Jump to content

Recommended Posts

The description is "An ingénue ballerina discovers she's been secretly videotaped for a pornographic website."  

This will add to the confusion about the actual case.  But sticking to the original story likely would have fueled the West Side Story protests.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Guest starring the John Waters?

ETA: It seems not. (Or at least not the one I had in mind!)

Edited by nanushka

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, nanushka said:

Guest starring the John Waters?

ETA: It seems not. (Or at least not the one I had in mind!)

Pretty sure if SVU  is casting the part of a sleazy porn producer,  it is THE John Waters.

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, On Pointe said:

Pretty sure if SVU  is casting the part of a sleazy porn producer,  it is THE John Waters.

We can only hope.

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, sandik said:

We can only hope.

Nah...THE Waters from "Female Trouble"..?😶

Share this post


Link to post

I've seen a big chunk of his work as an actor, as well as a director -- I think he would be excellent in a role like this.

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, On Pointe said:

Pretty sure if SVU  is casting the part of a sleazy porn producer,  it is THE John Waters.

As the IMDB link above indicates, though, it's actually a different John Waters.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, nanushka said:

As the IMDB link above indicates, though, it's actually a different John Waters.

That John Waters appears to only work in Australia.  If he were cast over here,  SAG-AFTRA would suggest that he change his name,  perhaps by adding a middle initial.  They can't force you to do it,  but it's a good idea.  Michael Keaton was born Michael Douglas,  Katy Perry was born Katy Hudson.  If another actor joined the union first,  they get dibs on the name.

My favorite name change story - Linda Rosenthal joined NYCB before Linda Merrill and "stole" her name,  forcing the original Linda Merrill to change her name to Merrill Ashley.

Share this post


Link to post
11 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

That John Waters appears to only work in Australia.  If he were cast over here,  SAG-AFTRA would suggest that he change his name,  perhaps by adding a middle initial.  They can't force you to do it,  but it's a good idea.  Michael Keaton was born Michael Douglas,  Katy Perry was born Katy Hudson.  If another actor joined the union first,  they get dibs on the name.

So you think the IMDB listing is incorrect? (The SVU episode in question is listed in his credits.)

Share this post


Link to post
16 minutes ago, nanushka said:

So you think the IMDB listing is incorrect? (The SVU episode in question is listed in his credits.)

No,  it's probably correct,  especially if the actor himself edited the page.  But IMDB has made mistakes in the past.  (As a member of SAG-AFTRA,  like many members of the union,  I wonder why this John Waters was allowed to take a job from an American actor.)

Share this post


Link to post

The SVU episode was re-scheduled for this week due to the Covid-19 pandemic news.  According to the promo,  it is indeed  the American John Waters playing the porn producer.  The IMDB listing is incorrect.  Far more troubling is that their "snatched from the headlines" script seriously distorts what actually happened in the Waterbury case.  

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, On Pointe said:

Far more troubling is that their "snatched from the headlines" script seriously distorts what actually happened in the Waterbury case.  

For historically inspired fiction to not stick to the historical facts is hardly surprising or unprecedented (it's been happening probably since the dawn of human storytelling), much less troubling, at least in my mind.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't think this is the same as historical fiction.  There were already protests outside the theater against Ramasar's employment, and only COVID-19 cancellations, which were not a consideration when the show was made, prevented a likely escalation from an even more inflammatory depiction of something that people recognized, but for which they didn't remember/bother to research the actual details.

That is an issue for any "ripped from the headlines"-based shows that change facts substantially about situations that are far from resolved.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Helene said:

I don't think this is the same as historical fiction.  There were already protests outside the theater against Ramasar's employment, and only COVID-19 cancellations, which were not a consideration when the show was made, prevented a likely escalation from an even more inflammatory depiction of something that people recognized, but for which they didn't remember/bother to research the actual details.

That is an issue for any "ripped from the headlines"-based shows that change facts substantially about situations that are far from resolved.

