Before moving to Russia I did extensive reading about the requirements for legal working visa and the tax requirements for dual residency or Russian residency as a foreigner and what taxes need to be paid, to whom, at what %, and when. It's not the Bolshoi's responsibility to be aware of US tax law. They are responsible for adhering to tax requirements within their own country only...As a tax resident it should be a flat 13% along with the rest of the country. It is higher for other categories (I have to check as this has changed recently, but I believe it's higher if you have not been in Russia long or are not officially employed, or are a subcontractor etc).
There are treaties, though, that require the taxing authority to tax at a higher rate for foreign nationals resident in their countries, which would make the theater responsible for that withholding for certain types of income. I don't see documentation for contractors, but the treaty rate for the Russian Federation is 25% for pensions, for example, which establishes that the Russian Federation is part of international tax treaties for withholding. I know that between the US and Canada many companies insist on a big tax withholding rate for Canadian residents who contract in the US, despite rulings that this is not required.
Gosh, does any first year in a big firm do anything other than review documents in a conference room or sit in a library doing research? Who on earth would expect to let a first year, untrained and billing at the lowest rate, conduct a trial? I can't even imagine wanting to do such a thing.
Yet those first years often have three years of reviewing documents and sitting in a library doing research during their minimum 80-hour/week summer internships during law school, were editors of their Law Reviews, and were mentored not only by the best academic legal minds, but also by teachers with years of actual experience in some law schools. If they can't expect more than anonymous scut work as a first year, why would a newly minted member of the corps at the equivalents of Skadden, Arps, et. al. expect special opportunities?
I agree that women all over the world face these sorts of difficulties, probably more so within the world of performing arts, where there are rarely clear guidelines or oversight and where there is enormous competition for roles. I also agree that dancers live and work under terrible conditions all over the world.
However, the fact that it happens on a large scale does not mean that it is right, nor does it mean that any dancer is wrong when she points out the injustices that she was subjected to. Giving out roles for money rather than for talent is an injustice, even if Womack doesn't have the talent to get a role without it. Asking for sexual favors in return for roles is an injustice.
Sexual harassment and blackmail are not right, and it is not wrong to point out injustices, no matter how many people are involved. Womack has not accused the theater of of asking for sexual favors in return for roles or sexual harassment by anyone in the theater. She specifically states that she does not accuse Filin of anything.
In my list of things that all the dancers faced, men and women, were 1. The attacks on Filin and Yanin and the environment this created 2. The low pay 3. The reality of being a top student in the school with attention and accolades and transitioning to the corps, where featured roles are the rare exception, not the norm, and how every corps member was subject to it. All but the first are legal and expected, and the first she was exposed to as a school member. Womack's complaint that the reality of the Bolshoi didn't match with her teenaged fantasy is not the Bolshoi's problem, and the fact that nearly all dancers faced the same environment, the same low pay, and the same career issues means she's not a special snowflake: she's someone with a lower tolerance point who had a chance to walk (unless she was fired) and opportunities to do something else without uprooting from her country and family. Even so, while walking away and not having a reasonable opportunity to dance is crushing, even if they were faced with non-stop sexual harassment on the job, dancers can walk away, however hard it would be: they are not girls sold into sexual slavery by their families.
Dmitrichenko accused Filin of casting for sex with him (SF), but it is unclear from any of the reporting that's been translated into English at least that Dmitrichenko was making the accusation based on his opinion/observation/personal conversation with the women themselves/hearsay, or whether he made the accusations on behalf of dancers who filed a complaint with him in his role as a union rep. In addition, there is an official news summary above of the initial police investigation, in which the police looked for possible motives, which talks about women who allegedly had sex with Filin, some of which ended badly (a firing for one), but who gave them that information is not disclosed.
Another sexual harassment accusation against the Bolshoi management, most prominently by Anastasia Volochkova about another Bolshoi administration, is that dancers were forced to go to fundraising and post-performance parties and have sex with major donors afterwards. Dancers all over the world are expected to go to fundraising parties and receptions; it is only criminal if the dancers are told that they either have sex with the donors, or their careers will be ruined. Womack does not make this accusation.
Womack has said that a person with whom she had a conversation about her career, and whose name she won't disclose out of respect, told her that she could pay $10K to get a role, or she could find a sponsor to lobby for her. She also says that a man offered to be her sponsor in exchange for sex. Unless the theater would retaliate unless she did -- and she hasn't accused the theater of this -- the theater isn't responsible for the entitlement showed by a member of a class of men for whom a ballerina is an attractive prize.
As far as sponsors are concerned, theater administrators and ADs are on the record as saying that sponsors, boyfriends, etc. are a waste of their time. A sponsor can only try to use influence: while material goods and a nice place to live are entirely within the control of a sponsor, there is no guarantee that having sex with a sponsor will get any dancer any roles, tour opportunities or promotions. As Filin put so directly in court, sleeping with him didn't get his wife any roles or promotions, and he was in direct control of the casting and promotions.
Dmitrichenko accused Filin of financial malfeasance in distributing special funds. So far, he has not accused Filin of taking money for roles, and neither does Womack.
Since Womack hasn't gone into detail about the conversation she had about her career, there's no way to know if it was a cynical remark or part of a long conversation with details of how the entire payoff system worked (or an offer to tell her if she was interested).
Many people, including on these boards, seem to be angry with her for complaining about something bad, because it is not unique to her, and everyone else faced it.
I can only speak for myself, but I am hardly angry with her for complaining. I think she was stupid to think she could throw a Twitter Tantrum, delete the tweets, and make accusations in the press and assume that she could walk away without further comment.
Maybe she was taught not give up her seat on the bus. Maybe she thought she was protecting the other girls and boys by speaking up for them, describing their suffering and inequities. Maybe they tried to quiet her with threats and she didn't want anyone else subjected to the same suffering that she experienced.
I see no ways in which she was protecting any of the other "girls and boys" by making an accusation and then attempting to run. It's a blip in the Russian press in the middle of a maelstrom, and it's a pretty lame set of accusations in the midst of all of the others. The Russians don't care what an American says about them; she comes across as another clueless American who thinks life is supposed to be fair and a meritocracy and is trying to impose PC American values on them; the NYT won't have any influence over what happens in Russia. The Bolshoi doesn't care what anyone says about them (except for maybe Novikova, their press representative who must be pulling out her hair). Urin made her look stupid and naive when he told her to put her money where her mouth is with an easy, thoroughly professional dismissal. None of the other American students in the Bolshoi school are walking out and taking their tuition with them.
Womack is no Rosa Parks.