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Catazaro Declines NYCB Reinstatement; Ramasar to Rejoin

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7 hours ago, abatt said:

If Finlay had waited to be fired like the other two rather than resign, I think there would have been a pretty good chance that he would have been reinstated too.  

There I disagree. On what grounds would Finlay be reinstated? What he did is illegal and possibly criminal.

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There are no criminal charges against  Finlay.  Ms Waterbury has never gone to the police with her allegations.   The claims against him are for non-criminal conduct  which had nothing to do with work, just like Ramasar and Catazaro.  

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Had Finlay texted derogatory comments about his colleagues and peers based on their race, religion, or sexual orientation, and, had the recipients of those texts willingly participated in the conversation, would we think he—and they—should be allowed to remain in the workplace?

 

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There's also the whole D.C. hotel damage incident and inability to perform due to substance abuse. I think it's possible NYCB could have made the case for firing Finlay. 

It seems Catazaro has found rep that better suits his abilities. Of the three, he seemed the least involved in all of this (at least based on the Waterbury filing and what was reported in the press), so I'm glad he's been able to move on.

I can't imagine what it will be like for Ramasar to return to the company, with the leadership apparently not wanting him to return and some dancers presumably still uncomfortable with his presence. I suppose the company has no obligation to cast him, only to cut him a paycheck...

24 minutes ago, abatt said:

The claims against him are for non-criminal conduct  which had nothing to do with work, just like Ramasar and Catazaro.  

If you're texting nude photos of colleagues and explicit messages with your colleagues, it has something to do with work. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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Ramasar is not yet listed on the roster of dancers at NYCB: https://www.nycballet.com/Discover/Dancers.aspx#name

I heard him give a talk to friends a few years ago. I wanted to check this on the NYCB bio, but can't. I'm pretty sure he grew up in NYC and was recruited from one of their outreach programs. Many dancers talk about NYCB being their "home" but NYC really is his home. He probably wants to find a way to return home with his head high, even if it's difficult to re-adjust.

EDITED TO ADD: I don't normally consider Wikipedia a reliable source, but it does appear he was born and raised in the Bronx and entered ballet through some outreach programs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amar_Ramasar

Edited by California
additional source

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I will add that I believe that genuine remorse for the harm one's behavior has caused to others, accepting responsibility for that behavior, and making a good-faith effort at restitution is something we can encourage and embrace. So is forgiveness. Banishment is not the only course of action; but redemption requires more than regret at being caught or a mealy-mouthed "I'm sorry if anyone was hurt" by way of apology.

Perhaps "counseling" is shorthand for that difficult process.

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1 minute ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I will add that I believe that genuine remorse for the harm one's behavior has caused to others, accepting responsibility for that behavior, and making a good-faith effort at restitution is something we can encourage and embrace.

Has Ramasar every publicly expressed such things? (Genuine question, as I don't follow him on social media, etc.)

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1 hour ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Had Finlay texted derogatory comments about his colleagues and peers based on their race, religion, or sexual orientation, and, had the recipients of those texts willingly participated in the conversation, would we think he—and they—should be allowed to remain in the workplace?

 

Depends on what you choose to care about.  Some people seem to put ballet (art, entertainment) as the #1 priority and character #2.  

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16 minutes ago, abatt said:

Waterbury is not and never was a colleague of Finlay, Catazaro or Ramasar.  Alexa Maxwell is a colleague, but she apparently consents to her boyfriend's  (Ramasar's) conduct.   In fact, Waterbury's attorney  added the bits about Maxwell into the complaint as a red herring and fodder for the press.  

If the allegations made in Waterbury's legal filings are factually correct, a number of men in the company or connected with it in some way circulated explicit photos of or made derogatory sexual references to other dancers and dance students. 

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The company has no obligation to cast Ramasar and no obligation to renew his contract after this season. They only have to reinstate him for the remainder of the season in name and pay. 

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52 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Has Ramasar every publicly expressed such things? (Genuine question, as I don't follow him on social media, etc.)

He posted what I've linked below, and one post prior to that, soon after the decision was made this fall. The first did not seem to express the level of understanding the second did (I'm sorry I can't figure out how to make the post embed!)

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn1VElYAjUE/

 

Edited by gallerina
Attempt to correct broken link.

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12 hours ago, abatt said:

If Finlay had waited to be fired like the other two rather than resign, I think there would have been a pretty good chance that he would have been reinstated too.  

