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

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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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On 10/6/2018 at 7:14 AM, 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. 

The language quoted in the letter ("jilted whores") seems similar to the Jared Loghitano quotes from the texts in the Waterbury complaint. I wouldn't be surprised to find the stage door letter came from him. I was glad that he was included in her amended complaint.

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42 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

The language quoted in the letter ("jilted whores") seems similar to the Jared Loghitano quotes from the texts in the Waterbury complaint. I wouldn't be surprised to find the stage door letter came from him. I was glad that he was included in her amended complaint.

Lots of misogynists use that sort of language.

See Lindsey Graham's "Slut Whore Drunk" comment .

Not saying it isn't Longhitano, I have no idea (nor does anyone else here) just pointing out that this language is in no way specific to him.

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As aurora pointed out, the language in the letter can be found in many places on the internet, and, my add,including with reference to this case, although none from any official news sources (a side from the quote in the NYT, and the NYT did not post the whole letter.

Copycats are common in widely publicized cases in general.

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6 hours ago, Pique Arabesque said:

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.

 

I wouldn't  characterize the belief that Ramasar  and  Catazaro  have been caught up in somebody else's dispute as "pernicious".  You either believe it or you don't.  Considering that Catazaro did not receive or look at any photos of Waterbury,  and has no apparent connection to her dispute with Finlay,  it seems to be a reasonable position,  although obviously others disagree.  Everyone involved is an adult - Catazaro  has no obligation to chide Finlay about his language,  and the expectation that he would do so in a text message seems unrealistic.  

It appears from the complaint that Ms. Waterbury  did more than just stumble across a couple of messages.  She must have scrolled down and taken screenshots of numerous exchanges,  including those that did not refer to her.  She may not have intended to "snoop",  but one could argue that she did anyway.  A judge will decide whether she was justified in doing so.

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It could be that Waterbury originally took the screenshots only to confront her then-partner Finlay, but then realized (or was encouraged to realize) that she had some very potent information on her hands.

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6 hours ago, On Pointe said:

It appears from the complaint that Ms. Waterbury  did more than just stumble across a couple of messages.  She must have scrolled down and taken screenshots of numerous exchanges,  including those that did not refer to her.  She may not have intended to "snoop",  but one could argue that she did anyway.  A judge will decide whether she was justified in doing so.

One could argue just about anything one wants, but no one has yet pointed to any relevant law or specific precedent from civil proceedings that would suggest Waterbury's using the laptop (one that she had permission to use) in this particular way might be problematic for her case. The repeated conjectures and insinuations on this point strike me as very curious.

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I don't think it's curious at all. Everybody has a right to privacy, even the highly disliked Mr. Finlay.

I wouldn't appreciate anyone going through my computer. 

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1 minute ago, KayDenmark said:

I don't think it's curious at all. Everybody has a right to privacy, even the highly disliked Mr. Finlay.

I wouldn't appreciate anyone going through my computer. 

The solution to that is not to give anyone the password. He did.

There is still no reason for some of the insinuations.

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16 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

I don't think it's curious at all. Everybody has a right to privacy, even the highly disliked Mr. Finlay.

I wouldn't appreciate anyone going through my computer. 

Oh I'm sure Finlay didn't "appreciate" it. That doesn't make it relevant to the case. I've yet to hear any sort of evidence-based argument that his "right to privacy" was infringed upon in any legally pertinent way. It's nothing but speculation.

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34 minutes ago, aurora said:

The solution to that is not to give anyone the password. He did.

 

Yes, according to Miss Waterbury (we still haven't heard from Finlay), he did, for the express purpose of checking her own email.

Not for the purpose scrolling through his text messages and making screenshots of his texts and the texts of others, which she then apparently forwarded to herself and others without his consent. 

Personally, I do see her actions as a violation of his privacy - the same way I'd see it if, for example, I told someone they could look up an address on Google Maps on my computer and I then found them going through my financial details. Whether or not the law will see it as a violation of privacy is unclear. 

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That analogy doesn’t really apply. If someone was looking at Google maps and a financial record popped onto the screen showing you were stealing from the person, then the analogy might fit. If I asked someone to borrow a pen, he directed me to a drawer, and there were clearly visible naked photos of me in the drawer, I wouldn’t just close the door and move along. Maybe I’m angrier, but I feel that your right to privacy ends the moment I discover you’ve violated mine. 

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4 minutes ago, AB'sMom said:

Maybe I’m angrier, but I feel that your right to privacy ends the moment I discover you’ve violated mine. 

 

Could be, but then we end up in an ongoing eye-for-eye situation. Finlay (or Ramasar or Catazaro or  Jared Loghitano) could then argue that because Waterbury has now violated their privacy, they're in a position to dump all sorts of previously undisclosed personal information about her into the public domain.

I don't think anybody wants that. 

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It doesn't matter what anyone feels personally.  This isn't a review.  

Unless there is something factual or a precedent to cite, do not continue to repeat the same arguments and conjectures.

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30 minutes ago, KayDenmark said:

Could be, but then we end up in an ongoing eye-for-eye situation. Finlay (or Ramasar or Catazaro or  Jared Loghitano) could then argue that because Waterbury has now violated their privacy, they're in a position to dump all sorts of previously undisclosed personal information about her into the public domain.

I don't think anybody wants that. 

I think it's understandable that once Ms. Waterbury  fell into the email rabbit hole she would continue to read what she found.  But by including in her suit identifying, embarrassing information about other people,   including women who did nothing to harm her,  she exhibits animosity and a lack of respect for the privacy rights of others.  

 

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20 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

I think it's understandable that once Ms. Waterbury  fell into the email rabbit hole she would continue to read what she found.  But by including in her suit identifying, embarrassing information about other people,   including women who did nothing to harm her,  she exhibits animosity and a lack of respect for the privacy rights of others.  

 

Many others see it differently.

She did not, with one exception, name any other women.

The people who brought the other women into it are the 3 men in question. It is their responsibility that any of this is happening, it is not Waterbury's to keep what they did to her and others quiet.

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