The CBSC is a national voluntary self-regulatory organization created by Canada's private broadcasters to deal with complaints made by viewers or listeners about programs which they have seen or heard broadcast on a member station. The CBSC administers four industry codes, namely a code of ethics, a code concerning television violence, a code concerning sex-role stereotyping and a code of journalistic ethics, which set out the guidelines for television and radio programming. [Emphasis mine]
I sent a complaint letter about Snyder's comments to the Council on November 6. I got a reply on November 16 from the Council saying, in part, the following:
By copy of this email, we are asking CFTM-TV to respond to the concerns you have raised and to hold a copy of the logger tape of the broadcast which concerned you. This is always the first step taken by the CBSC in pursuing a complaint. You should know that broadcasters who are members of the CBSC take their responsibility to respond to audience concerns very seriously. The dialogue between broadcasters and members of their audience is a cornerstone of the CBSC's complaints resolution process. Concerns are often resolved satisfactorily through this dialogue phase.
Today, I received a reply from TVA. In short, TVA says (1) none of the four codes listed above were violated, and (2) Julie Snyder wasn't making fun of Quebec anglophone, just anglophones in general. You know, like Americans and Brits. But definately not Quebec anglophones.
Sir, The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (« CBSC ») has sent us your correspondence of November 6, 2005 for review and response. Your complaint was more particularly about the humorous comments made by Mrs. Julie Snyder : « Enfin un anglophone qui parle français comme il faut », following her conversation in French with popular singer Chris de Burgh.
First of all, we apologize if those comments have upset you. However, with all due respect, we are of the opinion that the different codes supervised by the CBSA were not infringed. Mrs. Snyder’s comments were not particularly about the Anglophone artists of Quebec, but the Anglophone artists in general, of whatever country.
That's... how you say... ah, yes... bullsht. When the average Quebecer listens to Jodie Foster speak French in an interview, he says "wow, an American who speaks French," -- not "wow, an anglophone who speaks French comme il faut."
To a Quebec audience, the term "anglophone" is strongly associated with a particular community in Quebec. People in Ontario or BC are commonly referred to as "English Canadians." People in the United States are "Americans." But only English-speaking Quebecers are commonly referred to in Quebec as "anglophones." And the "comme il faut" line suggests that Snyder was refering to Quebec anglophones... they speak French, but not very well.
So, I don't buy argument that the "anglophones" Snyder was referring to are those in Sydney, Johannesburg and Cleveland -- none of whom speak French. Snyder was talking about the ones in Kirkland, Cote St. Luc and Westmount who speak French, but not "comme il faut." And I contend that was crystal clear to her audience.
In that context, it is certainly not far from the reality to pretend that most English-speaking artists, coming from an English environment, rarely speak French to Quebecors the way Mr. Chris de Burg did it.
I swear that's the way the TVA dude spelled "Quebecers". Was it an innocent typo? Or was it an ominous tell about the plans for us all by (TVA's parent-company) Quebecor? Is the Péladeau-owned company planning a new world order in the province of
Finally, Mrs. Snyder said the comments on a very humoristic tone, as we know her, insisting on the fact that she has a lot of difficulties herself speaking English, and that consequently, Mr. Chris de Burgh had a superior French than her English.
This is true. I agree.
Therefore, the audience was amused about the whole situation, knowing that the comments were aimed at the author of the comments only.
His conclusion doesn't follow from his premise. I agree that Snyder acknowledged her own shortcomings in her second language.
But the "comments" were not "aimed at the author" -- the comments were aimed at anglophones and their (relative lack of) ability to speak French properly.
Once again, we are sorry if this matter has upset you in any way, and we thank you for taking the time to inform us of your concerns. Hoping the whole satisfactory, we remain,
So, that's TVA's reply.
TVA still doesn't get it. Imagine if Jay Leno said about Will Smith: "Wow, a black guy who can speak English properly!" And then imagine if NBC responded to compaints by saying, "Mr. Leno was referring to the black people in Haiti, Niger and Congo who don't speak English properly."
I guess TVA doesn't see a problem in promoting negative stereotypes about anglophones in Quebec.