Domingo’s Response To #MeToo Allegations Continues To Raise Eyebrows

The 8/14/2019 edition of the LA Times published an article by Catherine Womack that examines a cross section of concern in response to Plácido Domingo’s public statement in the wake of several #MeToo allegations.

Adaptistration People 012This is the same public statement we examined earlier this week that I described as “lead[ing] 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.”

As it turns out, quite a few others had similar inferences. Just follow the #PlacidoDomingo hashtag on Twitter and you won’t run out of content any time soon.

But here’s an academic exercise worth considering: setting aside an announcement that he’s leaving all current positions and retiring from the field effective immediately, is there a follow-up statement Domingo could release capable of turning public opinion?

If you found his original statement projected all the wrong messages, what would it take to change your mind?

In case, this is new to you, here’s a copy of Domingo’s statement:

“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.”

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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