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


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Yes, that's precisely what I have - perhaps I explained it poorly.

The large window - the one you see on the right - is the most recent messages, and it is the only one that shows photos without a click.  Waterbury might have opened Finlay's computer and seen her image within that window immediately, horribly, without taking any action of her own.

However, if she performed "a quick scroll", that's technically undertaking an action that Finlay did not authorize when he agreed to let her check her own email on his machine. The same with clicking on any panels to the left. Even a "quick scroll" is a type of forensic search.

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18 minutes ago, Rick said:

Yes, Alexa Maxwell (paragraph 61).

I misspoke: no other named dancers were accused in the complaint.

2 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

However, if she performed "a quick scroll", that's technically undertaking an action that Finlay did not authorize when he agreed to let her check her own email on his machine. The same with clicking on any panels to the left. Even a "quick scroll" is a type of forensic search.

I think that's a matter of the court to decide based on law and precedent.

And, from the description, depending on screen/window size and resolution, there may have been no need to scroll in the first place.  The description sounds very much like Skype, and I can see 11 lines of a conversation I have been having over the last week with a Skype friend, no scrolling needed.

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2 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

However, if she performed "a quick scroll", that's technically undertaking an action that Finlay did not authorize when he agreed to let her check her own email on his machine. The same with clicking on any panels to the left. Even a "quick scroll" is a type of forensic search.

But it has not yet been established with any certainty that that makes the evidence uncovered in the search inadmissible in a civil proceeding. Again, Waterbury is not law enforcement, so I believe that she has more latitude to engage in such a search, particularly when Finlay has willingly given her access to his laptop (with, so far as we know, no verbal or other restrictions on what she could do with it).

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6 minutes ago, balletforme said:

NYCB needs to get their PR folks out of the decision making. The tale is wagging the dog. 

It seems that NYCB is making decisions based on some kind of a PR plan. 

I don't see evidence of this.

4 minutes ago, abatt said:

Do the AGMA contracts which the principal dancers sign have an arbitration provision?  If so, the wrongful termination claims of Ramasar and Catazaro may end up in arbitration.

AGMA has already said they are going for arbitration.  The current NYCB contract is not available publicly,

 

22 hours ago, Longtimelurker said:

However, I don't think it would be fair to cast the entire Young Patrons group in a negative light because of the actions of one of its members and this video.

i don't think the video casts the Young Patrons group in a negative light: I think it casts the Company's oversight into a negative light for what it, however softly, appears to be offering.

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Dance Magazine: The Dance Community Responds to NYCB's Firing of Amar Ramasar & Zachary Catazaro

The Union Plans To Push Back

The dancers' union, American Guild of Musical Artists, also announced that they would challenge the decision to fire Ramasar and Catazaro. They told the NYT that the firings "relate entirely to non-work related activity and do not rise to the level of 'just cause' termination."

Of course, it is AGMA's responsibility to ensure that dancers are only fired for "just cause." Yet shouldn't it also fall on the union to make sure that dancers can work in a safe environment, and protect the women at the center of the degrading conversations that have been alleged? It will be interesting to see how they balance these two obligations.

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Maybe I missed something but why are Ramasar and Catazaro, being fired after an initial decision was made for suspension? 

NYCB had 2 months with the evidence made available to them in June to determine if these two needed to be fired or not. They chose to suspend them but now, once the negative press is accelerating, they fire them?

Seems like a PR motivated thing to do. A panicked, "We've got to do something," move. 

What is new now that requires these two to be fired and not suspended as originally determined? 

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15 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

Yes, that's precisely what I have - perhaps I explained it poorly.

The large window - the one you see on the right - is the most recent messages, and it is the only one that shows photos without a click.  Waterbury might have opened Finlay's computer and seen her image within that window immediately, horribly, without taking any action of her own.

However, if she performed "a quick scroll", that's technically undertaking an action that Finlay did not authorize when he agreed to let her check her own email on his machine. The same with clicking on any panels to the left. Even a "quick scroll" is a type of forensic search.

It is dead simple to save an ENTIRE Messages conversation to PDF and email it to someone. No need to scroll through the whole conversation — on a Mac you go to File >Print>Save as PDF. Save the PDF to the desktop. RIght click on the PDF's desktop icon, select Share, select Mail or Messages, send it to yourself, and you are done. The PDF it generates is of the entire conversation, beginning to end, irrespective of what may be showing on the screen.

