What AGMA Got Wrong in Advocating for the NYCB Principals Trading Nude Photos of Ballerinas
Last Friday, through an appeal to an independent arbitrator, the American Guild of Musical Artists successfully reinstated NYCB principals Amar Ramasar and Zachary Catazaro, previously fired for allegedly circulating sexually explicit texts containing nude photos.
AGMA opposed Ramasar and Catazaro’s terminations in order to prevent the setting of a dangerous precedent that would allow dancers to be fired under less understandable consequences. But we cannot allow future cases to dictate the way we handle this situation—particularly a union committed to “doing everything in [its] power to ensure you have a respectful environment in which to work.”
In deciding to advocate for these two dancers, AGMA has not only sided with alleged offenders in multiple serious cases of degradation and sexual harassment, but has also sent a clear message to the whole dance community that the redemptive narrative of these male dancers is more important than the trust and safety of their female colleagues. Even if the women they were texting about were not fellow company members, it is hard to imagine their female partners feeling safe dancing with them, knowing what they’ve been accused of. The union has given these male dancers a seemingly free pass to privately demean and harass women.
Read the full piece at Dance Magazine.