Two dancers were fired from the New York City Ballet on Saturday amid accusations that they were part of a ring of male dancers who inappropriately shared nude photos and videos of women. The ballet company said principal dancers Amar Ramasar and Zachary Catarazo, as well as a third dancer, Chase Finlay, who resigned last month, "engaged in inappropriate communications, that while personal, off-hours and off-site, had violated the norms of conduct that NYCB expects from its employees." The firings came after a woman who had dated Finley, Alexandra Waterbury, said in a lawsuit that he sent explicit videos and photos of her taken without her knowledge to other men including dancers with the company. Waterbury charged in her lawsuit against City Ballet and Finlay that the company tolerated a "fraternity-like atmosphere."
The lawsuit said a male donor wrote to Finlay suggesting that the men should tie ballerinas up "and abuse them like farm animals," to which Finlay replied, "or like the sluts they are." Ramasar and Catarazo, who were identified in the lawsuit as having shared nude photos with Finlay, were initially suspended without pay before the company moved to terminate them Saturday. A union representing Ramasar and Catarazo said it would challenge the firings. "Based on all the information received from the company, the allegations relate entirely to non-work-related activity and do not rise to the level of 'just cause' termination," the American Guild of Musical Artists said in a statement. "As AGMA would do for any of its members, we will soon be filing for arbitration to enforce our members' employment rights." (The AP has statements from Ramasar and Catarazo.)