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


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Sigh.

I have nothing more to add to this except to express my deep sorrow for the reputation of all the ballet companies that don't have the deep pockets and cultural capital of NYCB. 

There's a ballet company in almost every town in the USA, due in no small measure to Mr. B (and Mr. K). Local worthies devote time and money to supporting ballet because they think it is beautiful and morally uplifting.

I pray that none of this dirt sticks to them.

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11 minutes ago, Helene said:

That's one interpretation.  Another is that NYCB was responsible for the environment in which they felt entitled to contaminate the workplace for their co-workers.

Their social media policy gives them the option to monitor their dancers' social media, but doesn't obligate them to.

The defendants did not communicate any sexual material through social media.

13 minutes ago, nanushka said:

How can we judge whether the argument is specious without access to the evidence (which has not yet been presented)?

ETA:  To clarify, I believe the "bad acts" Waterbury accuses NYCB of knowing about and condoning are not (or not only) the acts committed directly against her. The company is accused of having known about and condoned much other behavior that, she claims, created an environment in which they felt they could do to her as they allegedly did. That argument doesn't depend on NYCB having seen or known about the specific text messages, etc. that are referred to in the case.

How can it be proven what the dancers "felt" they could do?  Evidently every male dancer didn't  get the message,  because only a handful have been accused.

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12 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

The defendants did not communicate any sexual material through social media.

I didn't say they did.  I found it interesting that the Company itself reserves the right to monitor social media, which does include dancers' self-curated and public "thoughts" and "actions," and are communications in themselves.

6 minutes ago, Blackcurrant said:

To anyone still wishing to carp about whether distributing such photos is wrong:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/19/french-magazine-loses-appeal-over-duchess-of-cambridge-topless-photos

I'm not seeing any argument that distribution of photos without consent is not wrong.

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9 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

Evidently every male dancer didn't  get the message,  because only a handful have been accused.

I'd think it would go without saying that not everyone is going to do everything they can get away with — especially when we're talking about actions that many would agree are reprehensible.

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10 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

The defendants did not communicate any sexual material through social media.

How can it be proven what the dancers "felt" they could do?  Evidently every male dancer didn't  get the message,  because only a handful have been accused.

Or not every male dancer lacked all sense of morality as these 3 did.

That doesn't mean others didn't get the sense they could get away with bad behavior--it just indicates they weren't inclined to treat women in such a disgusting way.

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11 minutes ago, Dreamer said:

I do. Claim #73 states: Ms. Waterbury  would not have met  Mr. Finlay and been subjected to the aforementioned unlawful conduct but for the NEW YORK CITY BALLET, INC.m and/or SCHOOL OF AMERCAN BALLET.

Ms. Waterbury  would not have been subject to unlawful conduct if her parents had not sent her to ballet school in the first place,  so why doesn't  she sue them?  The defendants are not the only adults in this scenario.  Ms. Waterbury  met Chase Finlay as an adult (if she had been a minor Merson would have featured that fact front and center),  and she willingly entered into a sexual relationship with him.  He's the one responsible  for the violation against her,  not NYCB.  The only reason Merson is attempting to make this a systemic issue instead of a personal one is to maximize any monetary damages she might win,  of which he would receive a substantial share.

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2 minutes ago, aurora said:

Or not every male dancer lacked all sense of morality as these 3 did.

That doesn't mean others didn't get the sense they could get away with bad behavior--it just indicates they weren't inclined to treat women in such a disgusting way.

I agree that not every dancer would have been influenced by such an environment, but there were more than three dancers described in the updated complaint as having distributed images through communications.  Three have been named as defendants in the complaint.

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2 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

Ms. Waterbury  would not have been subject to unlawful conduct if her parents had not sent her to ballet school in the first place,  so why doesn't  she sue them?  The defendants are not the only adults in this scenario.  Ms. Waterbury  met Chase Finlay as an adult (if she had been a minor Merson would have featured that fact front and center),  and she willingly entered into a sexual relationship with him.  He's the one responsible  for the violation against her,  not NYCB.  The only reason Merson is attempting to make this a systemic issue instead of a personal one is to maximize any monetary damages she might win,  of which he would receive a substantial share.

