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Finlay Resigns, Catazaro and Ramasar Suspended -- Update: Catazaro and Ramasar Fired

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1 minute ago, Helene said:

The Company's stance, related by the Board President, (paraphased) is, We looked at the allegations, we determined that we weren't liable, we treated it as an isolated incident among individuals, we punished the dancers who didn't resign with the appropriate punishment, and we are not responsible for anything beyond that.

Here's the official statement from the Gothamist:

NYC Ballet released a statement, "New York City Ballet is confident that there is no basis for this lawsuit, and vehemently denies the allegations that the Company has condoned, encouraged, or fostered the kind of activity that Mr. Finlay and the others named have participated in, which were off-hours activities that were not known, approved, or facilitated by NYCB. Despite that, once NYCB was made aware of the allegations we investigated them and found that the actions had violated the Company’s norms of conduct, and immediate and appropriate action was taken. NYCB learned of this matter directly from the plaintiff’s attorney, Jordan Merson, in June of this year. Merson had contacted NYCB to try to negotiate a payment from the Company to settle the matter to avoid adverse publicity, but NYCB refused the demand. NYCB has no liability for the actions specified in the complaint and has taken the appropriate disciplinary actions for the dancers involved."

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People have talked about how this didn't happen at work so NYCB somehow shouldn't be involved because the dancers were on their own time.  This could be thought of as true if these were women not involved with NYCB.  However, the women these men were sharing photos of were their current and former co-workers and knowing that NYCB's response was just to suspend the two principals for a year.  Imagine if you worked there and one of your co-workers had been making horrific comments about you sexually and sharing photos of your co-workers and possibly you and the companies response was to give them a year's suspension and then in a year all is forgiven and you are to allow these men to partner you, to be very close physically, touching you and somehow trust that they are just working professionally.

The victim had every right to ask NYCB for money (and probably the firing of the three main perpetrators).  I'm sure she has had medical bills and therapy.  It's not like she asked for several million for hush money.

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23 minutes ago, abatt said:

I don't think the behavior here can necessarily be attributed to alpha male overcompensation of straight men who are in a profession where large numbers of men are gay.  There are examples of men behaving like infantile, disgusting  idiots in their dealing with women in every occupation.   Finlay and the others don;'t get a free pass in my book based on some psychological analysis of their occupational stresses.

I certainly agree they don’t get a free pass! Finlay and co have behaved reprehensibly, and I think that City Ballet’s response hasn’t been strong enough. What I was trying to say in my previous post was, I think this is both an individual problem (several specific men behaving badly) and one that reflects larger social problems (in both the ballet world and more broadly in our culture), and needs to be addressed on BOTH levels. It is important that individuals are held responsible, but also that the cultural conditions that enable or influence their behavior are addressed. 

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9 minutes ago, meatball77 said:

However, the women these men were sharing photos of were their current and former co-workers and knowing that NYCB's response was just to suspend the two principals for a year.  Imagine if you worked there and one of your co-workers had been making horrific comments about you sexually and sharing photos of your co-workers and possibly you and the companies response was to give them a year's suspension and then in a year all is forgiven and you are to allow these men to partner you, to be very close physically, touching you and somehow trust that they are just working professionally.

Not even a year, perhaps. It's a bit unclear exactly how long the suspensions are to last, but from the wording in articles and statements that have come out so far, it would seem Ramasar and Catazaro might return as early as the Winter 2019 season (which begins in January).

Edited by nanushka

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Why is it whenever i don’t check this site for a day or two, I come back to some catastrophic news?! I’m sick to my stomach over this. How can these men behave this way?! I can’t fathom Ramasar and Catazaro returning now, whether they quit or “resign” or are outright fired to help restore some good faith by the company. And who would want to dance with them anyway? Even if NYCB isn’t found legally liable, their reputation is severly damaged, far more so than following the Martins situation. This is disgusting and disgraceful. The worst is yet to come I fear. 

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7 minutes ago, ABT Fan said:

The worst is yet to come I fear. 

The scandal extends far beyond Finlay, Catazaro, and Ramasar. There were several unnamed male dancers and at least one donor who participated in the emails, according to the complaint.

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44 minutes ago, Rick said:

Despite that, once NYCB was made aware of the allegations we investigated them and found that the actions had violated the Company’s norms of conduct, and immediate and appropriate action was taken. NYCB learned of this matter directly from the plaintiff’s attorney, Jordan Merson, in June of this year.

So NYCB learned about the situation in June and took "appropriate action", but Catazaro was dancing "Serenade" on August 18 in Copenhagen. Interesting. 

 

25 minutes ago, meatball77 said:

The victim had every right to ask NYCB for money (and probably the firing of the three main perpetrators).  I'm sure she has had medical bills and therapy.  It's not like she asked for several million for hush money.

