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


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5 hours ago, Dessus et dessous said:

I'd say settle. Finlay can't afford to drag this out. He's unemployed. He owes NYCB some part of $150,000. Rehab cost something. His lawyer's probably billing by the hour. His ballet clock is ticking, and he needs to leave town to find work.

 

The question is, who would want him? One general truth about the "#metoo" movement is that it hasn't established a redemption process. If Finlay admits misbehavior (although my guess is that his version of the truth would be different than Waterbury's), pays off the hotel bill and/or Waterbury and her lawyers and any other women affected, and says all the right things about gender relations and male privilege, does he get another chance to take the stage?

Probably not in the US at the moment, even at a regional - no regional company wants or can withstand a #metoo protest by local donors. Probably not in Europe or Australia, which have their own #metoo movements (The head of the Finnish Ballet was just bounced for #metoo related reasons.) Asia? 

Maybe Finlay just needs to leave the ballet business. Reports that his dancing has been lackadaisical over the past couple of years suggests that maybe his heart just isn't in it any more. Maybe he needs to go to rehab and then to university to study something else entirely. He's only 27; life is long. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, KayDenmark said:

One general truth about the "#metoo" movement is that it hasn't established a redemption process.

To the extent that there is a cohesively acting "movement" (debatable), it is not, in my opinion, the responsibility of that movement to establish a redemption process. It is the responsibility of those who have wronged others to discover the appropriate path to redemption. Just as it is the responsibility of the rest of us to be open to at least the possibility of that redemption being achieved — as appropriate, given the particular circumstances of individual cases. ("Redemption" will mean different things, to different degrees, and be achieved in different ways, in different cases.)

In some cases redemption will be more feasible than in others, and the processes will necessarily vary. There can be no "established redemption process," I don't think. (Though I imagine it would be possible to at least hypothesize some general guidelines.)

Edited by nanushka
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3 minutes ago, nanushka said:

To the extent that there is a cohesively acting "movement" (debatable), it is not, in my opinion, the responsibility of that movement to establish a redemption process. It is the responsibility of those who have wronged others to discover the appropriate path to redemption. Just as it is the responsibility of the rest of us to be open to at least the possibility of that redemption being achieved — as appropriate, given the particular circumstances of individual cases.

In some cases redemption will be more feasible than in others, and the processes will necessarily vary. There can be no "established redemption process," I don't think. (Though I imagine it would be possible to at least hypothesize some general guidelines.)

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I haven't seen anyone redeemed yet from #metoo related charges - so if there is indeed an "appropriate path to redemption" for these men to discover, it is unknown territory at the moment. 

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1 minute ago, KayDenmark said:

I haven't seen anyone redeemed yet from #metoo related charges - so if there is indeed an "appropriate path to redemption" for these men to discover, it is unknown territory at the moment. 

It has only been a year...

How fast do you think redemption should happen? They get a few months vacation and boom! all is good again?

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7 minutes ago, aurora said:

It has only been a year...

How fast do you think redemption should happen? They get a few months vacation and boom! all is good again?

I agree.  And what has been done for the victims and their careers?  Saying sorry is nice (if it has happened), but I think more should be required. 

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Well, I think it's a bit passive-aggressive to say, "You've done something wrong, and you need to atone for it, but I'm not going to tell you how to atone for it. Just guess!"

Not to mention that in the Finlay case, the victims' careers don't appear to have been harmed by his actions, unless there is some information we do not know. 

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20 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

Well, I think it's a bit passive-aggressive to say, "You've done something wrong, and you need to atone for it, but I'm not going to tell you how to atone for it. Just guess!"

It’s only passive-aggressive if you really know the answer and are holding back with a passive-aggressive intent. My personal point was that there is no clear answer and that it’s the responsibility of those who’ve wronged others to figure it out.

(Who in this entire past year has said to any of these men anything at all like, "You've done something wrong, and you need to atone for it, but I'm not going to tell you how to atone for it. Just guess!"? I've never heard that even remotely suggested, including on this forum.)

That’s why people say things like, “Wow, he really redeemed himself by doing X.”

