|Posted by: reed23 06:17 am EDT 04/09/21|
|In reply to: re: Allegations of Physical Assault, Violent Outbursts, and Verbal Abuse - JereNYC 11:08 am EDT 04/08/21|
|So we have "a culture that excuses horrific behavior" and "it has to stop." "This behavior needs to stop or this person's career needs to end."
So who is going to stop what? 1) Stop the culture from excusing, or 2) Stop the horrific behavior? Who is in charge of putting the accused parties on trial, amassing and evaluating the evidence, in what forum, and under what authority, using what powers to "end" someone's career?
Stories about Jerome Robbins? I've heard generalities, but no specific stories. I'm not saying there weren't any; I just don't know what they are. Likewise Arthur Laurents.
I worked (several times) with one of the most famous Broadway composers, whose personal abusiveness I experienced firsthand. None of it was actionable, as extremely unpleasant as it was. He's dead now, so no amorphous Someone or Committee can end his career, nor did I ever detect anything actionable, either legally, or in violation of any union (not that any had control over his career or work habits or social relations.)
I worked with one of the most manipulative, emotionally abusive Broadway dance captains I could imagine – she worked and wreaked havoc upon people's lives for decades. She answered to no one, except maybe the aging choreographer, who was offsite almost throughout. The most successful choreographer of our current time has an abusive side about which I heard first hand.
So – yeah, some highest-level people in our biz (and in any biz) are eligible for the term "abusive." I get it, I've heard it, I've seen it.
Two other considerations: It isn't just power-people. A number of stars in various media (inc. theatre) are nightmare-abusive, to fellow cast, crew, directors and higher-ups. Some of those careers have suffered, or met their just desserts. A majority, not in the slightest. Who's going to adjudicate those cases?
And regarding the pool of "talented people" who aren't "garbage human beings" (a phrase I've never applied to anyone, since everyone has a backstory and a humanity, even those deemed unpleasant – you know, WICKED): When it costs 7-8 digits to put up a Broadway show, the tower of investor names above the title aren't going to take a time-out to mull over whether they want the one with 10 Tonys or the one someone-or-other said was nice. No lead producer(s) would even gain access to those names and their 8-digit millions in the first place without pre-packaging the one with 10 Tonys.
Hopefully, abusive people will increasingly be marginalized, with new awareness and responsibility on all the many sides. But I wouldn't count on it, most certainly not in the next 5-10 years, as all the good intentions and Broadway social justice warriors of all stripes bump into this one little powerful guy whose temporary absence has allowed them to flower in the first place: a little guy named Ticket Sales.
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