Society/Culture Geoffrey Rush named Australian of the Year

Contra Mundum

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Meh pedesterian. Mind you I have seen a defence of piss Christ by Sister Wendy who says "although its title is juvenile attention grabbing as a meditation on the horror and reality of Crucifixion and the body fluids which are spilled in that process it does have some merit"
 

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Monniehawk

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  1. You call it art. I call it media or television or writing.
My definition of art is what basically sits in art galleries with a few odd exceptions.
But if you want to sit around and call everyone an artist then I'm not going to stop you.
If you want to define Art as what happens in galleries then I'm not going to stop you.
I just think you are wrong.



By a loooooooong way.
But, up to you.

Anecdote:
I remember a cartoon as a youngster, with a group of toffs critiquing a gallery exhibition.
They sang the praises of one: a geometric pattern amongst other modern works on the wall, lauding it's minimalist nature and assigning a host of interpretations of what the artist was trying to convey.

It was the air conditioning vent.

Ignorance comes from all directions.
 

Upton Sinclair

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If you want to define Art as what happens in galleries then I'm not going to stop you.
I just think you are wrong.
Oh, I know he is wrong, I think it would be instructive to get back to basics for just a moment:

Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, and paintings. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics, whereas disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and psychology analyze its relationship with humans and generations.
Traditionally, the term art was used to refer to any skill or mastery. This conception changed during the Romantic period, when art came to be seen as "a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science".[1] Generally, art is made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions.
 

Monniehawk

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Oh, I know he is wrong, I think it would be instructive to get back to basics for just a moment:
Traditionally, the term art was used to refer to any skill or mastery. This conception changed during the Romantic period, when art came to be seen as "a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science".[1] Generally, art is made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions.
Whereby, it seems, it has patently failed with some. :D
 

Bomberboyokay

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Orange Is The New Black star Yael Stone makes explosive allegations about Geoffrey Rush

7.30 By Leigh Sales and Callum Denness

Updated about 2 hours ago


Yael Stone, the Australian star of Netflix series Orange is the New Black, has made explosive claims about veteran actor Geoffrey Rush, alleging he exposed himself to her backstage, sent her sexually suggestive text messages, and attempted to spy on her while she was showering. In a statement issued this afternoon, Mr Rush has denied any inappropriate behaviour.

In an extensive, 40-minute on-camera interview with 7.30 in a New York hotel room, the actor detailed her experience working with Mr Rush in 2010 and 2011.

She says she is speaking publicly to help compel change in the entertainment industry.

The allegations centre on the stage play Diary of a Madman, in which the two co-starred at Sydney's Belvoir Street Theatre.

Mr Rush, aged 59 at the time, was a long-established superstar of stage and screen but Stone, then 25, was a minor player in comparison.

"He was obviously incredibly invested in this show, which for all intents and purposes was his show, and I would be supporting him in that," Ms Stone told 7.30.

"That was very much the dynamic of the room, that we were working around Geoffrey's performance.

"[I was] very inexperienced, he was this person who is an internationally lauded star, he's pretty much won every award you can win.

"I was just there to serve him, and I think I probably took that too far and too literally."

Mr Rush texted the actor frequently, including late into the night and in the early hours of the morning.

Over time, the banter took an edge that made Ms Stone uncomfortable.

"They [the text messages] became increasingly sexual in nature," she said.

"I was very willing to accommodate all this behaviour, I was enthusiastically trying to keep up with this banter."

Ms Stone said Mr Rush referred to his "tumescence", an arcane synonym for an erection.

In other exchanges, compliments about her work would escalate to "ecstatic fervour".

"I didn't know how to stop the texts," Ms Stone said.

"I didn't know how to respond to someone who was so much my senior, who has so much power in the industry.

"The thought of not responding to one of his text messages and coming in the next day feeling that I'd let him down, that I'd disappointed him, was not an option for me."

7.30 has seen other text messages Mr Rush sent Ms Stone that are sexual in nature.

For his part, Mr Rush maintains the shared correspondence between he and Ms Stone, "always contained a mutual respect and admiration".