Edited by nanushka
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10 minutes ago, nanushka said:

That’s why people say things like, “Wow, he really redeemed himself by doing X.”

I haven't heard anyone say this about any of the #metoo people - or any sex offender I can think of, even old-timey sex offenders.  Is there someone I'm not thinking of?  Is there a good example of someone who redeemed himself by doing X? 

 

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There have been formal reconciliation processes between the perpetrators and victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing that aren't defined by whatever the perpetrator is willing to acknowledge and offer, but those are formal, targeted, require time and effort, and take a lot more than an apology on IG or a press release.

As far as redemption, there are constant redemption stories about prisoners who've become self-educated and/or taken classes in prison, taught literacy, formed music and theater groups, led meditation and conflict resolution classes, and otherwise made significant changes in their own lives and environments.  

That doesn't include countless personal stories of people who have changed their lives after addictions and whose intimate circle has accepted them back and/or whose fans return.

In all of those cases, it's the outsider looking in that places the "redeemed" label on the person, and that's not always the victim, but someone else who has chosen to trust the person, and their stakes in doing so can be high or low.

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Helene, what Ms. Waterbury alleges happened to her is very unpleasant, but I think that comparing it to genocide is unseemly. 

Finlay hasn't come out with an Instagram apology or a press release - I assume you are referring to Ramasar and Catazaro - so that is a poor comparison as well. 

As I've said before, Finlay is responsible for his own bad choices that made him the central character in this drama. If I were him, I'd leave the ballet business. Perhaps his partying and unimpressive dancing represented a man at war with himself - someone who on some level wanted to quit but on another level wouldn't allow himself to. At any rate, I don't think anyone is going to employ him as a classical danseur anytime soon. There's certainly an element of punishment in that. 

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8 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

Well, I think it's a bit passive-aggressive to say, "You've done something wrong, and you need to atone for it, but I'm not going to tell you how to atone for it. Just guess!"

Fortunately there is an active discussion about what apology and atonement for sexual harassment would ideally look like. And although sexual harassment isn't as horrific as genocide, some of the insights that have come out of successful Truth and Reconciliation efforts can inform our thinking around what constitutes appropriate restitution for its victims adn redemption for its perpetrators. 

In her brief article "How Not to Apologize for Sexual Harassment" Madeleine Aggeler provides a brief outline of what redemption would look like:

"It’s easy to issue an apology. It’s harder to implement change. In the coming months and years, these men will be judged not on their statements of regret, but on the actions they took, or did not take, to undo the damage they did and to change the society from which they profited."

It's a start.

I linked to some current "how to apologize for sexual harassment" way upthread. I'll provide some links again for convenience.

How to apologize for sexual harassment

He harassed her. She called him out. He broadcast his apology. She accepted. (The link below contains a recording of his apology.)

Dan Harmon revealing how he destroyed another human being because she didn't return his affection.

 

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38 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

As I've said before, Finlay is responsible for his own bad choices that made him the central character in this drama. If I were him, I'd leave the ballet business. Perhaps his partying and unimpressive dancing represented a man at war with himself - someone who on some level wanted to quit but on another level wouldn't allow himself to.

There's certainly a self-destructive element to Finlay's behavior, especially his dissemination of the photos/videos to a wide group of recipients and the loan of his laptop to Waterbury. It's almost as if he wanted to get caught.

Edited by Rick
Typo
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1 hour ago, KayDenmark said:

I haven't heard anyone say this about any of the #metoo people - or any sex offender I can think of, even old-timey sex offenders.  Is there someone I'm not thinking of?  Is there a good example of someone who redeemed himself by doing X? 

For #metoo examples in particular, as others above have said, it's only been a year — and that's for one of the worst cases, Weinstein's. I'd expect his redemption, if it comes, to take a good amount of time. For other examples, Helene mentions some in general (and I would guess that's why she brought up the genocide cases, not to suggest that Finlay et al had committed a wrong on that same scale), and I suppose one could always Google the phrase "he redeemed himself by" and see what comes up. I just know it's a common phrase, and my point was that the person doing the redeeming is the one who committed the wrong. That said...