Therapy seems like it would be a good idea.  But I don't understand what you mean about medical bills. And do you have inside information on how much money she requested as a settlement before going public? I haven't seen any figures mentioned in any of the stories I've read.

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Don't forget, Waterbury could lose this lawsuit if it turns out that her allegations aren't true. We should not pass judgement until a court rules on the evidence.

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16 minutes ago, Rick said:

The scandal extends far beyond Finlay, Catazaro, and Ramasar. There were several unnamed male dancers and at least one donor who participated in the emails, according to the complaint.

The complaint also states that a NYC Ballet employees sent photos to a pimp, and that an unnamed Principal Dancer raped one dancer and assaulted another.

7 minutes ago, Karina said:

Don't forget, Waterbury could lose this lawsuit if it turns out that her allegations aren't true. We should not pass judgement until a court rules on the evidence.

Whether this is enough to sustain a court case is to be seen unless settled, and the case could be dismissed before it goes to trial for reasons that have nothing to do with whether the allegations are true, but, if NYCB has sanctioned dancers based on an investigation of what Waterbury's lawyer brought to them, while at the same time denying any liability on their part, there is already something that the Company believes to be truthful, or they would have done nothing to the dancers.

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24 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

So NYCB learned about the situation in June and took "appropriate action", but Catazaro was dancing "Serenade" on August 18 in Copenhagen. Interesting. 

 

Therapy seems like it would be a good idea.  But I don't understand what you mean about medical bills. And do you have inside information on how much money she requested as a settlement before going public? I haven't seen any figures mentioned in any of the stories I've read.

She would be getting medical bills from therapy.  I think  that apart from any medical treatment she may need in terms of therapy. the real damage is to her reputation. She is a model at a prestigious agency, and the distribution of these unauthorized videos and photos could certainly be damaging to her future earnings as a model. By bringing the lawsuit, she sends a message to her agency and any other agency that she did not and does not authorize the distribution of these materials.  Even if she never collects a dime from either defendant, the lawsuit will have been successful in terms of getting her  point out front that she did not authorize any of this, and if the court orders Finlay to destroy the videos/photos  and immediately cease and desist from ever sending these materials again to anyone.

Edited by abatt

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1 minute ago, KayDenmark said:

So NYCB learned about the situation in June and took "appropriate action", but Catazaro was dancing "Serenade" on August 18 in Copenhagen. Interesting. 

I think that the “appropriate action” was last week’s suspension. My understanding is that the notification was in June, but they had an internal investigation between then and the suspensions. So they may have let him dance pending the outcome.

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8 minutes ago, abatt said:

She would be getting medical bills from therapy.  I think  that apart from any medical treatment she may need in terms of therapy. the real damage is to her reputation. She is a model at a prestigious agency, and the distribution of these unauthorized videos and photos could certainly be damaging to her future earnings as a model.

1

 

Really? Given what goes on in the modelling industry, I don't think this would damage her career at all.  I also don't see much evidence of her working as a model, even though she is signed to a prestigious agency. 

Most people under 25 (or 30) in this world of Tindr and Grindr have nude images of themselves floating around, images they have voluntarily taken and shared with past, current, or potential partners. 

The important difference, of course, is that photos described in the suit were, according to the suit, taken and shared against her will, which is totally unacceptable and in New York City probably a crime. She should go after Finlay and whomever else shared these images - what they did was wrong and should be prosecuted. 

I'm still not convinced that the New York City Ballet is responsible for what happened to her, however. Perhaps new evidence will emerge that will convince me that it is. I just haven't seen it yet. 

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Just now, KayDenmark said:

The important difference, of course, is that photos described in the suit were, according to the suit, taken and shared against her will, which is totally unacceptable and in New York City probably a crime. She should go after Finlay and whomever else shared these images - what they did was wrong and should be prosecuted.

It is definitely a crime.

It is ALSO, and furthermore, a crime in NYC for someone to disseminate nude/sexual images, even if the subject willingly shared them with that ONE individual, or allowed them to be taken--that is the NYC revenge porn law cited earlier in the thread.

So even had she let him have or take a nude photo of her, he behaved illegally by sending it around to other people.

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2 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

I'm still not convinced that the New York City Ballet is responsible for what happened to her, however. Perhaps new evidence will emerge that will convince me that it is. I just haven't seen it yet. 

It's indeed tricky to pin liability on the New York City Ballet, but surely NYCB would identified the other participants in the emails in the course of its investigation. Why were there only two suspensions and one resignation? That doesn't support NYCB's assertion that "appropriate action" had been taken and that the matter's closed as far as the organization is concerned.

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9 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

I also don't see much evidence of her working as a model, even though she is signed to a prestigious agency. 

From her social media, it appears that she has been on the cover of fashion magazines abroad, has shot for Danskin, industry publications, one of the Vogue entities, and unspecified MAC cosmetics projects in the last year. She might not be Naomi Campbell, but it’s clear that she’s doing at least some work in the modeling world, and may be concerned about her image for professional as well as personal reasons.

