Allegations of Sexual Harassment Rock the New York City Art World
In the wake of a nationwide conversation about sexual harassment and abuse, two members of the New York City art world are now under investigation by their companies.
Yesterday, news broke that Peter Martins (pictured above), the artistic leader of the New York City Ballet, has been "removed from teaching" classes at the School of American Ballet following allegations of sexual harassment, though he currently remains head of the ballet. The claim against Martins was made via an anonymous letter, which cited "general, nonspecific allegations of sexual harassment in the past by Peter Martins at both New York City Ballet and the school," according to a statement from the school.
“We, together with New York City Ballet, promptly engaged an independent law firm that specializes in such matters to conduct a thorough investigation, despite the anonymous nature of the letter and the lack of specifics,” continues the statement. “Thus far, the investigation has not substantiated the allegations in the letter or discovered any reason to be concerned about student safety.”
A spokesperson for the New York City Ballet also told the New York Times, that "the ongoing inquiry has not substantiated the allegations.”
When the paper asked Martins for comment, he responded, “The company has already addressed it,” and did not have anything to add.
Earlier this week, James Levine, a conductor and former music director of the Metropolitan Opera, was suspended by the Met following the claims that he sexually abused three men decades ago when they were teenagers.
Per the New York Times, "The accusations of sexual misconduct stretch back to 1968."
Levine has yet to comment on the accusations, and the Met has hired an outside law firm to investigate.
“While we await the results of the investigation, based on these news reports the Met has made the decision to act now,” Peter Gelb, general manager of the Met, told the Times. “This is a tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected.”
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors