LONDON, Ontario (CelebrityAccess) Stephan Moccio, the man behind songs like Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” recently gave a commencement speech at Ontario’s Western University and some of the remarks that slipped out have caused a stir.
Moccio, raised in Niagara Falls, went to the University of Western Ontario where he studied performance and classical piano studies, earning a B.A. in composition and piano performance. He went on to write or co-write songs like “Earned It” by The Weeknd, “I Know You” by Skylar Grey, and “A New Day Has Come” by Celine Dion, earning Grammy and Academy Award nominations along the way. He has collaborated with artists like Avril Lavigne, Ellie Goulding, James Blunt, and Seal.
His commencement speech was initially lauded by music professor James McKay who, from the podium, said, “Wasn’t that a speech from Stephan? That was wonderful. … I took over the convocation brass in 1999 and I have heard every single convocation speech since then. That was one of the best.”
However, the school recently had to address comments made by Aubre Dan about female students, saying they were the best in North America, “according to Playboy magazine.”
Moccio said in his speech that he had fond memories arriving on campus 30 years ago, adding, “My earliest memory of driving off the 401 was a sign that said, ‘Thank you, fathers, for dropping off your virgin daughters.”
He also recited a chant about Delaware Hall, which formerly was an all-female residence at the school.
“Ooh-ah, deli is the res, ooh-ah, deli is the res, you move to the left, you move to the right, peel your banana and oomph take a bite,” Moccio said.
His speech was interrupted twice, once by thumping from the audience and another time by an audience member shouting at him, according to the Canadian Press.
A public statement from President Amit Chakma said Moccio’s comments were “unacceptable and not in keeping with what Western values in a respectful learning and working environment”.
“To the entire Western community, I sincerely apologize to those who attended the ceremony and any others who were offended by these remarks and the subsequent distraction it caused,” Chakma said in the statement.
“Western must remain steadfast in its commitment to creating a safe and respectful environment for all.”
Moccio issued a statement apologizing for the remarks.
“I realize the words chosen were not only wrong but undermine decades of work on this very campus to bring justice to important women’s issues,” Moccio wrote. “I will strive to better represent the values of my beloved alma mater in the future.”