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


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12 hours ago, fordhambae said:

My point is, it was our problem. We are still friends in fact and he is in a much better place now (recovered alch etc). 

I don’t see it as having warranted a larger scale investigation or lawsuit against GS even if many men there are similar (they are).

Thats why I feel strongly about this, I believe this should be between the two parties who dated.

It was his problem. You are a survivor. If there are a large number of abusers in an environment and leadership is looking the other way, then there is a culture of abuse. Glad he has recovered, though.

I think that some of the backlash to Waterbury, broadly speaking, comes from the fact that it is making others reckon with their trauma. People are upset that she is publically asking for accountability instead of staying silent/minimizing the severity of the behavior like previous generations of survivors.

Also as Finlay's partner - who accompanied him to official NYCB events - she had more access to the goings-on inside NYCB than the average former SAB student. I'm sure he told her quite a bit, and she saw some events herself. I have no reason to believe she was snooping. And it's always a terrible idea to give any passwords to anyone.

As for her desire to avoid a rigorous interview: she was interviewed by Good Morning America and Teen Vogue and Jezebel have covered her story.

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1 hour ago, Pique Arabesque said:

As for her desire to avoid a rigorous interview: she was interviewed by Good Morning America and Teen Vogue and Jezebel have covered her story.

 

I'm assuming Good Morning America agreed to some ground rules before the interview, and morning TV interviews are by nature very short and not comprehensive.

Jezebel wrote a sympathetic (and slightly profane) story based on the original NYPost story about Miss Waterbury's complaint; the story contains no original reporting. 

I looked for a Teen Vogue article on the case without success - can you provide a link? (I did find a fun Teen Vogue piece on the NYCB female dancers' skincare routines, though: https://www.teenvogue.com/gallery/new-york-city-ballet-dancers-share-skincare-routines)

At any rate, Miss Waterbury hasn't had to deal with an impartial journalist asking awkward questions, and if I were her or her lawyer, I wouldn't make that part of my strategy either. 

 

Today's September 27th. Shouldn't we be hearing from Chase Finlay soon?

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5 hours ago, KayDenmark said:

Today's September 27th. Shouldn't we be hearing from Chase Finlay soon?

Not necessarily.  The amended complaint was only filed last week, and he would filing an answer to the amended complaint, not the original complaint. Also, extensions to file are routinely granted.

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7 hours ago, Pique Arabesque said:

 

I think that some of the backlash to Waterbury, broadly speaking, comes from the fact that it is making others reckon with their trauma. People are upset that she is publically asking for accountability instead of staying silent/minimizing the severity of the behavior like previous generations of survivors.

Also as Finlay's partner - who accompanied him to official NYCB events - she had more access to the goings-on inside NYCB than the average former SAB student. I'm sure he told her quite a bit, and she saw some events herself. I have no reason to believe she was snooping. And it's always a terrible idea to give any passwords to anyone.

Is there evidence of a backlash against Ms. Waterbury?  All I have seen is universal praise and support for her.  Members of NYCB are wise not to speak out about an ongoing lawsuit,  and have likely been ordered not to by management,  an almost universal practice when corporations are sued.  As a member of two performers' unions,  I am concerned about the rights of the union members involved,  especially what I consider the unjust termination of Zachary Catazaro.  Questioning elements of the Waterbury  complaint does not constitute a backlash.  

The court will determine if reading Finlay's text messages is snooping.  But reading a romantic partner's private communications is almost guaranteed to end badly,  even when there is no reason to suspect any nefarious activity.

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9 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

But reading a romantic partner's private communications is almost guaranteed to end badly,  even when there is no reason to suspect any nefarious activity.

Some people would rather not be kept in the dark, while everyone around them knew lots more about their partner and relationship than they did.  I wouldn't call that ending badly, however painful.  

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19 hours ago, On Pointe said:

There is very little supervision required in  New York for stage children of any age.  When she was starring in Annie on Broadway at age eleven,  Sarah Jessica Parker used to take the subway and the bus to the theater by herself.  In California,  you have very strict rules on movie and TV sets regarding hours worked and on set education,  but not in New York.  At any rate anyone old enough to be an apprentice at NYCB  is too old to be supervised.  The reality is nobody chaperones seventeen year old kids working in fast food either.

