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UT Massey College Apologizes For Michael Marrus's "Racial" Comment

October 8th 2017

U of Toronto Massey College

The head of a prestigious graduate college associated with the University of Toronto is apologizing for racist statements made by a faculty member toward a black student.

Hugh Segal is also promising changes at Massey College.

Segal issued a statement saying that professor Michael Marrus made "hurtful and completely inappropriate" remarks toward the student over lunch this past Tuesday.

The statement he issued containing the apology did not provide details of the incident, but a letter of complaint signed by dozens of students and faculty members outlines allegations that Segal appeared to corroborate. The letter of complaint alleges that while the student was in front of Segal, whose official title is "Master" of the college, Marrus overtly invoked images of slavery.

Marrus allegedly said "You know this is your master, eh? Do you feel the lash?"

The letter expressed "profound outrage" at the incident and demanded that Segal issue an apology, fire Marrus and change his own title from Master.

Segal, who briefly referenced "the lash" in his statement, says he will ask the college's governing board to change his title and says he will go by "head of college" until the new name has been made official.

Marrus previously told CTV News that he had no comment on the matter and it was in the hands of Massey College. He did not immediately respond to a request from The Canadian Press for comment.

Segal also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Segal did, however, deliver the requested public apology to both the student and others affected by the remarks.

"Words and statements like these in no way reflect the position of Massey College as a whole," the statement reads. "We are committed to providing an open, welcoming and inclusive academic and residential community and will ensure that it is a safe space for all our Fellows in which this kind of encounter can never happen again."

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