NEWS: Harassment Housecleaning Continues

As the #MeToo movement continues to pick up steam, performing arts organizations around the country have started to take a long overdue look at harassment complaints new and old. Recent firings and departures that appear to result from harassment claims include:

  • Austin Opera firing its artistic director and principal conductor Richard Buckley, citing “inappropriate behavior in violation of the company’s policy on harassment.” This abrupt termination concludes almost 15 years on the job for Buckley.
  • The Metropolitan Opera firing stage director John Copley, who had been engaged by the company to spearhead a revival of the opera Semiramide.
  • The Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT has fired longtime artistic director Gordon Edelstein following multiple allegations of groping and other inappropriate touching.
  • Charlie Walk, the president of the record label Republic Group, has resigned from the musical competition TV show The Four following allegations of making sexual advances towards his employees.

Laura Pappano, the chairman of Long Wharf’s board, said in a statement, “We want to be a fair, open and equitable workplace, where people feel comfortable coming forward, and we have to do the right thing. Long Wharf is a theater with a national profile, and a lot of people are watching us, and we have to do this right.”

Most of the accused and fired continue to protest their innocence, often citing rushed judgment.