You couldn’t find a more positive image than that of Hal Johnson who with his partner Joanne McLeod became a mainstay on Canadian TV with their series of BodyBreak fitness episodes sponsored by Participaction. But in this video Hal explains that Bodybreak was really started in response to racism he experienced while trying to break into television.
TSN has issued a fulsome apology to Hal Johnson ,
“We apologize to Hal Johnson for the racism he experienced at TSN beginning in 1988, a shameful part of our past, and thank him for sharing his story as a reminder of the impact of racism in Canadian media that continues today, the statement reads.
“We recognize that even 30 years later, there is still much work to do to improve our commitment to on-air and editorial diversity,” the statement continues, adding that TSN is part of a Bell Media task force to amplify BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and person of colour) on-air talent.
In a TV interview on learning of the apology Johnson said, “It’s nice of them to do it, but they didn’t have to–I am not a victim.”