1 hour ago, Helene said:

In all of those cases, it's the outsider looking in that places the "redeemed" label on the person, and that's not always the victim, but someone else who has chosen to trust the person, and their stakes in doing so can be high or low.

Good point. My formulation above should probably be rephrased as such: "He redeemed himself in the eyes of Y by doing X."

41 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Fortunately there is an active discussion about what apology and atonement for sexual harassment would ideally look like.

Yes, it's not as though no one has given this any thought. It's just that an answer is not yet clear (which doesn't mean or even suggest that redemption is not possible, if that's what some are worried about — though it might certainly be impossible for some perpetrators to return to their previous positions of status, power, prominence and achievement), and I think it will ultimately be a question of what these men (so far they are men, for the most part) do, given the circumstances of their individual wrongs.

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Considering the credible allegations against him,  the only redemption suitable for Harvey Weinstein should involve many years in the penitentiary.  So far,  Les Moonves'  "redemption" seems to be taking $100,000,000 from CBS as opposed to $120,000,000,  after his alleged physical attacks on women,  and his attempts (with some success)  to destroy the careers of Janet Jackson,  Ileana Douglas and Linda Bloodworth Thomason.   James Levine feels so redeemed he's suing the Met for wrongful termination.  Louis CK is already back on the comedy club curcuit.  For a certain type of powerful man,  like Brett Kavanaugh,  there are few consequences for bad behavior.

Finlay has resigned,  so he can't  be drummed out of NYCB.  Surely there must be something Ramasar  and  Catazaro  can do that will allow them to continue their careers.  They are not accused of physically abusing anyone,  making sexual demands,  or trying to destroy anyone's career.  They are also not walking away with millions of dollars.  Perhaps personal apologies to the company dancers and a promise to do better.  Ramasar  has already expressed contrition.  (I would add an apology to Ms. Waterbury,  from Ramasar,  not Catazaro,  but because she's suing them it might be a bad legal move.)

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22 hours ago, Helene said:

As discussed upthread, there are two possible criminal charges, and "Intent to harm," is only required for one: it is not required for taking the images without consent.

I agree. 

But I did not reference taking images.

I referenced unlawful disclosure. (https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/new-york/ny-laws/ny_new_york_city_administrative_code_10-177-3. "Unlawful disclosure." A misdemeanor, intent required.)

And I agree with the upthread, Findlay might be liable under both that and "Stephanie's Law." (https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/penal-law/pen-sect-250-45.html. "Unlawful surveillance." A felony, no intent.)

(Though for now, of the two, the Complaint alleges only unlawful disclosure. [Amended Complaint, pp. 46–7; para. 214.])

22 hours ago, Helene said:

It has not been disclosed officially that Finley owed NYCB anything for the fine.  There are other possibilities, such as, the fine may have been covered by Company insurance of somekind.

Fair enough: He allegedly owes or paid somebody part of $150,000. (Amended Complaint, para. 45.)

Edited by Dessus et dessous
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15 hours ago, On Pointe said:

Considering the credible allegations against him,  the only redemption suitable for Harvey Weinstein should involve many years in the penitentiary.  So far,  Les Moonves'  "redemption" seems to be taking $100,000,000 from CBS as opposed to $120,000,000,  after his alleged physical attacks on women,  and his attempts (with some success)  to destroy the careers of Janet Jackson,  Ileana Douglas and Linda Bloodworth Thomason.   James Levine feels so redeemed he's suing the Met for wrongful termination.  Louis CK is already back on the comedy club curcuit. 

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I wouldn't say that any of these men have been "redeemed", although they may not have been punished to the extent some would like. None of them has come close to reclaiming the status or power they once had. Louis CK has come the closest, since he is back onstage, but media reports say his (unannounced) act isn't going over well with audiences and venues are being forced to offer refunds. 

 

One thing we haven't discussed is the sign that the New York Times says was posted at City Ballet's stage door before the new season began in September. According to this article, 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."  Is the implication that this is from some deranged 'fan' of the ballet, or that it was posted by a company insider who presumably supports Catazaro and Ramasar? (I doubt Finlay has many supporters outside of his circle of family and friends.) 

