• FTC

Evil by Design

Updated: Nov 23

(available on Spotify)

FTC Rating: 4 out of 5

EXTRA WARNING: Descriptions of sexual violence against adults and minors


The #MeToo movement provided a platform for survivors of sexual assault to speak their truth and confront their assailants. It reflects positive societal shifts which have contributed to the long overdue downfall of “untouchable” public figures such as Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and the notorious Jeffrey Epstein. The CBC’s ever-evolving podcast, “Evil by Design” follows the rise and fall of yet another predator, Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygård. The podcast’s host, Timothy Sawa, has spent ten of his twenty years as a reporter investing Nygård’s crimes which allegedly date back to the late 1960s.


Strengths:

- Interview with the lawyer representing the first complainants

- Discussions around the systemic issues which provide a fertile hunting ground for predators

- Revels the recruitment process for the “Pamper Parties”

- Details related political and environmental crimes

- Interviews with survivors and whistle-blowers, including Nygård’s son

- Explores psychological issues


Weaknesses:


- Although emotionally charged, the episodes in the latter half of the podcast are disorganized in presentation and less polished.

- Question regarding if the podcast is premature


Final Thoughts:

- I often questioned if it is problematic that the accusations presented throughout this podcast have not been proven in court. The CBC was civilly sued by Nygård, “claim[ing] the CBC induced and conspired with Nygard employees to breach confidentiality agreements they signed with the fashion company.” [1] Furthermore, “a separate criminal suit was also launched […] in Winnipeg, with lawyers for Nygård launching a direct criminal prosecution for defamatory libel against the CBC and three of its employees”[1], including Timothy Sawa. However, I ultimately was not persuaded by the arguments presented by Nygård’s defence team; and the sheer volume of evidence over four decades mostly eased my concerns.

- This podcast is also a docuseries available on CBC Gem. Personally, I could not stomach to watch it because after listening to the podcast, it disgusted me to see clips of “Canada’s Jeffrey Epstein” interacting with women and girls: https://gem.cbc.ca/media/evil-by-design/s01e01

-If you or someone you know is in need of help, please reach out. The following is a comprehensive list of resources in Canada (by Province): https://endingviolencecanada.org/sexual-assault-centres-crisis-lines-and-support-services/

Picture source: www.cbc.ca

[1] https://winnipegsun.com/2012/01/23/nygard-lawsuit-against-cbc-to-proceed



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