I disagree.  I can't imagine that they would have even considered reinstating him.  

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51 minutes ago, Villette said:

The company has no obligation to cast Ramasar and no obligation to renew his contract after this season. They only have to reinstate him for the remainder of the season in name and pay. 

I hope you're wrong.  If so, the union accomplished nothing.

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2 hours ago, fondoffouettes said:

It seems Catazaro has found rep that better suits his abilities.

Based on the photos I've seen, Catazaro cut an impressive figure in Onegin. Just because he came up through the New York City Ballet system doesn't mean he was born to be a City Ballet dancer. The European "bodice rippers" - La Dame au camelias, Manon, Marguerite and Armand, Onegin - may prove to be a very congenial home for him.

55 minutes ago, Villette said:

The company has no obligation to cast Ramasar and no obligation to renew his contract after this season. They only have to reinstate him for the remainder of the season in name and pay. 

Exactly, which is why Catazaro may be making the smarter play.

Edited by miliosr

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17 minutes ago, NinaFan said:

I hope you're wrong.  If so, the union accomplished nothing.

I wouldn't say that. The union's statement made it sound like they were as concerned about precedent as about this individual case. It's not the union's job to make sure contracts are renewed, is it? Just to make sure they're fulfilled.

Edited by nanushka

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4 minutes ago, miliosr said:

Based on the photos I've seen, Catazaro cut an impressive figure in Onegin. Just because he came up through the New York City Ballet system doesn't mean he was born to be a City Ballet dancer. The European "bodice rippers" - La Dame au camelias, Manon, Marguerite and Armand, Onegin - may prove to be a very congenial home for him.

Exactly, which is why Catazaro may be making the smarter play.

I think Catazaro did what is right for him.  And for selfish reasons, I'm glad Ramasar chose to return to NYCB.   

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2 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I will add that I believe that genuine remorse for the harm one's behavior has caused to others, accepting responsibility for that behavior, and making a good-faith effort at restitution is something we can encourage and embrace. So is forgiveness. Banishment is not the only course of action; but redemption requires more than regret at being caught or a mealy-mouthed "I'm sorry if anyone was hurt" by way of apology.

Perhaps "counseling" is shorthand for that difficult process.

I agree.  The term "counseling"  rubbed me the wrong way.  It would be helpful if all NYCB personnel participated in a workshop on sexual harassment and hostile workplace environment issues,  as well as the perils of using texts and emails that could prove embarrassing if made public.

2 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

If the allegations made in Waterbury's legal filings are factually correct, a number of men in the company or connected with it in some way circulated explicit photos of or made derogatory sexual references to other dancers and dance students. 

Many of the allegations in Waterbury's legal filings are not factually correct.  In her interview with Amanda Knox,  she even contradicts her previous claim as to how and why she accessed Finlay's texts.  I believe she is being used by a greedy attorney who expected a speedy settlement,  but some of her actions could be characterized as illegal and possibly criminal,  leaving her in a vulnerable position.  While this whole episode has been painful,  Catazaro is in a better position and Ramasar can go back "home",  where there are probably many who welcome his return.

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2 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

Many of the allegations in Waterbury's legal filings are not factually correct.

Do we have any evidence of that other than denials from the defendants? Which claims have been disproved? 

I'm not challenging the assertion, I just haven't been following the developments in the case particularly closely and I honestly don't know if any of the allegations that matter have been confirmed or denied.

 

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6 hours ago, abatt said:

There are no criminal charges against  Finlay.  Ms Waterbury has never gone to the police with her allegations.   The claims against him are for non-criminal conduct  which had nothing to do with work, just like Ramasar and Catazaro.  

I think if he was going to be fired, perhaps he could have been over the hotel room trashing incident. He was booked there as a member of the NYCB. Also if he had ever shown up for work unfit to perform or rehearse there might also have been grounds for firing.  In the end, it's all in how the contract is written.

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11 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

Waterbury misstated her age and was described as "a student of the NYCB".  Longhitano was described as a "member of the Junior Board",  and it was suggested that he was an employee of NYCB.  She claimed knowledge of a sexual assault by a member of the company,  which has been denied by NYCB. The suit goes to great lengths to give the impression that she was a member of NYCB,  and she has been so described in the press.  (Those are a few things I recall without re-reading the suit.)

The media accounts of Waterbury that I have seen all make it clear that she was a SAB student, not a member of NYCB. I also never thought that Longhitano was an NYCB employee - most reports have described him as a "donor." Waterbury was in her late teens when she began dating Finlay, but is now in her early twenties. I am not familiar with NYCB's denial of any other assault allegations.

