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Flying V Places Artistic Director on Administrative Leave Due to Sexual Harassment Allegations

Flying V Places Artistic Director on Administrative Leave Due to Sexual Harassment Allegations

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Flying V Places Artistic Director on Administrative Leave Due to Sexual Harassment Allegations

According to MD Theatre Guide, Flying V has fired Producing Artistic Director Jason Schlafstein following multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

In public social media posts, D.C.-area theatre artists have made allegations against Schlafstein, saying that he made inappropriate advances during auditions and rehearsals, harassed them after he was rejected, took advantage of intoxication, denied female artists advancement in the company after they rejected him, engaged in cyberstalking, and more.

Following these allegations, Schlafstein made a statement on Facebook, saying that he had "absolutely made mistakes in my tenure as Artistic Director, particularly centered around my transition from peer to power as the Company grew." He admits to initiating "conversations and interactions that were uncomfortable or were inappropriate due to their settings or our respective positions." He did not comment directly on the specific allegations.

Flying V initially placed Schlafstein on administrative leave, stating that the company had previously investigated him, and found that he "had inappropriately crossed professional and personal boundaries by expressing romantic interest in female members of the community in a way that could reasonably be understood as an abuse of power" but that "the issues identified did not warrant termination."

Members of the community have expressed concerns about Flying V's decision to not immediately terminate Schlafstein based on the multiple allegations.

In a statement made on Monday, Flying V said that The Board of Directors has terminated the employment of Jason Schlafstein effective immediately, and Jon Rubin has resigned from Flying V's Board and as Associate Artistic Director.

The company says that it intends to "work these next three weeks to listen, gather insight from our community, and do research before establishing a further plan of action," and will release a plan for the future by July 15.

Read more on MD Theatre Guide.


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