Actually kids all over the city use public transportation Bus and subway to get to and from school.  The schools issue tickets. 

And NY Child Labor laws are pretty robust, as are the regs governing supervision, schooling, rehearsal hours, etc. (Know several kids who are on Broadway now).  Not saying that there aren't problems but no production company trying to sell tickets to a kid friendly show is going to want the kids in the show to be abused.  .bad for business. 

 

https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/secure/child_index.shtm

 

Edited by balletforme
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1 hour ago, balletforme said:

Actually kids all over the city use public transportation Bus and subway to get to and from school.  The schools issue tickets. 

And NY Child Labor laws are pretty robust, as are the regs governing supervision, schooling, rehearsal hours, etc. (Know several kids who are on Broadway now).  Not saying that there aren't problems but no production company trying to sell tickets to a kid friendly show is going to want the kids in the show to be abused.  .bad for business. 

 

https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/secure/child_index.shtm

 

While NYC children tend to be very self-reliant and use public transportation all of the time,  it's still unusual for an eleven year old to go to work on the subway alone at night.   (I remember an interview with Amar Ramasar where he recalled that,  when he was about twelve,  his mother showed him how to use the subway to get from the Bronx to SAB by himself,  once.  After that,  he was on his own.)  

Producers of shows with child actors often make special accommodations for them,  like setting aside a room for them to do their homework,  or splitting big roles between two or three children,  like the title role in Billy Elliott.  There is usually an assistant stage manager or cast member tasked with keeping an eye on them - a dark backstage area can be dangerous.  And being children,  they are apt to get into mischief - I worked on a show where a stagehand broke his leg while protecting a child.  When I was an active union councillor,  the well-being of child actors was a great concern of mine.   I have worked with children who were the main support of their families,  which didn't  mean they were treated kindly by their parents. 

None of this applies to apprentices of NYCB,  who may be too young to drink,  but are otherwise old enough to fend for themselves.  And why not - many of them have been living in dorms in NYC while at SAB from a very young age.  College freshmen are usually around the same age as the apprentices,  and every year thousands of them are sent far away from home to go to school.  Some of them have been known to go to a wild party or two as well.

 

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That was a incredibly strong statement of support regarding the values of the company made by the dancers. The narrative that Waterbury needed to speak out because the female company members were unable to themselves must have been insulting. I'm glad that false narrative has been put to bed with this statement. Bravo to Tess and the whole company for making this stand with their moving words!

Edited by Longtimelurker
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1 hour ago, Longtimelurker said:

That was a incredibly strong statement of support regarding the values of the company made by the dancers. The narrative that Waterbury needed to speak out because the female company members were unable to themselves must have been insulting. I'm glad that false narrative has been put to bed with this statement. Bravo to Tess and the whole company for making this stand with their moving words!

To be fair though, we have no idea what each NYCB dancer thinks about what was said; they have no choice but to stand there and clap.

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Hi all and thanks for your posts! Lots of heads being put together.

And thanks for posting the statement read last night. I'm glad to hear from dancers.

On opening night, the audience applauded the pre-performance announcement. As did I. Speaking for myself, I was expressing my support for the dancers not involved in the alleged misbehavior and the institution that has given me such joy for so long.

Recent posts have discussed supervision at SAB and "snooping."

1.) Supervision

Since SAB opened regular dormitories, supervision has become more formalized (it once consisted of Violette Verdy's mother, and although she was strict, that was different).

But as regards the suit, SAB's supervisory policies may not be an issue. Arguing that the School had a "duty of care" to Ms. Waterbury years after she left will be a stretch. ("Duty of care" means a legally recognized relationship that required SAB to protect her. [https://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/elements-of-a-negligence-case.html])

This particular question will be up to a judge to decide before trial (likely in response to some motion [e.g., to dismiss or for summary judgment]). The standard used will be what a "reasonable person" would accept. In theory, the judge will accept the allegations in the complaint as true and give the benefit of the doubt to the plaintiff. (https://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/elements-of-a-negligence-case.html; http://www.thelangelfirm.com/Debt-Defense-Blog/2016/April/Legal-Grounds-for-a-Motion-to-Dismiss-New-York.aspx Page 2; https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/6jd/forms/SRForms/m_howto.pdf, pp. 5–6.)

The causes of action against SAB and NYCB involving negligence must clear this hurdle to proceed.