'He was naked and danced around in front of me'

Ms Stone said Mr Rush's behaviour escalated.

One night, following a performance in Sydney, when the cast were in a shared dressing room, Mr Rush entered the room naked.

"I was sitting at the mirrors and he came in from the shower holding his towel and he was naked and he danced around in front of me with his penis out," she said.

"I was sitting and he was standing so his penis was right at the level of my face and probably 40-45 cm from my face."

On another occasion, when Ms Stone was showering after a show, she alleges Mr Rush attempted to spy on her from the adjacent cubicle.

"I looked up and saw a small shaving mirror being held over the top of the cubicle, to be used in a way to look down at my naked body," she said.

"I believe it was made in the spirit of a joke. The fact is it made me incredibly uncomfortable.

"I think I dealt with it by words to the effect of, 'bugger off, Geoffrey'."

7.30 has spoken to one person who claims to have seen both the shower cubicle incident and Mr Rush dancing naked in the Sydney dressing room.

On another occasion, at an industry award night surrounded by their peers, Mr Rush "stroked" Ms Stone's back while she was wearing an open-backed dress.

7.30 has seen an email Mr Rush sent to Ms Stone afterwards, acknowledging the incident took place and saying, "Sorry, I also played with your back in the green room. Uncalled for but had to".

Ms Stone admitted to 7.30 she had never complained to Mr Rush, or director Neil Armfield, at the time.

She says she wanted to protect her nascent career and felt that speaking up was not even an option for fear she would derail what was an enormously successful production for the theatre company.

"Are they going to cancel the show? Are they going to refund all those tickets? Are they going to boot him and keep me? No-one is there to see me! What happens to the New York season?'," Ms Stone said.

"I was always treading that line of trying to protect myself, not quite knowing how, and never, never wanting to offend him.

"That was at the top of the list: 'Don't offend Geoffrey because it will affect the next performance and ultimately it will affect your career.'"

'In the public interest I talk about these matters'

As Ms Stone herself acknowledges, their relationship was complex.

Though deeply uncomfortable with Mr Rush's behaviour, Ms Stone says she played a "court jester" role and rarely admonished him.

"I saw him as a friend and a really respected colleague, and we'd become close over the years," she said.

"He's an incredibly fun, charming man."

She is sympathetic towards Mr Rush and says she can understand why he might feel confused by her public statement now, given her apparent compliance in 2010.

"Certain behaviour has been allowed, if not encouraged along the way and suddenly, a lot of people have stood up and said, 'No, actually. No'," Ms Stone said.

"Now, I think that's a really important step to stand up and say no. But I think we would do well to have sympathy for what that huge gearshift feels like on the other side."

In December, 2017, Ms Stone sent Mr Rush an email, saying that while she saw him as a friend and colleague, she wanted to address aspects of his behaviour during production of Diary of a Madman that had made her uncomfortable.

"I don't think you ever said or did anything with the intention of making me feel uncomfortable but [the fact is] I can no longer dance around that it did," she wrote.

"The context of a working environment and an enormous power imbalance is impossible to ignore."

In the email, Ms Stone said she did not intend to ever speak publicly about the matter.

She told 7.30 she never received a reply from Mr Rush.

Ms Stone hopes her story will lead to a reckoning in the theatre industry so other young performers don't feel compelled to stay silent when behaviour crosses a line.

"There's been some really dark nights of the soul," she said.

"On the one hand I have a very strong instinct to protect my family, I have some strong issues of guilt and shame around this particular issue.

"On the other hand it's become clear that it's in the public interest I talk about these matters.

"Whenever women, particularly, speak about issues like this, their career generally suffers.

"I've factored that into my calculations and if that happens I think it's worth it.

"I have a very young baby girl and I want to say to her one day, 'You know, it was hard, but I did it anyway'."

When contacted by 7.30, Geoffrey Rush said the allegations of inappropriate behaviour were incorrect, but sincerely regretted if his "spirited enthusiasm" had caused Ms Stone any distress.

