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


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10 hours ago, Dessus et dessous said:

 

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

 

 

I doubt they ever even discussed any settlement figures.  NYCB's lawyers most likely advised them that the claims against NYCB were flimsy, and that they should not submit to this shakedown. 

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From the Times today:

At the Koch Theatre's stage door, "a very different sort of message was posted there anonymously in September as the company was preparing to open its fall season. It demanded “justice for the accused men of City Ballet,” called for a boycott of the company and urged people to “stop believing the word of jilted whores,” along with even cruder insults."

And:

"But as more details of the texting allegations emerged in a lawsuit, a number of women in the company made it clear to management that they would not feel comfortable dancing with those men again, and some expressed dismay that their labor union was contesting their removal."

Also, the article states that Finlay was actually suspended over the summer after showing up to a matinee in Paris hung over. And, before that he had been given a warning after damaging a pipe in a hotel in D.C. which caused flooding (that explains the large fine).

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/03/arts/dance/new-york-city-ballet-metoo.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Edited by ABT Fan
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4 minutes ago, abatt said:

Why does he feel he needs to congratulated for a remark about a dancer?  Weird.

 

I didn't interpret it that way: I think he's saying that it's weird to be congratulated for a critical assessment in a review because of alleged and confirmed offstage behavior, as if his original description was somehow predictive or prescient.

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Macaulay seems to be giving Finlay, Ramasar, and Catazaro the benefit of the doubt. In fact he seems to be implying that the furor over Waterbury's lawsuit is overblown. I wonder what the female dance critics are thinking.

Edited by Rick
typo
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2 minutes ago, Rick said:

Macaulay seems to be giving Finlay, Ramasar, and Catazaro the benefit of the doubt. In fact he seems to be implying that the furor over Waterbury's lawsuit is overblown. I wonder what the female dance critics are thinking.

I had the same thought.

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I'm no fan of Macaulay's, but I wonder if it's partly down to his background as a British journalist. I have British friends who are amazed at some of the reporting on live court cases that happens in the US: they have very strict rules which can land a journalist or editor in jail and cause the trial to collapse if they cross the line. (The reasoning is that the judge or jury should be protected at all costs from anything that could prejudice them against the defendant.) Also their libel laws are a lot stricter.

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There's also the background of his own experience of having been accused of sexual misconduct:

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These days, when I hear that someone stands accused of involvement in child pornography or of paedophilia, I feel as distanced from it as many thousands of others presumably do. But I have recently come through a period of several years during which any report that someone was being investigated for sexual crimes against children would invariably make my heart fly out in distress to the person being accused. Always my first thought was: "Poor man - he's probably innocent, like me."

 

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Yes, I believe his warning not to rush to judgment relates to the fact that he was wrongly accused of sexual misconduct.  At least in his case, he was able to clear his name and continue to have a major career.  I think the damage is already done for the three dancers at issue.  Two have already been fired, and the media circus surrounding Waterbury's lawsuit, and orchestrated skillfully by her attorney, has made it look like all defendants, the institutions and the individual defendants, are  guilty.  Even if Catazaro and Ramasar are cleared, their careers in ballet are probably finished.

Edited by abatt
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I have been lurking on this thread since this whole situation came to light. I am a young woman and a survivor myself, and I say bravo to Macaulay.

I was all behind actions being taken to ensure that the facts are had (i.e. suspending Catazaro and Ramasar) before making judgement. But the firings seemed incredibly premature to me, and I am deeply concerned about the larger implications of "guilty until proven innocent." Lately it almost feels like we're leaning toward "guilty if accused," with flashes of Abigail Williams and John Procter.

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1 hour ago, DC Export said:

I have been lurking on this thread since this whole situation came to light. I am a young woman and a survivor myself, and I say bravo to Macaulay.

I was all behind actions being taken to ensure that the facts are had (i.e. suspending Catazaro and Ramasar) before making judgement. But the firings seemed incredibly premature to me, and I am deeply concerned about the larger implications of "guilty until proven innocent." Lately it almost feels like we're leaning toward "guilty if accused," with flashes of Abigail Williams and John Procter.

Yes. Totally agree. Thanks for the reference to The Crucible. The Scarlet Letter also occurred to me. 

Edited by cobweb
pertinent literary references
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What is missing is an acceptable path towards healing.  The Catholic Church requires confession and penance prior to reconciliation and forgiveness.  I'm not sure they really live that, given the child abuse they are still coming to terms with.  But for a case like Louis CK, where he was awful towards women in his professional life, is there ia path back?  I felt like his initial statement was looking towards that.  But his recent appearances in comedy clubs didn't really show the steps that would lead toward genuine repentance.  Can all three ex-NYCB dancers forge a path towards rehabilitation and reconciliation?  What does that look like?  

