Jessica Mulroney, who is close friends with Meghan Markle, had her CTV reality show I Do Redo pulled off the air after influencer Sasha Exeter came forward, accusing Mulroney of privately threatening her livelihood and trying to silence her.
In an 11-minute video, Exeter detailed how Mulroney perceived a generic call-to-action post Exeter shared as directed at her, because Mulroney had not posted anything about the Black Lives Matter movement on her Instagram. Exeter said Mulroney lashed out at her over messages and texts and at one point, threatened to talk to her sponsors.
"Listen, I’m 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," Exeter said. For context, Mulroney is married to Ben Mulroney, former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney's son, and is part of Toronto's elite. "And that, my friend, gave her the momentary confidence to come for my livelihood in writing," Exeter said. "Textbook white privilege really, in my personal opinion."
In her video, Exeter gave a full run down of what Mulroney did. Her statement is transcribed below.
Very early on in this, I was very vocal about wanting my peers and folks with an online presence to speak out, stand up, and use their voice for good to help combat what’s going on with this race war and what’s happening to the Black community. I’ve been extremely mindful and cognizant with the way I communicate and my approach, making sure during these post sharing that I was never, not once, calling out anybody directly. Unfortunately though, one very prominent Canadian figure who used to be an acquaintance of mine named Jessica Mulroney took offense to a very generic call to action that I shared on my IG Stories. And what happened next was a series of very problematic behavior and antics that ultimately resulted in her sending me a threat in writing last Wednesday, June the 3rd. Listen, I’m 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. And that, my friend, gave her the momentary confidence to come for my livelihood in writing. Textbook white privilege really, in my personal opinion.
So you’re probably wondering how this whole thing started and to be honest the story is kind of convoluted. But there are two main issues here of concern. Number 1: Jessica never wanted to stand up and use her voice in the first place and didn’t understand why she needed to. This I found quite strange seeing that she is very vocal about supporting many causes and very open about everything else. So how could she not be speaking up about this issue that’s affecting everyone in the world? Also, her best friend is arguably one of the most famous Black woman in the world [Meghan Markle]. I just didn’t get it.
Number 2: I believe that she wrongly assumed that my generic call to action on my Instagram Stories was a direct and blatant call out to her. Maybe this is possibly showing her guilt for her lack of action and because of that, she began to lash out at me.
During the span of about a week or so, Jessica basically ticked every single box of what a white woman should absolutely not do during the biggest racial uproar in history, citing that this wasn’t really a problem that she wanted to share on her social channels, excuses that she would be bullied or vilified by the public media if she did so. Claimed her show was more important to promote because it was going into, I believe, the season finale, and because after all, this is her job, and get this, "they matter too." She tried to use my one piece of sponsored content as her get out of jail free card because I think she felt that put us on the same playing field after she spent the first entire week of this crisis promoting her TV show with like, no mention of show of support or solidarity, like at all.
But that wasn’t enough. She made herself the victim, of course, me the villain. A story mysteriously popped up in the Daily Mail UK, a British tabloid, last Tuesday which could be June the 2nd. I was blocked from her Instagram account that same day and a trail of offensive messages to me that ended in her saying and I quote, "I have also spoken to companies and people about the way you’ve treated me unfairly. You think your voice matters. Well, it only matters if you express it without shaming people who are simply trying to learn. Good luck." Now, I’m still shaking my head at this attempt and the audacity she had. Now, not only is Jessica very well aware of her white privilege but just like her fellow Canadian Amy Cooper, she spewed out that threat so effortlessly. But I think what makes this situation really horrendous is the threat or the claim that she was going ahead and speaking to brands and companies that I potentially have worked with, or are currently working with or could possibly work with.
And that’s a threat. That’s a threat to my livelihood. And for her to threaten me, a single mom, a single Black mom, during a racial pandemic blows my mind. It’s absolutely unbelievable. My impression, I think Jess realized that she screwed up big time, knowing that everything she said to me and the threat was done in writing and that I have the receipts and that resulted in a lot of back pedaling, excuse after excuse, through text messages for her behavior. Reaching out to my Black peers and friends, to prove her allyship through her association to them. I don’t get it. How can you be about the Black people and be a supporter and about female empowerment on the outside when you’re attempting to silence a Black woman during this movement behind closed doors? It just seems very contradictory to me.
