks did not respond to VICE’s request for comment but did apologize to the CBC, saying "there is no excuse for my behaviour… I'm guilty of everything."
The video was posted online by freelance writer Jeffrey Vallis who captioned it with, “this is so disturbing and I get more uncomfortable every time I watch this creepy guy assault @chrisgloverCBC on live television. Why do people think it’s OK to #harass & #assault reporters while they do their job?”
Glover has yet to make any comment but has received a large amount of support online, including from those in his newsroom. Co-host of The National, Rosemary Barton said “this is not funny and unacceptable. Chris was beyond professional. I would not have been” and morning show host Matt Galloway tweeted, “this is outrageous, and it's assault.”
Some comedians have also come out in support in Glover. Comedian and actor Mark Kennedy tweeted out, “[Chris Glover] I’m so sorry you were treated so horribly. It’s disgusting and wrong. I truly appreciate you coming to cover our story and I’m so sorry.” Many other comedians have stated Banks isn’t representative of the group as a whole and apologized.
The situation, for many, seems to be another variation of the (still ongoing) fad of men yelling “fuck her right in the pussy” as reporters are doing their work. The trend was widely criticized with one of the men who yelled the phrase at a reporter losing his job at a hydro company and another being charged with causing a disturbance.
Maybe just, in the future, just fuck off and don’t screw around with people just trying to do their jobs, yeah?
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