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5 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

From the Times today:

At the Koch Theatre's stage door, "a very different sort of message was posted there anonymously in September as the company was preparing to open its fall season. It demanded “justice for the accused men of City Ballet,” called for a boycott of the company and urged people to “stop believing the word of jilted whores,” along with even cruder insults."

And:

"But as more details of the texting allegations emerged in a lawsuit, a number of women in the company made it clear to management that they would not feel comfortable dancing with those men again, and some expressed dismay that their labor union was contesting their removal."

Also, the article states that Finlay was actually suspended over the summer after showing up to a matinee in Paris hung over. And, before that he had been given a warning after damaging a pipe in a hotel in D.C. which caused flooding (that explains the large fine).

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/03/arts/dance/new-york-city-ballet-metoo.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Very disturbing all round.

I can't help but feel for the women mentioned in the article--not just sympathy, but respect-- 

Edited by Drew
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59 minutes ago, DC Export said:

I was all behind actions being taken to ensure that the facts are had (i.e. suspending Catazaro and Ramasar) before making judgement. But the firings seemed incredibly premature to me, and I am deeply concerned about the larger implications of "guilty until proven innocent."

If NYCB is to believed, the firings were purportedly prompted by the fact that certain female members of the company informed management that they would no longer be comfortable dancing with Catazaro or Ramasar.  So there is is a divide within the company, and NYCB decided to fire them instead of leaving the suspension in place pending further investigation.  I found it astonishing in the above article that some dancers were upset that their union was challenging the firings.  That's the core function of the union - to make sure management deals fairly with employees.

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2 hours ago, Rick said:

Macaulay seems to be giving Finlay, Ramasar, and Catazaro the benefit of the doubt. In fact he seems to be implying that the furor over Waterbury's lawsuit is overblown. I wonder what the female dance critics are thinking.

I also think his remarks are probably based on insider information that many of us are not privy to. For example, I think that most of the public didn't know that Finlay had previously been suspended until the article in the New York Times today. I don't think it's a stretch to think he probably has known about that for quite some time.

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31 minutes ago, abatt said:

[...]  I found it astonishing in the above article that some dancers were upset that their union was challenging the firings.  That's the core function of the union - to make sure management deals fairly with employees.

Is it astonishing given the particular circumstances? I mean even if one thinks the dancers are wrong to feel the way they do and the union is doing its job, it seems clear why this particular case might be divisive.

Edited by Drew
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5 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

"But as more details of the texting allegations emerged in a lawsuit, a number of women in the company made it clear to management that they would not feel comfortable dancing with those men again, and some expressed dismay that their labor union was contesting their removal."

Would not feel comfortable because of allegations vs. finding out the facts?

Expressed dismay that the union was contesting their removal?  I'm sure they wouldn't be in dismay if the union was contesting on their behalves... union is for all, not for few.

lots of hypocrisy going on, as usual.

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8 minutes ago, fordhambae said:

Would not feel comfortable because of allegations vs. finding out the facts?

Expressed dismay that the union was contesting their removal?  I'm sure they wouldn't be in dismay if the union was contesting on their behalves... union is for all, not for few.

lots of hypocrisy going on, as usual.

How do you know they don't know the facts?  If Ramasar admitted to the existence of the texts publicly, I would think the dancers would know even more, privately (Sterling H. has said there is more the public doesn't know). With the texts alone however, that's enough to justify any female dancers discomfort.  

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23 minutes ago, fordhambae said:

Would not feel comfortable because of allegations vs. finding out the facts?

Expressed dismay that the union was contesting their removal?  I'm sure they wouldn't be in dismay if the union was contesting on their behalves... union is for all, not for few.

lots of hypocrisy going on, as usual.

Following up on balletwannabe's post: I don't know exactly how this played out but I assume the dancers are taking the company's internal investigation as having established facts sufficient for decisions about employment, and giving their perspective on those facts and the original suspensions. 

I suppose it's possible or even probable that some details may have come out because of the lawsuit--which is full of allegations only, but may have at least let people know what the company's internal investigation involved.  That is, I assume the company hadn't publicized the results of their investigation beyond the suspensions, but in the wake of the suit more became known about the company's investigation and dancers expressed concerns. The standard in that context is not "beyond a reasonable doubt."   (The union has issued a statement making clear its aim to take all concerns, expressed by all parties, seriously--the issue of employment/firing and the issue of sexual harassment/safe workplaces.)

Edited by Drew
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NYCB investigated the communications, which they received in June, and the announced the decision to suspend in August before the lawsuit was filed.   The latest NYT article says that Finlay was suspended once for showing up hungover, and his part in breaking a pipe and causing substantial water damage to the hotel in DC was also revealed.  The communications would be the third acknowledged issue in his case.