[edited to clarify timeline]

Edited by tutu

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7 hours ago, Helene said:

NYCB did not dismiss Finlay: he resigned when NYCB approached him with Waterbury's complaint.  The former is documented in all of the articles cited above, and the latter was in the latest NYT article.

There is resigning by choice, and there is being provided the option to resign. I have seen the latter used for conduct violations many times. If that is too speculative, feel free to delete.

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6 minutes ago, aurora said:

It is definitely a crime.

It is ALSO, and furthermore, a crime in NYC for someone to disseminate nude/sexual images, even if the subject willingly shared them with that ONE individual, or allowed them to be taken--that is the NYC revenge porn law cited earlier in the thread.

So even had she let him have or take a nude photo of her, he behaved illegally by sending it around to other people.

That is not necessarily true: to be revenge porn, Finlay had to have acted with specific intent "to cause economic, emotional or physical harm."

http://gothamist.com/2017/09/25/after_years_of_stalled_efforts.php

It is not clear, to me anyway, in what has been reported so far, that he acted with the intent to do so, no matter how much of each category he actually caused.

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3 minutes ago, Emma said:

There is resigning by choice, and there is being provided the option to resign. I have seen the latter used for conduct violations many times. If that is too speculative, feel free to delete.

The first NYT article stated that Finlay had not even responded to NYCB's attempts to address the matter with him; he simply resigned.

Edited by nanushka

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1 minute ago, Emma said:

There is resigning by choice, and there is being provided the option to resign. I have seen the latter used for conduct violations many times. If that is too speculative, feel free to delete.

There's also confronting someone with an issue, to which they resign without prompting.  That is what has been reported by the Company, and until shown otherwise, everything else is speculation.

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40 minutes ago, Rick said:

The scandal extends far beyond Finlay, Catazaro, and Ramasar. There were several unnamed male dancers and at least one donor who participated in the emails, according to the complaint.

I'm most concerned about the principal accused of raping a soloist in Vail and assaulting a corps member in DC. Or the principal who returned to work one week after domestic violence allegations were brought by a corps member. Both instances were brushed over in the complaint (Ms. Waterbury is unlikely to have the receipts, whereas I'd imagine she has them for Chase's text and email exchanges), but absolutely shocking.

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3 minutes ago, Helene said:

That is not necessarily true: to be revenge porn, Finlay had to have acted with specific intent "to cause economic, emotional or physical harm."

http://gothamist.com/2017/09/25/after_years_of_stalled_efforts.php

It is not clear, to me anyway, in what has been reported so far, that he acted with the intent to do so, no matter what harm he actually caused.

Ah, the articles I'd found on the law does not note the harm clause.

http://gothamist.com/2016/09/13/revenge_porn_bill.php

https://gizmodo.com/revenge-porn-is-officially-punishable-by-law-in-new-yor-1823039186

Still, I think it would be hard to argue he did it for her benefit, but you are right it does make it less clear cut.

In the case of the photos/videos taken without her knowledge, however, certainly the state law applies?

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2 minutes ago, Emma said:

Or the principal who returned to work one week after domestic violence allegations were brought by a corps member.

Nothing happened to Peter Martins by NYCB after Darci Kistler after she called the police.  She then refused to press charges, but there was no immediate action.  Now, like then, the Company's stance has been that this is all personal and has nothing to do with the workplace.  

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2 minutes ago, aurora said:

Ah, the articles I'd found on the law does not note the harm clause.

Intent to harm is pretty much baked into the word "revenge," but the Gothamist article when the law was passed was explicit about this.

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9 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

I'm still not convinced that the New York City Ballet is responsible for what happened to her, however. Perhaps new evidence will emerge that will convince me that it is. I just haven't seen it yet. 

There have been comments on this thread questioning the role NYCB as an institution should or can play in this situation—eg, how accountable is the employer for the behavior of their employee, especially if that employee's behavior is consistent with broader, societal issues?

Now, I have not yet read the entirety of the complaint (I admit I had to stop part of the way through) but it seems to suggest that Finlay's behavior was part of a broader pattern of abuse. In the first few pages, if I recall, there are allegations that at least two instances of domestic and sexual abuse have been brought to NYCB's attention. Personally, I don't care if it happened on NYCB property, or at a NYCB event; if an NYCB dancer is assaulting other members of the company, that person shouldn't be allowed to continue dancing there. And if this is true—if there is a history of assaults occurring and those responsible being allowed to return to work? Yes, that creates an environment that emboldens behavior like the kind Finlay is accused of, and that is NYCB's fault, IMO.

Of course, none of this has been proven yet. But I do feel that NYCB has an obligation to provide a safe work environment for all its dancers, and part of that includes not hiring sexual predators.

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