Read Mr Rush's full statement below.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-17/yael-stone-explosive-allegations-about-geoffrey-rush/10625916
 

CheapCharlie

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Orange Is The New Black star Yael Stone makes explosive allegations about Geoffrey Rush
"As Ms Stone herself acknowledges, their relationship was complex.

Though deeply uncomfortable with Mr Rush's behaviour, Ms Stone says she played a "court jester" role and rarely admonished him.

"I saw him as a friend and a really respected colleague, and we'd become close over the years," she said.

"He's an incredibly fun, charming man."

She is sympathetic towards Mr Rush and says she can understand why he might feel confused by her public statement now, given her apparent compliance in 2010.

"Certain behaviour has been allowed, if not encouraged along the way and suddenly, a lot of people have stood up and said, 'No, actually. No'," Ms Stone said.

"Now, I think that's a really important step to stand up and say no. But I think we would do well to have sympathy for what that huge gearshift feels like on the other side."
 

Gethelred

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Hmmm...

On one hand, she wasn't okay with it some of the time, and he lent on that a bit (not deliberately, but he did). On the other, if she doesn't make it known that it's not okay, how is he meant to change his behaviour? She acknowledges this somewhat in there as well, and I can also understand how, in an industry like theatre/acting, it's probably not a good thing to be seen complaining about your star actor's behaviour.

I don't know about going public, though. To me, it seems too fraught; that what you're trying to say will get taken out of context, and used to score political points for and against individuals and groups. It is a bit sordid, grimy, too; salacious gossip that you just can't wait to hear!

This is very borderline for me. Sexual banter is something that happens, and always will, in professional environments; it is of utmost importance to establish where the boundaries are early, to avoid problems. And now I'm trying to avoid couching it as victim blaming, because that's a thing too.

If a serious conversation could be had between both sides of the argument here, it'd be great. Outline the difference between victim blaming and providing the agency that a fully grown adult person should possess, and we're well on the way to getting past aspects of this debate.
 

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CheapCharlie

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Hmmm...

On one hand, she wasn't okay with it some of the time, and he lent on that a bit (not deliberately, but he did). On the other, if she doesn't make it known that it's not okay, how is he meant to change his behaviour? She acknowledges this somewhat in there as well, and I can also understand how, in an industry like theatre/acting, it's probably not a good thing to be seen complaining about your star actor's behaviour.

I don't know about going public, though. To me, it seems too fraught; that what you're trying to say will get taken out of context, and used to score political points for and against individuals and groups. It is a bit sordid, grimy, too; salacious gossip that you just can't wait to hear!

This is very borderline for me. Sexual banter is something that happens, and always will, in professional environments; it is of utmost importance to establish where the boundaries are early, to avoid problems. And now I'm trying to avoid couching it as victim blaming, because that's a thing too.

If a serious conversation could be had between both sides of the argument here, it'd be great. Outline the difference between victim blaming and providing the agency that a fully grown adult person should possess, and we're well on the way to getting past aspects of this debate.
There must be a lot of men wary of anything that can be conceived as sexual banter now. Safest just not to engage in any joke.
In this case she states they were friends and close, so what's the line in the sand, if nothing at the time is ever said, and she maintained a friendship and texting relationship with him?
 

Gethelred

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The other bit is I don't think we have enough information here.

You can do what Rush did and be the biggest skeeve in existence, or you could be legitimately joking around; she could have responded as though it was funny, or laughed whilst looking and feeling uncomfortable. Context is important, and while people are not mindreaders they need to be able to pick up on non-verbal cues as well. And then you've got to ask, was his behaviour appropriate for a workplace of this type? Does this sort of thing happen often; are these kinds of jokes commonplace?

Need to place them both in their context, and I'm not sure the media's the right forum to do something like that.
 

CheapCharlie

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The other bit is I don't think we have enough information here.

You can do what Rush did and be the biggest skeeve in existence, or you could be legitimately joking around; she could have responded as though it was funny, or laughed whilst looking and feeling uncomfortable. Context is important, and while people are not mindreaders they need to be able to pick up on non-verbal cues as well. And then you've got to ask, was his behaviour appropriate for a workplace of this type? Does this sort of thing happen often; are these kinds of jokes commonplace?

