The New York City Ballet (NYCB) is world-renowned for its stunning artistic beauty — but the company's leadership has been hiding an ugly secret.
In September 2018, student-dancer Alexandra Waterbury filed a lawsuit against the ballet company alleging that male dancers exchanged nude photos of her and other female dancers — including video clips of sexual encounters recorded without consent — with other male dancers, staff, and company donors. Male dancers and donors also allegedly created a lewd group chat where they exchanged sexual images and joked about assaulting and abusing female dancers.
And this isn't the first time that New York City Ballet Company has been rocked by sexual misconduct. In January, the company's longtime Artistic Director Peter Martins retired in disgrace after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and physical abuse.
In her lawsuit, Waterbury calls out New York City Ballet for condoning an "out-of-control, fraternity-house, abusive and sexually-charged environment" that emboldened men to "violate the basic rights of women." She states that one major reason the toxic culture at NYCB was "allowed to fester" was because the Company has been slow to hire a new Artistic Director.
It's clear that the New York City Ballet desperately needs change, direction, and fresh leadership. In the Company's history, there has never been a female Artistic Director — but it's time for a change.
Sign and share this petition urging the New York City Ballet's Board to move quickly to hire its FIRST FEMALE director!
By signing you could help shatter the glass ceiling at one of the world's most prestigious arts organizations. Now is the time for the New York City Ballet to take the necessary steps to protect its dancers from exploitation and abuse.
New York City Ballet needs real change — and we'll keep the pressure on until they make it. Sign and share the petition urging New York City Ballet's Board to hire its first ever female Artistic Director!
Photo credit: Former NYCB principal dancer Wendy Whelan via kdhx.org