I think "substantially" may be the key, though. If the changes are substantial enough (which is why I used the term "historically inspired fiction" rather than "historical fiction" — or say "past-inspired fiction" or "reality-inspired fiction" if "historically" sounds too remote....but the key word is "fiction"), it's potentially much less problematic, because there's more awareness that the show is inspired by true events rather than a depiction of true events.

If John Waters is playing a porn producer, that means this is not just a "distortion" of what actually happened but something further removed from the facts. I personally find it hard to believe that, if it weren't for the current Broadway shutdown, there'd be any serious escalation as a result of this episode's airing.

Edited by nanushka

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, nanushka said:

If John Waters is playing a porn producer, that means this is not just a "distortion" of what actually happened but something further removed from the facts. I personally find it hard to believe that, if it weren't for the current Broadway shutdown, there'd be any serious escalation as a result of this episode's airing.

Broadway fan message boards are still whipping sentiment against Ramasar,  to a hysterical degree.  Usually SVU episodes deal with crimes that have already been litigated.  While it's unlikely that the Waterbury case will go to trial,  the defendants'  attorneys could rightly be concerned that this episode has the potential to prejudice the juror pool against their clients.  Even legitimate journalistic outlets have gotten the basic facts of the case wrong.  A lawyer's blog examined the case as if it were a case of workplace harassment,  wrongly referring to Waterbury as Ramasar's "fellow dancer".  If an attorney who specializes in such cases gets the basic facts wrong,  it's a sure indication that the general public is misinformed as well.

Share this post


Link to post

The plot of the episode, as recounted by Gia Kourlas, makes it clear that this is more "very loosely inspired by" than "ripped from the headlines":

Quote

As for the way the scandal was portrayed? This was very much a TV version, typical in depicting the dance world in impossibly broad strokes. There were so many sordid twists that it was more farcical than shocking, making it seem that the original incident needed to be pumped up in order to be truly horrifying.

The plot went something like this: Male dancers make secret videos of their sexual conquests; a male choreographer says he can keep the videos offline as long as the women have sex with him (which sounds more like rape); and, finally, an artistic director promises to make that nightmare go away as long as the dancer in question — elevated to the rank “prima ballerina” somewhere along the way — agrees to be auctioned off to the highest-paying bidder, I mean donor, expecting more than just dinner on a big gala night.

A dancer, in other words, has never been more of an object.

The blandly emotive choreography, seen in brief flashes is not worthy of a prima ballerina, much less an apprentice. (The dancers don’t even wear point shoes.) It’s all very B-movie: The sex scenes take place in Studio X — so nicknamed by the dancers — where a barre replaces a bed, as if it were a thing for a ballet dancer to want to have sex and stretch her hamstring at the same time.

Waterbury agrees that the episode should not have been made while the case is still unresolved:

Quote

I understand Ms. Waterbury’s reticence to watch the episode. On TV, the story is somewhat resolved; the bad guys here — the choreographer and the artistic director — are arrested, even if the male dancers go largely unpunished. “I think it’s weird to think that they took my story and then changed the ending even though my story hasn’t ended yet,” Ms. Waterbury said in her video. (Her lawsuit is still being contested.)

And Kourlas loved John Waters in it, though he unfortunately only appears in one scene.

Share this post


Link to post

I confess to being a long time Law & Order fan. In the first few years of the original series, many episodes were very clearly drawn from the headlines and there would typically be an explanation at the end of what happened next. Some were drawn from Mafia episodes or city corruption, and the explanation would say what happened to main characters later (prison, whatever). Sometimes the final explanation would say something like "This might have reminded you of x in the news. However, this was different in this way...). Those explanations for clarifying facts and history seem to have disappeared in more recent years. 

I am somewhat familiar with the details of the Waterbury story and fear that others only vaguely familiar will conclude that this is essentially what happened. I do think the series producers owed the audience and the real players one of those old explanations at the end.

I was most appalled at the plot twist in which the "prima ballerina" was auctioned off to a high bidder for dinner and more. It reminded me of the stories we hear about 19th century dancers being expected to deliver to rich patrons. 

Share this post


Link to post
30 minutes ago, California said:

I am somewhat familiar with the details of the Waterbury story and fear that others only vaguely familiar will conclude that this is essentially what happened. I do think the series producers owed the audience and the real players one of those old explanations at the end.