Need to place them both in their context, and I'm not sure the media's the right forum to do something like that.
She has taken the Media way, so the majority of message will be hers, and it will be negative to Rush.

The two of them could have spent hundreds of hours together, with herself also engaging in some light sexual banter. We just don't know
 

MC Bad Genius

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Hmmm...

On one hand, she wasn't okay with it some of the time, and he lent on that a bit (not deliberately, but he did). On the other, if she doesn't make it known that it's not okay, how is he meant to change his behaviour? She acknowledges this somewhat in there as well, and I can also understand how, in an industry like theatre/acting, it's probably not a good thing to be seen complaining about your star actor's behaviour.

I don't know about going public, though. To me, it seems too fraught; that what you're trying to say will get taken out of context, and used to score political points for and against individuals and groups. It is a bit sordid, grimy, too; salacious gossip that you just can't wait to hear!

This is very borderline for me. Sexual banter is something that happens, and always will, in professional environments; it is of utmost importance to establish where the boundaries are early, to avoid problems. And now I'm trying to avoid couching it as victim blaming, because that's a thing too.

If a serious conversation could be had between both sides of the argument here, it'd be great. Outline the difference between victim blaming and providing the agency that a fully grown adult person should possess, and we're well on the way to getting past aspects of this debate.
I don't know if it's been linked yet in this thread, but the NY Times interview and explanation of the impacts of making this sort of allegation is fantastic: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/16/opinion/metoo-defamation-geoffrey-rush-yael-stone.html

In it, Yael has a really nuanced view of what happened, including her own complicity in the behaviour continuing. The point (I think) she makes is that there was undue pressure to allow the behaviour because of the extreme balance of power between her as a young woman getting her first real break in the industry and him as an industry heavyweight with a LOT of power/influence.

She also mentions that she did try to stop some of his behaviour (the most extreme being when he held up a shaving mirror above the stall so he could see her showering), but was always trying her best to do it without upsetting him, at risk of ruining her career before it had really begun.
 

owen87

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utmost importance to establish where the boundaries are
Important point this; too many people treat the workplace as somewhere they can behave as they would in a private, social setting.

People spend a lot of time there, make friendships, and sometimes relationships. But ultimately it's a workplace, where complete strangers are paid to attend, and expected to behave in a professional manner.

Don't cross the line, don't even go near the line, would be my advice.

It baffles me how Rush (if he's done what he's been accused of) ever thought it was a good idea.
 

Gethelred

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I don't know if it's been linked yet in this thread, but the NY Times interview and explanation of the impacts of making this sort of allegation is fantastic: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/16/opinion/metoo-defamation-geoffrey-rush-yael-stone.html

In it, Yael has a really nuanced view of what happened, including her own complicity in the behaviour continuing. The point (I think) she makes is that there was undue pressure to allow the behaviour because of the extreme balance of power between her as a young woman getting her first real break in the industry and him as an industry heavyweight with a LOT of power/influence.

She also mentions that she did try to stop some of his behaviour (the most extreme being when he held up a shaving mirror above the stall so he could see her showering), but was always trying her best to do it without upsetting him, at risk of ruining her career before it had really begun.
See, this is part of what I mention when I say that I'm not sure the media is the appropriate forum for this particular discussion.

Yael's attitude is to be commended; she is not ambivalent, she is not seeking to pillorize him, and her goal is only to bring light to how she felt. Her story is not unfamiliar, and it defines more or less our problem: how do you break up a hierarchy based on lines of influence and favour into a meritocracy?

As far as I'm concerned, I see this as less a feminism issue and more a productivity issue; if people are afraid to define the terms of their relationship with their superiors - whether male or female, in matters sexual, conversational or purely business (asking for more hours, flexible workplace arrangements, time off, wage increases, etc) - then merit is not the metric by which the industry is measured. Lines of influence and the ability to draw favour become more important than ability; ergo, those with power, whether of merit or not are surrounded with those who are steadily more and more likely to say yes to them, and over time it becomes all they hear, further perpetuating such a system's survival.

