Hold The Metropolitan Opera accountable for sexual assault
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In reference to the allegations of abuse by Maestro Levine, we, opera patrons and artists, have decided to demand that there is a radical reassessment of abuse systems and cycles of oppression within the opera community. It is no secret that The Metropolitan Opera has been complicit in decades of abuse and oppression perpetuated by those in power.
We, opera patrons and artists, demand that the community make strides to become a safe space for survivors by condemning and punishing abusers and perpetrators of abuse. We will no longer stand for talented musicians who abuse their power. We will no longer stand for those in power who perpetuate abuse by silencing the voices of survivors. We vow to take whatever means necessary to ensure that the opera community makes monumental changes to ensure that abuse (sexual, emotional, physical, or structural) is stomped out effectively, and indefinitely.
As the largest and most prestigious opera house in the United States, it is vital that this institution take responsibility for the abuse that occurred under Maestro Levine. If The Metropolitan Opera is to be a leader in making great art, it also must become a leader in eradicating oppression and violence in opera. We are asking that The Metropolitan Opera recognizes the ways in which it has perpetuated abuse and oppression. While full amends can never be made, we ask that The Metropolitan Opera consider our demands:
- We are asking for a list of the complete ways in which Maestro Levine will be suspended.
- We demand that The Metropolitan Opera remove Maestro Levine from payroll indefinitely.
- We demand that Maestro Levine be stripped of his title as Music Director Emeritus, and his name be removed from the hall.
- We demand that The Metropolitan Opera as an institution publicly recognize and affirm the allegations of abuse from Maestro Levine.
- We demand that the General Manager of The Metropolitan Opera, Peter Gelb, be investigated for the ways in which he was involved in covering up the actions of Maestro Levine.
- We demand that during aforementioned investigations General Manager, Peter Gelb, be suspended until we can confirm that he was unaware of the allegations, and if it is confirmed that he was aware of the abuse that he will be fired immediately.
- We demand that the interim General Manager be a figure who is ready to face the daunting process of healing from sexual trauma as an institution. It is our recommendation that this person be a woman.
We demand that The Metropolitan Opera take drastic measures to ensure that abuse never happens again by:
- Committing to anti-sexual harassment/abuse training for every member and artist at The Metropolitan Opera.
- Creating an internal system where victims of abuse can speak up without repercussion and get access to trained mediators and anti-sexual harassment/abuse professionals to guide them through any legal processes.
- Creating an internal protocol where abusers and perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions and immediately terminated.
A denial of these demands, or partial implementation of these demands would force us to reassess how we as opera patrons and artists contribute to this abuse. If our terms are denied, or this letter goes unaddressed, then we will plan to implement a boycott of The Metropolitan Opera. Each individual person who has signed or circulated this letter has committed to boycott and resist The Metropolitan Opera on their own terms through a variety of methods such as: refusing to attend performances, breaking artist contracts, refusing auditions, a letter writing campaign, public protest, and other methods that have yet to be determined.
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