 

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If it is just an external nutjob, I'm not quite sure why it is the lead in the Times story. Every public-facing business has to deal with crazy people. It's only really relevant if it reflects some kind of (vulgar) internal support for the fired dancers. 

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11 hours ago, KayDenmark said:

If it is just an external nutjob, I'm not quite sure why it is the lead in the Times story. Every public-facing business has to deal with crazy people. It's only really relevant if it reflects some kind of (vulgar) internal support for the fired dancers. 

Its relevance, at least as the Times sees it, is explained in the third paragraph of the story, immediately after the note is described:

Quote

The country’s premier ballet company, which has defined grace, speed and precision since the days of its co-founder George Balanchine, is now also a stage for the era’s #MeToo convulsions.

The point seems to be that the company is now one of the latest epicenters of this controversy. I assume those at the Times, like most or all in the company, don't know who posted the note.

11 hours ago, KayDenmark said:

I wouldn't say that any of these men have been "redeemed", although they may not have been punished to the extent some would like. None of them has come close to reclaiming the status or power they once had.

While the word "redeemed" can mean "to get or win back" (in which case the person getting something back is the subject of that active-voice verb), my sense is that the phrase "to be redeemed" (when it's the person who is being redeemed, and so the verb is in the passive voice) and the phrase "to redeem oneself" (when, again, it's the person who is being redeemed) have a rather different meaning. I don't think that "being redeemed" necessarily (or even likely) involves reclaiming the status or power one had before one committed the offense one is in need of redemption for. In many of these cases, that would likely be viewed by many as expecting rather too much — especially after so little time has passed.

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4 hours ago, KayDenmark said:

Is the implication that this is from some deranged 'fan' of the ballet, or that it was posted by a company insider who presumably supports Catazaro and Ramasar?

 

There is no implication, so don't invent one as a discussion point.

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2 hours ago, nanushka said:

Its relevance, at least as the Times sees it, is explained in the third paragraph of the story, immediately after the note is described:

The point seems to be that the company is now one of the latest epicenters of this controversy. I assume those at the Times, like most or all in the company, don't know who posted the note.

While the word "redeemed" can mean "to get or win back" (in which case the person getting something back is the subject of that active-voice verb), my sense is that the phrase "to be redeemed" (when it's the person who is being redeemed, and so the verb is in the passive voice) and the phrase "to redeem oneself" (when, again, it's the person who is being redeemed) have a rather different meaning. I don't think that "being redeemed" necessarily (or even likely) involves reclaiming the status or power one had before one committed the offense one is in need of redemption for. In many of these cases, that would likely be viewed by many as expecting rather too much — especially after so little time has passed.

I should have been more clear that I was being ironic when I used the term "redeemed".  Of course these men are not redeemed,  except possibly in their own heads.

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42 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

I should have been more clear that I was being ironic when I used the term "redeemed".  Of course these men are not redeemed,  except possibly in their own heads.

Oh yes, I completely understood. I was responding to @KayDenmark's particular use of the term in response to your own.

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On 10/6/2018 at 6:56 AM, KayDenmark said:

I wouldn't say that any of these men have been "redeemed", although they may not have been punished to the extent some would like. None of them has come close to reclaiming the status or power they once had. Louis CK has come the closest, since he is back onstage, but media reports say his (unannounced) act isn't going over well with audiences and venues are being forced to offer refunds. 

 

One thing we haven't discussed is the sign that the New York Times says was posted at City Ballet's stage door before the new season began in September. According to this article, 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."  Is the implication that this is from some deranged 'fan' of the ballet, or that it was posted by a company insider who presumably supports Catazaro and Ramasar? (I doubt Finlay has many supporters outside of his circle of family and friends.) 

 

It is not the responsibility of victims - and even the general public - to redeem abusers. And as others have said, the #MeToo movement is very young. However, there have been many countless instances where the rape/misconduct allegations didn't stick in the courts or the public imaginary, and the accused was allowed to go on with his life and reputation unscathed - Kobe Bryant and R Kelly immediately come to mind. Also, Marv Albert was convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery. He was fired from NBC, but brought back less than 2 years later. He currently commentates on TNT. For all of the patriarchal *what about the men!!!* handwringing (and those of you concerned about the *unjust* firing of Ramasar and Catazaro), they do just fine in the end. 