2.) "Snooping"

If I understand right, the issue here is that some of Ms. Waterbury's harm resulted from her own "snooping." That is not a legal show-stopper.

New York law recognizes negligence claims in which the victim shares responsibility for his/her harm. But It reduces the jury award by that percentage. (https://statelaws.findlaw.com/new-york-law/new-york-negligence-laws.html) 

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If this goes to court, we'll learn what the court thinks on much of this.

As far as being fair, we don't know how making the statement was decided, what the opportunities for input were, whether or not there was anonymity involved, if there was a vote, if consensus was required, etc.

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I didn't read the Reichlen/Danchig-Waring statement as falling clearly on either side of the debate. It takes clear stands on certain broad moral/ethical principles, but in terms of the Waterbury v. Finlay/Ramasar/Catazaro/etc. case in particular I think it could be read either way.

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I agree with @nanushka  and @Helene as well--the statement is (prudently) not worded in a way to take a position on certain things, and obviously the dancers would not say anything that might put the company in any kind of legal jeopardy ...  But insisting that art shouldn't be considered more important than moral decency could be read differently than as, say, a slap at someone for coming forward or as an expression of offense at the conversation that is currently happening.

Edited by Drew
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Oh...I was doing a search on AGMA and notice that September 20th they posted a statement on sexual harassment in the workplace but also a change in how people can report on those issues. Has this been posted already? I infer they wanted to make it easier. Why they made that change or whether it will be helpful or not, I can't say:

https://www.musicalartists.org/agma-condemns-all-sexual-abuse-sexual-harassment/

Edited by Drew
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40 minutes ago, Drew said:

Oh...I was doing a search on AGMA and notice that September 20th they posted a statement on sexual harassment on the workplace but also a change in how people can report on those issues. Has this been posted already? I infer they wanted to make it easier. Why they made that change or whether it will be helpful or not, I can't say:

https://www.musicalartists.org/agma-condemns-all-sexual-abuse-sexual-harassment/

The statement makes sense until the last paragraph,  where,  in my opinion,  it is a mistake to specifically cite NYCB.  Ms. Waterbury  is not making a workplace allegation of sexual harassment   and even if NYCB dancers were making such allegations,  calling out a specific company by name while investigation is ongoing could be construed as prejudicial to one or more parties involved.  No one doubts that AGMA condemns sexual abuse and harassment.  This statement,  beyond informing members of a new method of reporting,  is unnecessary.

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Thanks Drew for the AGMA links.

I'm glad AGMA made a statement and a change. For a long time a long time ago, AGMA gave the back of its hand to ballet. I hope AGMA finds a way to extend itself to help non-union and non-AGMA union dancers report.

I've long thought ballet needed to improve its rule-making, training and handling of harassment.

That said, I share some of the concerns expressed in various posts about the including City Ballet and SAB in the complaint.

On 9/28/2018 at 6:53 PM, Helene said:

If this goes to court, we'll learn what the court thinks on much of this.

With all due respect, it's already in court. This does not go away for City Ballet unless a judge says so.

I worry what a jury thinks. And reading Merson's website, if anyone can get the City Ballet part of this past a judge, it might be him.

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Fair point.

Wonder what Merson asked for that ruled out settling before the suit was filed.

There's this from a 9/16/18 WSJ article: 

"... unlike some other prominent nonprofit cultural institutions in the city, the ballet has a solid financial track record of late. It has balanced its budget in the last six seasons and is sitting on a $225 million endowment. It has also raised $65 million of a $70 million capital campaign goal.

The company expressed confidence that it won’t be affected financially by the news of recent weeks."

(I'm happy the Company's finances are in good shape.) "Won't be affected" seems over-confident, but I guess not settling seemed the better option.

Random unrelated musings (insert "alleged" and "on or about" at will):

--If the Company knew of Finlay's "alcohol and substance abuse," did Waterbury? Did that concern her moving in with him?

--So Finlay left for the airport at 4 a.m. on May 15, did some job somewhere, and danced Afternoon of a Faun that night in New York? (http://dancetabs.com/2018/05/new-york-city-ballet-all-robbins-no-4-bill-new-york/)

--How will the Company get Finlay's share of its $150,000 with him jobless? Ditto Catazaro's, if he was among the fined?

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