Is it legal? Is it admissible? I have no idea. However, if I happened upon a text conversation featuring explicit photos of me taken without my permission, you best believe a PDF of that conversation would be winging its way through cyberspace to one of my own devices. The lawyers could come get me later if it came to that.

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
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4 minutes ago, balletforme said:

Maybe I missed something but why are Ramasar and Catazaro, being fired after an initial decision was made for suspension? 

NYCB had 2 months with the evidence made available to them in June to determine if these two needed to be fired or not. They chose to suspend them but now, once the negative press is accelerating, they fire them?

Seems like a PR motivated thing to do. A panicked, "We've got to do something," move. 

What is new now that requires these two to be fired and not suspended as originally determined? 

I agree with you completely.  The change from a four month suspension to firing had better be supported by some extreme new evidence that was not previously available.  

 

I guess the overpaid Kathryn Brown now has some tasks on her plate other than the  shut down of the third and fourth rings in order to increase ticket sales of the higher priced seats in the open rings.

Edited by abatt
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5 minutes ago, balletforme said:

Maybe I missed something but why are Ramasar and Catazaro, being fired after an initial decision was made for suspension? 

NYCB had 2 months with the evidence made available to them in June to determine if these two needed to be fired or not. They chose to suspend them but now, once the negative press is accelerating, they fire them?

Seems like a PR motivated thing to do. A panicked, "We've got to do something," move. 

What is new now that requires these two to be fired and not suspended as originally determined? 

It may be that they received feedback from dancers and other NYCB employees after the Waterbury's complaint was made public that either advocated for dismissal or indicated that dismissal would be tolerated by the organization at large. 

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3 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

It may be that they received feedback from dancers and other NYCB employees after the Waterbury's complaint was made public that either advocated for dismissal or indicated that dismissal would be tolerated by the organization at large. 

Firing of a dancer should not be based on feedback from other dancers.  Ramasar and Catazaro were working at NYCB for many years, and up until Saturday the company apparently never got negative feedback about them and continually renewed their contracts. Ramasar has been working there for about 18 years, and Catazaro for about 11.

Edited by abatt
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1 minute ago, abatt said:

Firing of a dancer should not be based on feedback from other dancers.  Ramasar and Catazaro were working at NYCB for many years, and up until Saturday the company apparently never got negative feedback about them and continually renewed their contracts. 

Since the company members at large didn't know about the alleged behavior until recently, I'm not sure how this is relevant. That is like saying but no one in the Senate ever objected to Al Franken being in the senate before, so why should they once they knew the allegations about him

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It matters because nobody in the company has been identified as a victim of the distribution of improper images by  Ramasar or Catazaro. The alleged victim is Waterbury, who  has never been a member of the company.

Additionally, Franken resigned. He was not terminated.

3 minutes ago, Rick said:

I'm speculating, and feel free to delete if this is inappropriate, that Catazaro and Ramasar were fired to appease the donors and prevent a #metoo protest on opening night.

Bingo.

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40 minutes ago, Rick said:

Of course, it is AGMA's responsibility to ensure that dancers are only fired for "just cause." Yet shouldn't it also fall on the union to make sure that dancers can work in a safe environment, and protect the women at the center of the degrading conversations that have been alleged? It will be interesting to see how they balance these two obligations.

It isn't clear what kind of latitude the union has if there are no formal complaints.  

Defending the dancers against the firing is two-fold: it defends the dancers, and it defends the union's "turf," which is much more cut-and-dried, because the decision isn't about discovering a social truth, making a difficult case, and getting pushback from unwilling participants: it's simply about whether NYCB has the right to fire under the circumstances that NYCB has already justified in public: communications that violated the company norms sent after work hours and off premises. 

 

40 minutes ago, balletforme said:

NYCB had 2 months with the evidence made available to them in June to determine if these two needed to be fired or not. They chose to suspend them but now, once the negative press is accelerating, they fire them?

Seems like a PR motivated thing to do. A panicked, "We've got to do something," move. 

What is new now that requires these two to be fired and not suspended as originally determined? 

NYCB didn't budge an inch over it's determination in the Peter Martins investigation, regardless of the negative press it received.  They had already been asked for a settlement by Waterbury's lawyer and rejected it and had every reason to know that a lawsuit would occur -- Merson's self-advertisement was as clear as Hoey's -- and that it was likely that at least some overlapping conversations would become public. 

