The Latest #MeToo Installment

Adaptistration People 139What more is there to say about #MeToo revelations other than cautioning against becoming numb.

To that end, the 8/13/2019 edition of the Associated Press published an article by Jocelyn Gecker that reports on allegations from multiple accusers that Placido Domingo would “pressure women into sexual relationships by dangling jobs and then sometimes punishing the women professionally when they refused his advances.”

The extensively researched article does a good job at recounting allegations and providing information but one thing that stands out as different from previous examples is Domingo’s public response.

“The allegations from these unnamed individuals dating back as many as thirty years are deeply troubling, and as presented, inaccurate. Still, it is painful to hear that I may have upset anyone or made them feel uncomfortable — no matter how long ago and despite my best intentions. I believed that all of my interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual. People who know me or who have worked with me know that I am not someone who would intentionally harm, offend, or embarrass anyone. However, I recognize that the rules and standards by which we are — and should be — measured against today are very different than they were in the past. I am blessed and privileged to have had a more than 50-year career in opera and will hold myself to the highest standards.”

While it’s certainly possible he wrote this without assistance, it’s more likely he had help. If he did receive assistance, I’m genuinely interested in meeting who wrote this statement for him as it’s one of the more craftily written I’ve seen.

It leads with a softly worded denial that simultaneously plants a seed of doubt then pivots into a sympathetic tone that projects contrition without ever really admitting wrongdoing or suggesting accountability.

Whether this has any impact on broader public perception is something time will tell.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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