Harassment: what to do with “cancelled” artists?

Bullying: what to do with “cancelled” artists?


Sexual misconduct in the artistic world has often hit the headlines in recent years. Because broadcasters are wondering if they can start programming these “cancelled” artists again in their theaters, the RIDEAU event will specifically address the issue in a panel discussion next week. 

On Monday, at the Quebec City Convention Center, ADISQ and RIDEAU will jointly present a round table entitled Harassment and misconduct in the artistic community. What is my role?

The discussion panel is part of Forum 2023, organized by RIDEAU, which brings together 350 performance halls and festivals in Quebec and the Canadian Francophonie.

All day, we will present workshops, conferences and round tables on current issues for the performing arts community.

The round table on misconduct will bring together three speakers who are a researcher and victimologist (Catherine Rossi), a university professor (Michel Séguin) and a former judge (Me Johanne St-Gelais).

“This will be our first full RIDEAU event since 2020. There was this significant wave [of denunciations] which really shook us because it affected a lot of artists who were scheduled in our rooms. It was essential to address this issue within the framework of the forum”, mentions David Laferrière, president of RIDEAU, general manager of the Gilles-Vigneault Theater and co-host of this round table with Me Sophie Hébert, director of labor relations of ADISQ.

No recipe

“What is the role of the artist and the operator of the room in such a debate of Company? How to avoid the most common pitfalls? What are the ethical issues related to the social responsibility of artists?» 

In the description of this round table, several questions are posed. But already, David Laferrière mentions that Monday's discussion will surely not bring clear and precise answers. 

“We will say it in the introduction that we should not expect to have a infallible recipe coming out of this panel. We are going to talk about the social phenomenon in its entirety. Ultimately, the objective is not to give clear answers. Each broadcaster must put this in their own context.”

Vast and complex

“It affects so many elements, it questions [sic] our value system,” says David Laferrière. “It’s so vast and complex. It affects artists, producers, agents. It affects all walks of life.”

Among the topics discussed, the speakers will discuss the issue of reintegration as well as codes of ethics. We will go over the issue relating to the presumption of innocence and the various reprehensible behaviors.

During this round table, no artist will be named, mentions David Laferrière. “We are going to completely depersonalize the thing. There will be no names or cases that will be put forward.”

The Roundtable Harassment and misconduct in the arts community. What is my role? will take place on Monday, February 13, at the Center des congrès de Québec. For details: evenementrideau.ca.