After Meghan Markle‘s best friend Jessica Mulroney was called out for being “textbook white privilege,” her husband, Ben Mulroney, announced he’s stepping down as the anchor of CTV’s ETalk in order to “create a space for a new perspective.” The news comes nearly two weeks after the fashion stylist’s TV show, I Do, Redo, was pulled from the Canadian TV network on June 11.
“I want to take a moment to speak to you about the situation surrounding my wife, Jessica, and the next steps I will be taking with Bell Media,” Ben, 44, shared during the Monday, June 22 episode of ETalk. “I love my wife — however, it is not my place to speak for her, and today, together, we are committed to doing the work to both learn and understand more about anti-Black racism, as well as learn and understand more about our blind spots.”
While the Canadian TV star said he has “worked hard to build [his] career,” he feels no other choice but to walk away from the show he’s hosted since it was created in 2002. “I know the systemic racism and injustice helps people like me and harms those who aren’t like me — often in ways that are invisible to us — this needs to change,” he noted.
After discussing ways to “take action against systemic racism,” Ben — who tied the knot with Jessica, 40, in 2008 — said he was inspired to bring change to ETalk. “We need more Black voices, more Indigenous voices, more people of color in the media as well as every other profession,” he said.
“And that is why I have decided to immediately step away from my role as anchor at ETalk to create space for a new perspective and a new voice,” Ben continued. “It is my hope that that new anchor is Black, Indigenous or a person of color who can use this important platform to inspire, lead and make change.”
Earlier this month, Jessica came under fire after social media personality Sasha Exeter claimed she experienced “series of very problematic behavior.” The Black Toronto-based influencer called out the mom of three — who shares twin sons Brian and John, 9, and daughter Isabel, 7, with Ben — for sending her a “threat in writing” after she asked fellow Instagram stars to use their platforms to support Black Lives Matter.
“Listen, I am by no means calling Jess a racist but what I will say is this, she is very well aware of her wealth, her perceived power and privilege because of the color of her skin,” Sasha said in an Instagram video on June 10. “And that, my friends, gave her the momentary confidence to come for my livelihood in writing.”
CTV responded to Sasha’s viral clip by removing Jessica’s TV show from their schedule the following day. “Because recent conduct by one of our show hosts, Jessica Mulroney conflicts with our commitment to diversity and equality, CTV has removed I Do, Redo from all Bell Media channels and platforms effective immediately,” the statement read.
Although Jessica has since gone silent on social media amid the backlash, she shared a statement to let fans know she “respects the decision of CTV” and how she feels even more “committed” to “support anti-racism efforts.”
“The events that have transpired over the last few days made it clear that I have work to do,” she wrote on June 11. “I realize more than ever how being a white, privileged woman has put me far ahead of so many, and in particular those in the Black community. And while I can’t change the past, I can do my part to do better in the future.”
The former Duchess of Sussex, who became fast friends with Jessica around 2011, has yet to comment on her friend’s public feud.
For more information, visit Blacklivesmatter.com.