Frankly, whatever "mistakes" may have occurred in her legal documents are minor, likely unintentional, and easily corrected. Fixating on this is grasping at straws and seems like a convenient way of smearing a survivor. And regardless, they pale in comparison to Finlay's revenge porn and the vile group chat he started with Ramasar and Catazaro. 

The arbitrator's decision is less of a vindication of the character of these men, and more of an indication that making misogynistic comments about coworkers is not a fireable offense until it becomes criminal. It is unfortunate that these men are being celebrated while people like Bouder - who are trying to make the company more equitable - are criticized for not being "classy" enough. As others have pointed out, Catazaro is arguably in a much better place professionally than he was pre-incident, and Ramasar will likely be welcomed back into the company with open arms. (And counseling seems very appropriate for a nearly 40 year old man who almost derailed his career to send his girlfriend's nudes to his friends). This should punch a wide hole in the idea that the #MeToo movement derails men's careers.

Marv Albert pled guilty to assaulting a woman and was back on the air in three years. I wouldn't be surprised to see Finlay - who is experiencing consequences that are much less severe - to be back coaching "Apollo" within the next five years.  

2 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Yes, but have any of her allegations regarding the text messages sent by and to the various parties named in her suit been disproven? 

Not to my knowledge. Finlay resigned before he could be fired, and Waterbury went public with her allegations 8 months ago (providing plenty of time to discredit the texts themselves, which hasn't happened). Ramasar and Catazaro have also admitted that they participated in it. Waterbury's critics are focused on criticizing details about her biography and the methods that she used to obtain access to the material, which implies that they have accepted that texts themselves were real.

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12 hours ago, California said:

I'm pretty sure he grew up in NYC and was recruited from one of their outreach programs. 

I thought I remembered  a  short documentary about this ,( black-and-white images of riding the subway come to mind but I don't know why ) ...  I could not locate the video I remembered, but here are two others ...   I don't believe he mentions an outreach program but he mentions that he was on full scholarship ...

By the way, there are a few moments of Karin von Aroldingen in the first video...

https://www.peopleewnetwork.com/video/amar-ramasar-pen-americandoers-amar-ramasar-v02

https://www.pbs.org/video/nyc-arts-nyc-arts-profile-amar-ramasar/

 

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Waterbury's documents were certainly prepared with a lot of care, and at no point did Waterbury present herself as a dancer or employee of NYCB in order to shake them down. She said that she was Finlay's ex-girlfriend, who accidentally stumbled upon communications between men in the company in the course of checking her email. 

The law is often behind the times when it comes to sex crimes. Even if it doesn't meet the definition of revenge porn (and I'm not sure about that), Finlay's actions still are a grievous violation of privacy. I cannot say what Waterbury plans to do re criminal charges. And the group chat was absolutely connected to Waterbury. Finlay shared her nudes with his friends, and Ramasar even requested that Finlay "send him that pic [of Waterbury]." This is all in the filing. Waterbury would have probably never seen the texts if Finlay had not willingly given her his laptop (bad move, Chase!). And she absolutely did the right thing in making these communications public. The management and dancers of NYCB - along with the general public - had a right to know about the types of communications that these men were having about their colleagues. Defenders of Catazaro and Ramasar repeatedly raise the issue of *privacy,* and it is clear that the texts were clearly not meant to find a wider audience. That being said, they revealed each man's lack of ethics and character. If they think that women are 'sluts' and think about corps women as jailbait, how are they expected to partner and dance with them? 

While I am glad that AGMA is advocating for its dancers, I wish they had not reversed NYCB's decision about its own personnel. This undermines the gains that have been made regarding workplace sexual harassment in the wake of #MeToo. It is possible that they were texting and exchanging nudes at work, which would also make it a *work* issue and pull it out of the realm of the private. While some have criticized Catazaro and Ramasar, they have also received an enormous amount of support from NYCB dancers and fans. Both men have also been able to dance almost continuously.  Longhitano is an NYC finance guy with enough spare change to donate to NYCB. I have not heard anything about him being fired from his job. He will be fine. Hardly a "derailing."

Ashley Bouder is one of the company primas and has been a dancer at NYCB for almost 20 years. I'm sure that the NYT contacts her for comment, not the other way around.

But some will clearly circle the wagons around powerful men at any cost.

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