And most strikingly, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to SCOTUS yesterday, even after facing multiple credible accusations of sexual assault. He is someone who has become even more powerful and influential since his abuse allegations emerged.

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On 10/4/2018 at 9:20 AM, abatt said:

NYCB's own conduct raises serious questions regarding the legitimacy of the firings.  The fact that they initially only suspended them for four months, and a week later fired them, suggests that NYCB itself initially concluded that there was no grounds to fire them.  What facts came to light during that one week period that moved them from the relatively minor punishment into the opposite extreme of firing?  Was it the feelings of a few dancers?  Was it bad publicity from the Waterbury media blitz?  Under the circumstances that transpired, the legitimacy of the firings needs to be evaluated by an impartial person like a mutually acceptable arbitrator.  The union isn't just going through the motions of doing its job - there are significant issues at stake here.

 

I'm probably in the minority here, but I thought the stunt of having Reichlin read a prepared statement with all the dancers surrounding her on stage was inappropriate.  The dancers were being used as pawns by the company (management) to give the company some much needed positive publicity.  But that's not their job.  Their job is to dance.  To the extent that individual dancers feel strongly about what's happening, they can express their feelings on their own social media platforms. Requiring them to be herded on stage in a show of unified support was not appropriate in my opinion.

Added:  We now know that there is no unified position among the dancers regarding the firings.  Some support the terminations; others do not.

Unless one is an NYCB insider - and we are not able to discuss inside information here - no one can determine what specific piece of information led to the firings. Management could have felt that the communications were more damaging than initially anticipated, causing the suspension to turn into a termination. Calling the firings 'illegitimate' without insight into management's decision process is a step too far. (Also, referring to Waterbury's few interviews as a "blitz" also seems cynical).

I found Reichlen's statement to be very generic and harmless. It simply emphasized NYCB's emphasis on creating a positive company culture. While I do agree that a dancer's only real duty is to dance, referring to dancers as 'pawns' strips them of their agency in the situation.

 

Edited by Pique Arabesque
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On 9/27/2018 at 10:57 AM, On Pointe said:

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.

There is quite a bit of support for Waterbury, but there is also backlash that centers the concerns of the accused men. I think that most people agree that Finlay messed up, but there is a pernicious idea that Ramasar and Catazaro have been unfairly caught up in Waterbury's grievance against her ex, when in fact they are grown men who were active participants in the reprehensible communications. Ramsar could have elected not to participate in the nude sharing, and Catazaro could have told Finlay that his behavior was gross. While termination might seem severe to those who are used to dismissing similar behavior as private locker room talk, I am not going to cry any tears for these men. 

I agree that NYCB dancers should not be obligated to make statements, but the support for Ramasar at Carousel and Sterling Hyltin's defense of Ramasar in the comment section of her IG posts reveal that dancers are unafraid to do so.

And any person who makes sexual misconduct/assault claims understands that their claims will be looked over with a fine-toothed comb. However, there is a difference between fact-finding that is intended to uncover the truth vs bad faith questions that are intended to impugn the character of the survivor and place a smokescreen in front of the accused.

As for the 'snooping' - it seems that Waterbury was simply trying to check her email and had the misfortune of stumbling upon Finlay's communications. I see no reason to think otherwise.

On 9/27/2018 at 3:55 AM, KayDenmark said:

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?

Morning TV interviews do tend to be short and not particularly comprehensive, but my argument was that the GMA producers do have editorial standards and must have found Waterbury's story credible to put it on the air (Aside: I think that CBS' morning show does a good job of balancing the superficial and the serious). 

And the Jezebel article shows that there is interest from the feminist press in Waterbury's story. (Your original post expressed surprise that Waterbury had not done an interview with a more feminist-leaning publication). I double-checked and couldn't find anything from Teen Vogue, but there has been coverage in the WaPo and WSJ. 

Waterbury has an established relationship with Shiffon, which is likely why they got the first interview. I don't think she is fearful of talking to a *serious* journalist, though I agree that it shouldn't be a priority at this point.

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