Bringing it back, what Bari Weiss - the interviewer of Yael in that NY op ed - has taken from it is not ambivalence, nor acknowledgement of Yael's role in things. What she has done is place Rush in a well-established pattern, making him look like a serial offender, a person for whom no sympathy should be provided, nor benefit of the doubt. She has positioned him as not a willing participant in a series of exchanges, but as a predator. In short, she has reduced the situation to black/white, where Yael painted a picture in shades.

I don't envy either of them; I do not disbelieve her in any way, she has not anything to gain by lying and much to lose. I simply don't think we have nearly enough information, and I manifestly do not think it is genuinely in the public interest to provide the media with more opportunity to divide us into subcategories.
 

Gethelred

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Important point this; too many people treat the workplace as somewhere they can behave as they would in a private, social setting.

People spend a lot of time there, make friendships, and sometimes relationships. But ultimately it's a workplace, where complete strangers are paid to attend, and expected to behave in a professional manner.

Don't cross the line, don't even go near the line, would be my advice.

It baffles me how Rush (if he's done what he's been accused of) ever thought it was a good idea.
Ultimately, this.

I will say, though, that when you are at the peak of your industry, the workplace is both a playground and your own private workshop, in which you create and do what you want almost all of the time. Are people going to say no to Elon Musk at Tesla? Did they to Steve Jobs?

If we continue to encourage the attitude that those that rise high are somehow better/greater than the rest of us, then the inevitable end is that we find those who are considered great will treat those that enter their circle as new toys. This can be as relatively mild as Yael's treatment, or as horrific as Christopher Skase's treatment of other's life savings or James Hardie's asbestos victims. Break up the hierarchy, turn it into a meritocracy in which those who rise are honest and forthright with and to power, without worry of offense, and situations like this will be prevented before they arise.
 

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Ultimately, this.

I will say, though, that when you are at the peak of your industry, the workplace is both a playground and your own private workshop, in which you create and do what you want almost all of the time. Are people going to say no to Elon Musk at Tesla? Did they to Steve Jobs?

If we continue to encourage the attitude that those that rise high are somehow better/greater than the rest of us, then the inevitable end is that we find those who are considered great will treat those that enter their circle as new toys. This can be as relatively mild as Yael's treatment, or as horrific as Christopher Skase's treatment of other's life savings or James Hardie's asbestos victims. Break up the hierarchy, turn it into a meritocracy in which those who rise are honest and forthright with and to power, without worry of offense, and situations like this will be prevented before they arise.
Whilst I agree that we readily allow people at the top of their various industries a lot more room to get away with things, I disagree with your final sentence.

I think most people, given enough time and people around them allowing it, will take liberties with respect to their positions.

What makes Rush any different to anyone else? He's a talented performer who (likely also with a bit of luck) has risen to the top of his profession.

More important is teaching young people that they can - and should - speak up and say no when they're not happy with their treatment. And not give the leeway for people to conduct themselves poorly. People at all levels should be held to a professional standard.
 

Gethelred

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Whilst I agree that we readily allow people at the top of their various industries a lot more room to get away with things, I disagree with your final sentence.

I think most people, given enough time and people around them allowing it, will take liberties with respect to their positions.

What makes Rush any different to anyone else? He's a talented performer who (likely also with a bit of luck) has risen to the top of his profession.

More important is teaching young people that they can - and should - speak up and say no when they're not happy with their treatment. And not give the leeway for people to conduct themselves poorly. People at all levels should be held to a professional standard.
How is your second and third last sentence incompatible in any way with my last sentence in my prior post?

The key is to ensure that it's coming from both directions. Get younger people to a position where they feel more able to speak up if they're unhappy, and break the system which results in those with power treating those without like toys in a sandbox.
 

blackcat

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Hmmm...
This is very borderline for me. Sexual banter is something that happens, and always will, in professional environments; it is of utmost importance to establish where the boundaries are early, to avoid problems. And now I'm trying to avoid couching it as victim blaming, because that's a thing too.