Amidst all this craziness, I remained paralyzed. Actually paralyzed in fear. That is part of the reason I was very silent on my feed for five or six days, to be honest. I stayed up days, nights, wondering what could she be saying to my existing brand partners or people that I’m trying to work with? Like my potential work, my potential livelihood, what could this mean for my career?
I spoke to my parents about the situation, and they were legitimately stressed and worried. Worried about the ramifications and how this would affect me if I actually stood up for myself. I was literally—not was, up until last night, I was sick to my stomach, feeling like I was being fraudulent in some way, standing up for this cause and for my people on the forefront publicly but behind closed doors, allowing this woman to like, silence me.
Years of systemic racism and what I now understand as trained thinking actually made me believe there would be more harm done than good if I stood up for myself and said something. And you know what? Thinking that and realizing that made me really, really sad. I am raising a Black daughter. I don’t want her to ever have to face any of this or to experience what I’ve experienced, especially in the last two weeks. And I am fully aware that by sharing this in this way that I am opening myself up to potential criticism, hate, bullying, but I’m willing to take that risk today. And I’ve thought really long and hard about making sure to incorporate some takeaways, and add in here before signing off and you know what? There’s not going to be a long list of takeaways. There’s only one takeaway. This shit needs to stop right now. The goal here is genuine transformative change, not optical and performative bullshit. You cannot be posting that you stand in solidarity while attempting to silence somebody via text. I’ll be damned if the next generation of Black women have to go through this. If we’re going to hold businesses accountable, we should be holding individuals accountable as well. Because enough is enough. I’m openly sharing this story with you guys, really in hopes to give other women the confidence to stand up for themselves too. Thanks for listening.
Mulroney commented on the post, publicly apologizing and seemingly referencing her experience with Meghan in her response, according to Vanity Fair. The comment appears to have since been deleted.
@sashaexeterr, you are right when you say “this shit needs to stop”. As leaders, we need to join hands and call out wrongs. I know we have different experiences. And that is something that, even in the course of a heated argument, I need to acknowledge and understand. I am unequivocally sorry for not doing that with you, and for any hurt I caused. As I told you privately, I have lived a very public and personal experience with my closest friend where race was front and centre. It was deeply educational. I learned a lot from that. I promise to continue to learn and listen on how I can use my privilege to elevate and support black voices.
In private, Exeter revealed on her Instagram Stories, Mulroney threatened to sue her. "Here is what happens when you call out somebody with privilege and with wealth, okay? They publicly make an apology or a statement and privately behind closed doors, they send you a threat of filing a lawsuit against you," Exeter said. "I’m not quite sure what’s going on because I thought I was very clear yesterday in my video that I’m not going to be silenced and I’m not going to shut up. I’m going to move forward and do what I need to do essentially to protect myself at this point. But I’m feeling confident in doing so, knowing that I have the truth, the unequivocal truth."
Exeter then shared a screenshot of Mulroney's DM to her. "After her public apology on my post yesterday, I received this via DM. Please take in the timestamp in green on the top left of the screen. Also, poor thing didn't even spell 'libel' correctly. Sigh."
"I honestly don’t know what’s worse here: Her losing her perceived power to try and threaten my livelihood or using her resources to basically shut me up," Exeter continued on an Instagram Story video. "But whatever the case is, it needs to stop. I’m going to take a little break from social media. I somehow still have to work."
After Exeter posted her videos and they circulated, CTV released a statement on its Twitter. "Bell Media and CTV encourages our entire team including our on-air talent to practice respect, inclusivity, and allyship as we pledge to work better and more openly to listen to and amplify Black voices, and not to minimize them," the network wrote.
"Because recent conduct by one of our shows 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."
— CTV Communications (@CTV_PR) June 11, 2020
Mulroney posted a statement to her own Twitter, saying she respected the network's decision. She wrote:
The events that have transpired over the last few days have made it clear that I have work to do. 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.
I respect the decision of CTV and have decided to step away from professional engagements at this time. I'm going to take this time to reflect, learn, and focus on my family.
I also want to take a moment and clarify that I have no intentions of pursuing any legal action. I was wrong and for that, I am truly sorry. I remain more committed than ever to support anti-racism efforts and will do everything in my power to right this wrong.
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