In the wake of the newest Placido Domingo investigation, I feel like I need to say something. “It was a different time then” is not an excuse! It’s a cop-out! #MeToo in the world of opera right now is alive and strong.
Dear older generations of people who are using this phrase to justify ugly actions for their fellow gen-whatevers, this isn’t an excuse. Do you want to know how I know it isn’t an excuse? Because not everyone behaved this way.
Sure, a lot of people did. A lot of executives did, a lot of powerful people did, could, and will continue to.
I also would like to point out, with quid pro quo and/or hostile work environment allegations popping up seemingly left and right, how many heads of companies and stars aren’t being called out right now?
MOST OF THEM!
A Different Time, My Foot!
When you say, “It was just a different time back then,” isn’t that insinuating that everyone did it? Are you calling all of our fathers and grandfathers out? Did they all behave this way? I’m sure more than we want to admit did, but what about all the guys out there who are the same age as the accused and behaved well because they new better. They knew better!
I guess I have a really hard time lumping in an entire generation of people who all thought that, “sleep with me or else,” was just part of the privilege of being born before 1960.
This isn’t a comment on sexual promiscuity. People have the right to sleep with whomever they want consensually. This isn’t a comment on guilt either. I adore my interactions with Maestro Domingo. There are multiple investigations happening and I have no opinion on the guilt or innocence of anyone. I’ll leave that to the experts.
This is, however, a comment on the growing allegations from many other people in our field. If you haven’t read the “apology” letter from Bernard Uzan, here is the link. He himself uses the excuse that he was a child raised in the 60s. Bah!
#MeToo did not Create Chivalry
Adults know what they are doing, men and women. Of course the bad behaving ones are usually men. But I am going on record and saying that if we use the excuse, “It was a different time then,” we are not only letting the guilty off the hook, but condemning a generation of good, well behaved people.
People knew better back then. For example, I was a Boy Scout. The end of the scout oath states:
On my honor, I will do my best… to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”
Do you know when the boy scouts were founded? 1910. Men knew then and know now how to behave lawfully and morally. Some choose not to behave that way and thank god for the #MeToo movement in opera and everywhere for giving all of us the courage to speak up.
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