In this case, they said they reconsidered based on feedback, solicited or unsolicited, but it's just as likely that administration and the legal department weighed in as the PR department.  NYCB doesn't have a track record of acting precipitously, and by firing the dancers, it opened itself up to arbitration and more legal fees, which was a known risk when it made the decision to change suspension to firing.

 

37 minutes ago, abatt said:

I agree with you completely.  The change from a four month suspension to firing had better be supported by some extreme new evidence that was not previously available. 

Maybe there is new evidence, maybe there is not, but that is hardly necessary to re-evaluate a decision.  

I'm not sure to whom the company "had better" justify the firings with new evidence.

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1 minute ago, Ilovegiselle said:

So Maria Kowroski commented on Amar's post  "😘❤️" kissy face emoji. 

If Maria supports her, how do we feel about Amar now?  she's the most senior ballerina and well respected at City Ballet.

Exactly.  The employment status of two principal dancers should not be based on public opinion or a popularity contest.

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1 minute ago, Ilovegiselle said:

So Maria Kowroski commented on Amar's post  "😘❤️" kissy face emoji. 

If Maria supports her, how do we feel about Amar now?  she's the most senior ballerina and well respected at City Ballet.

It's truly confusing. Ashley Hod has also commented supportively on Ramasar's IG posts. I have no idea what to make of it.

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1 hour ago, Helene said:

Discussing comments by non-ballet professionals on social media or mainstream media articles is not permitted on BA!, and those references have been removed. 

Discussing public-facing posts, including comments, by ballet professionals on social media or mainstream media articles is.

 

None that I can see, unless I've missed something in the complaint that ties him to group chat, or at least attributes the quoted conversation(s) and descriptions to a specific group chat and connects him to it.

What he was accused of in the complaint was soliciting photos from and trading them with Finlay.  He admits to communications between him and Finlay done on private time and having received photos, but he no longer "possesses" them -- he claims he currently "possesses" photos of one consenting adult -- which he didn't further circulate.

In my reading of his comments and what I remember of the complaint, he threads the needle even more finely than this.  he says he only possesses a photo of one consenting adult, but he doesn’t actually mention whether or not he shared this photo and whether he had consent to share it.  He simply states that he did not share the photos that were sent to him.  The photo he has admitted to having may have been taken by him and not been sent to him, so it is not necessarily covered by that statement.  He leaves a lot of ambiguity there.  So yes, I read it as a denial of things he wasn’t accused of, not a denial of the things he was accused of.  Basically, this is either a very poorly written post or a very cleverly written post.

Edited by minervaave
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Just now, Ilovegiselle said:

So Maria Kowroski commented on Amar's post  "😘❤️" kissy face emoji. 

If Maria supports her, how do we feel about Amar now?  she's the most senior ballerina and well respected at City Ballet.

I'm prepared to make my own assessment once all the facts are out, if they are ever out.

I respect Kowroski as an artist, but honestly, I need more than a few emoji from her in an IG comment to sort my thinking out on this one.

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11 minutes ago, aurora said:

Since the company members at large didn't know about the alleged behavior until recently, I'm not sure how this is relevant. That is like saying but no one in the Senate ever objected to Al Franken being in the senate before, so why should they once they knew the allegations about him

Al Franken resigned.  Although there is a mechanism to expel a Senator,  it was not utilized,  and likely would have failed if it had been.  Even if the firings had been subject to a vote,  who would get that vote?  Every employee of NYCB,  just the dancers,  just those who had ten years seniority,  just the principals?  Would the women who had had consensual  affairs with Ramasar have to recuse themselves?  Messy.  Luckily contracts are not subject to popularity.

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2 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

Al Franken resigned.  Although there is a mechanism to expel a Senator,  it was not utilized,  and likely would have failed if it had been.  Even if the firings had been subject to a vote,  who would get that vote?  Every employee of NYCB,  just the dancers,  just those who had ten years seniority,  just the principals?  Would the women who had had consensual  affairs with Ramasar have to recuse themselves?  Messy.  Luckily contracts are not subject to popularity.

My point was simply that saying the women and the company never objected to these men before any facts were known about them is a ridiculous complaint. I was not saying the case was PRECISELY the same as Franken.

In just one significant difference, Franken actually appeared remorseful about his actions.

Edited by aurora
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