On the other hand, I think the lack of such an explanation makes it even clearer that this is not at all what happened.

Share this post


Link to post

I agree that the SVU episode was kind of silly,  and that the choreography was bland and cheesy.  But it was potentially harmful to ballet in general,  presenting sex-trafficking as if it was standard operating procedure in ballet companies.  It wasn't really Waterbury's story at all,  as she was not exploited in a workplace situation.  The young woman playing the main victim did seem cast to resemble her.  I wonder why there has been no "ripped from the headlines" stories about the more egregious goings on at various symphony orchestras?

Even Gia Kourlas and the New York Times manage to get aspects of this case wrong:  Zachary Catazaro never saw any photos of Waterbury and never mentioned her name.

Share this post


Link to post

Are there any dancers in the cast we might know? I’ll watch it if so, even it’s bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, On Pointe said:

 I wonder why there has been no "ripped from the headlines" stories about the more egregious goings on at various symphony orchestras?

I don't. Kourlas implicitly answers the question:

Quote

The episode, which takes her story to a darker place, is unflagging in its attempt to include every ballet stereotype, most predominantly, that all the women in ballet are victims. One character, naturally the gay male friend, sums up their world: “Straight male can’t fail. Gay men, it depends. But girls in ballet? Do what we say.”

That's not to say I think it's good for ballet or anything — just that I'm not at all surprised ballet is getting the attention while symphony orchestras or even opera aren't.

9 hours ago, On Pointe said:

Even Gia Kourlas and the New York Times manage to get aspects of this case wrong:  Zachary Catazaro never saw any photos of Waterbury and never mentioned her name.

As far as I can see, she doesn't say that he did either of those things.

Quote

In 2018, two principal male dancers were fired after they were accused of sharing texts of sexually explicit photos of women, including of Ms. Waterbury. (An arbitrator ordered the company to reinstate them.)

The "women" involved included Waterbury; she doesn't imply that both dancers were implicated in actions against Waterbury herself.

If the expectation is to be that any reported mention of the case is going to spell out in exact detail all facets of the case in order to guard against confusion by all readers, then yes — it's true that legitimate journalistic outlets such as the Times have failed in that. But, in my opinion, that is an unrealistic expectation. It is not the job of a TV review to make sure that no readers misunderstand the facts of the Waterbury case, so long as what is written (when read with a basic degree of care) is true, not false.

Edited by nanushka

Share this post


Link to post

The imperious orchestra conductor is as much of a cliché as the jerk ballet master.  Considering the number of high-profile music figures who have been dismissed and even sued for sexual exploitation,  a story based in that world seems to be in order.  For that matter,  there is apparently pervasive misconduct by managers at McDonald's outlets,  with some demanding sexual favors from female employees in exchange for better shifts.  But those are primarily minority,  low-income women,  who don't get to go to parties at Tavern on the Green.  (Nice product placement.  SVU rarely uses real names of locations - all college students on the show go to "Hudson University" when they shoot at Columbia.)

4 hours ago, nanushka said:

The "women" involved included Waterbury; she doesn't imply that both dancers were implicated in actions against Waterbury herself.

I think many readers would infer that by using her name in the phrase,  Kourlas implied that Catazaro was indeed accused of looking at photos of Waterbury.  After all,   Waterbury's suing him and has effectively destroyed his American career - he must have done something to her.  (He didn't,  but evidently he's just collateral damage in her war against NYCB.)

5 hours ago, nanushka said:
5 hours ago, nanushka said:

It is not the job of a TV review to make sure that no readers misunderstand the facts of the Waterbury case, so long as what is written (when read with a basic degree of care) is true, not false.

Gia Kourlas is not a TV reviewer.  She only wrote about the  SVU episode because it is loosely based on the Waterbury case.  TV reviewer or dance critic,  she's a journalist for the NY Times,  with an obligation to at least not confuse the facts of a case still in court.

 

Share this post


Link to post

I think they already did the orchestra conductor meme on the original Law & Order.  

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...