NYCB has access to excellent legal resources, and, based on their history of action and non-action as a conservatively run organization, and they had enough to at least suspend Ramasar and Catazaro without pay without objections by AGMA; we'll never know if AGMA would have appealed through arbitration had the Company fired Finlay.  It was not in the Company's best interest to lose three of their male Principals less than a month before the Fall season and for Nutcracker, and, I'm sure they were less than thrilled at having to air more dirty laundry after the Martins allegations, especially with the NYT ready to write about it.

The lawsuit may have been what spurred some of the female dancers to go to management and, essentially, ask for the men to be fired, but they were also insiders who had greater resources to follow up, and I fail to see how the men could be seen as having been innocents wrongly accused.  Nor do I expect Merson to lose his license because he knowingly filed a lawsuit on Waterbury's behalf based on forged text messages.

1 hour ago, abatt said:

I found it astonishing in the above article that some dancers were upset that their union was challenging the firings.  That's the core function of the union - to make sure management deals fairly with employees.

The union is responsible to all of its employees, and union issues are not always between employees and management.  If they feel this is between two sets of employees, and their well-being is being trampled on, then, of course they'd be dismayed. 

1 hour ago, fordhambae said:

I'm sure they wouldn't be in dismay if the union was contesting on their behalves... union is for all, not for few.

lots of hypocrisy going on, as usual.

Of course they'd want their union to support and protect them.  There's nothing hypocritical about that, just as if AGMA was to decide not to pursue arbitration, Ramasar and Catazaro would have reason to be dismayed.  And there would be nothing hypocritical about that, either.

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7 minutes ago, Helene said:

NYCB investigated the communications, which they received in June, and the announced the decision to suspend in August before the lawsuit was filed.   The latest NYT article says that Finlay was suspended once for showing up hungover, and his part in breaking a pipe and causing substantial water damage to the hotel in DC was also revealed.  The communications would be the third acknowledged issue in his case.

NYCB has access to excellent legal resources, and, based on their history of action and non-action as a conservatively run organization, and they had enough to at least suspend Ramasar and Catazaro without pay without objections by AGMA; we'll never know if AGMA would have appealed through arbitration had the Company fired Finlay.  It was not in the Company's best interest to lose three of their male Principals less than a month before the Fall season and for Nutcracker, and, I'm sure they were less than thrilled at having to air more dirty laundry after the Martins allegations, especially with the NYT ready to write about it.

The lawsuit may have been what spurred some of the female dancers to go to management and, essentially, ask for the men to be fired, but they were also insiders who had greater resources to follow up, and I fail to see how the men could be seen as having been innocents wrongly accused.

AGMA might have objected to the suspensions if they had been asked to do so.  Apparently Ramasar  and  Catazaro  did not go to the union and contest NYCB's initial actions.  There are other NYCB employees mentioned in the lawsuit.  If they were not also fired,  it bolsters the principal dancers' position that they should not have lost their jobs.  Of course,  if the other employees were stage hands and/or musicians,  as members of far more powerful unions than AGMA,  it would be a lot harder to fire them.

That some female dancers felt uncomfortable being partnered by Ramasar and  Catazaro is no justification for their termination.  They are professionals in the performing arts,  where artists work with people they don't like all the time.  If in fact NYCB  fired the dancers because of complaints about their private communications,  they have set themselves up for being sued by Ramasar and Catazaro,  who would have a far stronger case than Waterbury.  After James Levine was fired from the Met,  after years of rumors of despicable behavior on his part,  corroborated by several of his alleged victims,  he sued the company for over $5,000,000 for wrongful termination.  (The Met is countersuing.)  Ramasar  and  Catazaro  are not accused of abusive behavior in the workplace,  and compared to the published material ascribed to the current nominee to the Supreme Court,  their private communications are pretty small beer - pardon the Kavanaugh pun.

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But the firings seemed incredibly premature to me, and I am deeply concerned about the larger implications of "guilty until proven innocent." Lately it almost feels like we're leaning toward "guilty if accused," with flashes of Abigail Williams and John Procter.

 Thank you for delurking, DC Export. Well....no one has been pressed to death. I can’t say I’ve detected any evidence of mass hysteria recently, unless you count Messrs. Kavanaugh and Graham. It is remarkable to see so many prominent heads falling at once, but even more remarkable, surely, is the level of misbehavior so many got away with for so long. Investigations are being conducted, and people are either resigning or being dismissed with cause. So far, there have been very few borderline cases.

 The firings of Ramasar and Catazaro do give me pause, and if they have a good case I hope their union makes it for them.

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 I found it astonishing in the above article that some dancers were upset that their union was challenging the firings.  That's the core function of the union - to make sure management deals fairly with employees.

Just so, abatt. I do find the dancers’ feelings understandable in the heat of the moment, but in the long run a union that is willing and able to defend its members robustly is good for everyone.

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They shared nude images of their coworkers without consent. That's illegal. People have been justifiably fired from jobs for far lesser reasons. Being tardy repeatedly, for example. Losing your job is not equal in harshness to being sent to jail. Even if you're an artist. 

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