If a serious conversation could be had between both sides of the argument here, it'd be great. Outline the difference between victim blaming and providing the agency that a fully grown adult person should possess, and we're well on the way to getting past aspects of this debate.
it is not a serious conversation when due process is never considered valid, when murdoch tabloids sell copy and market scandal when their business model was crushed by google/facebook/TimBernersLee, and thru a Harvey Weinstein filter who himself has never had due process and is susceptible to vicissitudes of Beltway media when their business model and advertising revenues are being crushed.

Arbitrate thru a tabloid?

Interpret thru a Harvey Weinstein filter? *who himself should have been afforded due process consideration sans the defamation.

How does the status of acts change according to time. If what he did was wrong then, it was wrong and he should been hung drawn and quartered and tarred, with a trial in due time. But this HWf, Harvey Weinstein filter should not change a thing. i) thespians are subject to due process rights too. ii) the performing arts industries are some of the most lascivious industries known to mankind. iii) thespians should know all these intersecting points which have been cause of such media embroglio.

Snake_Baker
 
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Gethelred

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it is not a serious conversation when due process is never considered valid, when murdoch tabloids sell copy and market scandal when their business model was crushed by google/facebook/TimBernersLee, and thru a Harvey Weinstein filter who himself has never had due process and is susceptible to vicissitudes of Beltway media when their business model and advertising revenues are being crushed.

Arbitrate thru a tabloid?

Interpret thru a Harvey Weinstein filter? *who himself should have been afforded due process consideration sans the defamation.

How does the status of acts change according to time. If what he did was wrong then, it was wrong and he should been hung drawn and quartered and tarred, with a trial in due time. But this HWf, Harvey Weinstein filter should not change a thing. i) thespians are subject to due process rights too. ii) the performing arts industries and some of the most lascivious industries known to mankind. iii) thespians should know all these intersecting points which have been cause of such media embroglio.

Snake_Baker
First things first; it's through, not thru.

Secondly, I don't disagree with your post, but you're a bit agitated. Calm down a bit.
 

blackcat

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The other bit is I don't think we have enough information here.

You can do what Rush did and be the biggest skeeve in existence, or you could be legitimately joking around; she could have responded as though it was funny, or laughed whilst looking and feeling uncomfortable. Context is important, and while people are not mindreaders they need to be able to pick up on non-verbal cues as well. And then you've got to ask, was his behaviour appropriate for a workplace of this type? Does this sort of thing happen often; are these kinds of jokes commonplace?

Need to place them both in their context, and I'm not sure the media's the right forum to do something like that.
solipsism.

since when is flirtation devoid of an eros lens

what is interesting is the question what licence the oscar award may have given
 

owen87

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How is your second and third last sentence incompatible in any way with my last sentence in my prior post?

The key is to ensure that it's coming from both directions. Get younger people to a position where they feel more able to speak up if they're unhappy, and break the system which results in those with power treating those without like toys in a sandbox.
Rush is likely the exact kind of person who would rise in a meritocracy; someone who is talented and gets to the top of their chosen profession.

That we 'rush' to cover for imperfections is what allows those in successful or prominent positions to use that leverage.

Some kind of utopia where those who are successful don't become targets of aspirational juniors, or where only performance matters is never going to happen.
 

Gethelred

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Rush is likely the exact kind of person who would rise in a meritocracy; someone who is talented and gets to the top of their chosen profession.

That we 'rush' to cover for imperfections is what allows those in successful or prominent positions to use that leverage.

Some kind of utopia where those who are successful don't become targets of aspirational juniors, or where only performance matters is never going to happen.
... and I'm not saying it will, or that we could ever get there.

Does a journey cease to be important because the destination is difficult to reach? Should we cease to try to approach zero road deaths because it's nearly impossible? Workplace deaths and injuries?

Just because something is an ideal doesn't mean seeking it is a bad idea, or is wrong. Perfection is a static picture, a snapshot of a moment in time; to chase it is folly, but to strive for it worthy.
 
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