The Ghomeshi Effect fights back against Twitter harassment with MEAN TWEETS fundraiser
Since submitting a grant application to the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) in early August 2016 for her project titled The Ghomeshi Effect, local theatre director/producer Jessica Ruano has been repeatedly harassed on Twitter (see screenshots below). Now she is fighting back with Mean Tweets LIVE: The Ghomeshi Effect at The Gladstone on Sunday, September 18th, 2016 at 7pm.
Ottawa City Councillor Catherine McKenney’s office and the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity have also received phone calls and emails questioning their support for the project and demanding the title be changed. The OAC, too, has already received several calls from Twitter users requesting this project not receive funding.
“Even after I explained to them that the production is not about Mr. Ghomeshi, but rather the important conversation around sexual violence that has arisen due to the heavily-publicized trial, which has been described in multiple newspapers as a phenomenon called the ‘Ghomeshi effect’, these Twitter users continued to send me hundreds of messages, accusing me of slandering Mr. Ghomeshi and spending government funds on a trip to Portugal – which is funny, because I haven’t actually received the grant yet,” says Ruano.
Inspired by Jimmy Kimmel’s popular television gimmick Mean Tweets, in which celebrities read aloud negative comments that have been written about them on Twitter, the team behind The Ghomeshi Effect, a verbatim dance-theatre piece that tackles sexual violence in Canada and gives voice to survivors, has decided to hold a staged reading of the tweets aimed @ghomeshieffect and @jessicaruano.
Hosted by local actor Annie Lefebvre and featuring members of the local theatre community, this event is a fundraiser for the production itself, which premieres at The Gladstone from January 19-28th, 2017, as well as the Ottawa chapter of Hollaback! a movement dedicated to ending street harassment using mobile technology.
Event: Mean Tweets LIVE: Fundraiser for The Ghomeshi Effect & Ottawa Hollaback!
Location: The Gladstone, 910 Gladstone Avenue
Date: Sunday, September 18th, 2016
Time: 7pm doors open, 7:30pm start time
Advance Tickets: $25 and include the performance and a catered reception. Additional donations are gratefully accepted at meantweets.eventbrite.ca