SAB is considered in loco parentis, so her parents should have been able to send her to SAB without issue.

Again, hers and her lawyer's motives are speculation and not relevant to the case unless the court makes them so, and if the court allows SAB and NYCB to be defendants if this goes to discovery and trial, then it's a matter of whether Merson can make the case that they are culpable. 

It's actually a double-edged sword, because if there is a jury trial and the jury is very sympathetic to her, and decides to award her $1,000,000 or $10,000,000, a judge can cut that number down.

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9 minutes ago, Helene said:

I agree that not every dancer would have been influenced by such an environment, but there were more than three dancers described in the updated complaint as having distributed images through communications.  Three have been named as defendants in the complaint.

So why weren't the other dancers named in the complaint,  even if they aren't defendants?  The complaint warrants careful reading.  A number of those accused of sharing the images are "employees of NYCB",  not dancers.  They could be musicians,  stage hands,  wardrobe staff,  even janitors.  Presumably these individuals were not also former students of SAB or dancers in the company,  and thus not subject to their supposed malign influence.

7 minutes ago, Helene said:

SAB is considered in loco parentis, so her parents should have been able to send her to SAB without issue.

That's an interesting legal question.  Ms. Waterbury,  according to the amended complaint,   is now twenty-one,  which indicates that she was an adult while still a student at SAB.  Is a school,  any school,  presumed to be acting in loco parentis  when the student is not a child?

15 minutes ago, Helene said:

 

Again, hers and her lawyer's motives are speculation and not relevant to the case...

Merson and Waterbury's motives are quite clear- they want money,  from the deepest pockets available.  Nothing wrong with that,  but let's not pretend this is basically some kind of moral crusade.

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12 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

Ms. Waterbury  would not have been subject to unlawful conduct if her parents had not sent her to ballet school in the first place,  so why doesn't  she sue them?  The defendants are not the only adults in this scenario.  Ms. Waterbury  met Chase Finlay as an adult (if she had been a minor Merson would have featured that fact front and center),  and she willingly entered into a sexual relationship with him.  He's the one responsible  for the violation against her,  not NYCB.  The only reason Merson is attempting to make this a systemic issue instead of a personal one is to maximize any monetary damages she might win,  of which he would receive a substantial share.

I agree with you point.  I quoted this claim to support the argument that Mr. Merson clearly views NYCB and SAB as culpable for the situation. That somehow NYCB is reponsible for the fact that Ms. Waterbury’s and Mr. Finlay’s pathes crossed.

 

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I'll repeat the answer, too:  we don't know what the tactics and strategy are about naming or not naming, and more people can be added to the complaint, as we've seen.

I don't know when Waterbury first joined NYCB, whether and when she lived in the dorms, or whether universities, for example are still considered in any way responsible, when students are resident on their premises or at least not living at home.  The document her parents had to sign when she joined SAB might shed some light on this, or at least what was presented to the parents.

I've never claimed that this was purely a moral crusade, and neither does the lawsuit, which tries to make her case for damages.  There's nothing contradictory about suing a person or institution with money, because you believe they damaged you.  And it's up to the court to decide whether NYCB and SAB must defend themselves against the suit.  

16 minutes ago, Dreamer said:

I agree with you point.  I quoted this claim to support the argument that Mr. Merson clearly views NYCB and SAB as culpable for the situation. That somehow NYCB is reponsible for the fact that Ms. Waterbury’s and Mr. Finlay’s pathes crossed.

 

I wouldn't have added it to complaint written the way it was, but, as a continuum between the organizations and the policies or lack thereof of fraternization between the organizations.  The large majority of what the lawsuit contends about NYCB is about creating the environment that enabled the behavior.  For example, #1, #8, #9, #32, #33, #34, #35, #38, #39, $40.  And on and on throughout the document.

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29 minutes ago, Helene said:

I'll repeat the answer, too:  we don't know what the tactics and strategy are about naming or not naming, and more people can be added to the complaint, as we've seen.

