Ontario university convocation speech sparks anger, apologies

News source from CTV News

Christy Somos, with a report by CTV News London’s Bryan Bicknell

Published Tuesday, June 18, 2019 7:51PM EDT

Last Updated Tuesday, June 18, 2019 8:04PM EDT

Western University in London, Ont., was left scrambling to issue an apology Monday after comments made during a convocation speech angered graduates and ceremony attendees.

Oscar and Grammy-nominated musician Stephan Moccio, the man behind hits like Miley Cyrus’s tune ‘Wrecking Ball,’ was at the ceremony to receive an honourary doctorate of music and give a speech.

In a seemingly tone-deaf walk down memory lane referring to his own studies in London decades ago, Moccio recalled “driving in off the 401 with a sign that said ‘thank you fathers for dropping off your virgin daughters,’” and recited a song about an all-female residence, the lyrics of which ostensibly implied oral sex.

President of the university Amit Chakma issued a statement shortly after, apologizing for the remarks that were “unacceptable,” and “not in keeping with what Western values in a respectful learning and working environment.”

Moccio also issued an apology via Western’s website, saying that he made “inappropriate comments” that he “deeply regrets.”

This is the second time in a row a convocation speech at Western University has drawn ire, after businessman Aubrey Dan’s speech last year said his decision to attend Western was due to a Playboy magazine article that stated “the women are among the best in North America.”

Western University says the incident has given it “cause to reflect.”

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