I don't know when Waterbury first joined NYCB...

She never joined NYCB.  See,  Merson's tactics are working,  even on us!

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37 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

So why weren't the other dancers named in the complaint,  even if they aren't defendants?  The complaint warrants careful reading.  A number of those accused of sharing the images are "employees of NYCB",  not dancers.  They could be musicians,  stage hands,  wardrobe staff,  even janitors.  Presumably these individuals were not also former students of SAB or dancers in the company,  and thus not subject to their supposed malign influence.

That's an interesting legal question.  Ms. Waterbury,  according to the amended complaint,   is now twenty-one,  which indicates that she was an adult while still a student at SAB.  Is a school,  any school,  presumed to be acting in loco parentis  when the student is not a child?

Merson and Waterbury's motives are quite clear- they want money,  from the deepest pockets available.  Nothing wrong with that,  but let's not pretend this is basically some kind of moral crusade.

Why can't it be both?

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That must be why the quote in #83 about "[another former SAB student]" was "LOL the pics I sent you were from when she was 18."

The other references to specific former SAB students make it clear that they are adults: recipient of an image "dancer at Pacific Northwest Ballet" and Craig Hall, to distinguish him from Craig Hall, one of the interim artistic team, and to establish his connection to SAB.  The former was newly added; the latter was in the original complaint.
 

14 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

She never joined NYCB.  See,  Merson's tactics are working,  even on us!

Only for a milli-second when typing quickly.  I plead hunger.

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29 minutes ago, fordhambae said:

FORMER students. The lawsuit was written deliberately to invoke this exact response. These former students could easily be pushing 30 years old at the time of any of the alleged activities.

And that matters why? 30, 40, 50... everyone has an right to privacy and to the expectation that if they refuse to participate in something that refusal will be honored. 

These aren’t porn stars. They are  women who happen to work as ballet dancers. 

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2 minutes ago, rkoretzky said:

And that matters why? 30, 40, 50... everyone has an right to privacy and to the expectation that if they refuse to participate in something that refusal will be honored. 

These aren’t porn stars. They are  women who happen to work as ballet dancers. 

Yes, everyone — including pornographic film actors!

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3 minutes ago, rkoretzky said:

And that matters why? 30, 40, 50... everyone has an right to privacy and to the expectation that if they refuse to participate in something that refusal will be honored. 

These aren’t porn stars. They are  women who happen to work as ballet dancers. 

I'm not talking about privacy, I'm talking about context.

In the same way that anyone reading this could be refereed to as 'former infant'. The use of infant is misleading if they are 40 years old and this happened yesterday.  The use of 'former SAB students' was only used to tie the connection between the company and the school.

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38 minutes ago, rkoretzky said:

And that matters why? 30, 40, 50... everyone has an right to privacy and to the expectation that if they refuse to participate in something that refusal will be honored. 

These aren’t porn stars. They are  women who happen to work as ballet dancers. 

It matters big time.  Many of SAB's students are young children.  Distributing salacious photos of them could be considered trafficking in child pornography,  a serious Federal crime which can land perpetrators in prison for many years.  No one is making that accusation.

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The only three people I can find in the complaint who are referred to as "former SAB student" are one woman whose photo from when she was 18 (according to the text) was sent/received, and two men who either received or received/distributed/commented, for whom the description distinguishes him from a member of the interim team.  

Since the subjects of the photos are described, with one exception ("girl or woman")* and none of them are described as under-aged, and the only two former SAB students described are the one above and Waterbury, I fail to see how this is in any way misleading or an implication that undescribed students had their images shared.

*The only one that the complaint seems to protect by deliberate vagueness.  There is a NYCB member whom Finlay said was having protected sex as a student, but they did not have images of her.

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2 minutes ago, Helene said:

I fail to see how this is in any way misleading

 

One of your readers wrote "Students, too? I'm sick to my stomach."

It can easily become misconstrued, especially in the media to make the public believe that underage persons were victims in this lawsuit.

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