DVDizzy.com

Home | Reviews | Schedule | Cover Art | Search The Site
DVDizzy.com Top Stories:

It is currently Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:13 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:04 pm 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:06 am
Posts: 10999
President of Disney Theatrical Productions and former president of Walt Disney Feature Animation has been accused of sexual misconduct.

Quote:
At Straitlaced Disney, a Star Producer’s R-Rated Behavior Draws Complaints
Tom Schumacher, the executive behind the new ‘Frozen’ musical, has been accused of explicit sexual language and harassment in the workplace

After 30 years at Walt Disney Co., Tom Schumacher has become one of the most powerful and complicated people on Broadway as he established his employer as a dominant force in American theater.

He reaches a new apex this Thursday when the “Frozen” musical, which he produced, begins playing on Broadway. The $50 million-plus show is a critical part of Disney’s plans to turn the hit animated movie into a long-lasting cultural touchstone, in the lucrative footsteps of “The Lion King.” The show’s debut comes just two months after he was elected chairman of the Broadway League, the industry organization that puts on the Tony Awards, confirming his royal status on the Great White Way.

Few executives last as long as Mr. Schumacher has at a major entertainment company, let alone reach new heights after three decades. People who have worked with him say he is demanding and intelligent, with a strong sense of what he wants and the ability to work with creative talent to achieve it. Though others at Disney thought her theater work was too avant-garde for a Disney property, Mr. Schumacher championed Julie Taymor to direct 1997’s “Lion King” musical. It is now the highest-grossing stage show ever.

Another side of his success as a creative executive has been a harsh demeanor and tendency to cross the boundaries of appropriate workplace behavior, people who have worked with him said. Mr. Schumacher has offended numerous employees over the years with explicit language and behavior, including comments about subordinates’ sexual attractiveness, discussions about pornography and walking through the office in a bathrobe while boasting he had nothing on underneath, according to people who said they witnessed the episodes.

A person close to Mr. Schumacher said he denied all the incidents in this article, each of which was independently described to The Wall Street Journal by at least two eyewitnesses.

Mr. Schumacher has “at times acknowledged using inappropriate language, expressed regret, and committed to being more mindful and adhering to company policies going forward,” the person close to him added.

A Disney spokeswoman said that “complaints are thoroughly investigated and appropriate action is taken” at the company.

Disney’s continued faith in Mr. Schumacher demonstrates the tensions at entertainment companies attempting to balance typical standards of corporate behavior with the looser rules of creative environments. Broadway in particular is a small community with its own norms and strictures, people who work there said, and Mr. Schumacher appears to have benefited from his role as a bridge between it and a family-friendly media giant.

His division of around 100 people consistently makes profits of between $100 million and $150 million, people familiar with its finances said, and it gives the company a presence in live entertainment that no other studio can boast, from Broadway and London’s West End to world-wide tours, ice shows and school musicals.

Mr. Schumacher, 60, runs the business with broad autonomy. His boss, the straitlaced Disney studios Chairman Alan Horn, and Chief Executive Robert Iger rarely visit the theatrical offices 2,800 miles away from corporate headquarters near Los Angeles, employees said.

Mr. Schumacher sometimes has acted like a throwback to the past when issues raised by the #MeToo movement were decades away, people who have worked with him said. Mr. Schumacher seemed to view his ribald comments as comedic. One person who discussed the issue with him said the Disney Theatrical president, who is gay, defended himself by saying a straight executive wouldn’t face the same scrutiny.

Mr. Schumacher joined Disney in 1988, part of a wave of executives from the theater world who took over its feature animation business during the 1990s. Bawdy talk that was common backstage made its way into the previously conservative offices of Disney animation, people who worked there said. Mr. Schumacher, however, at times crossed lines in ways that employees found inappropriate.

Bruce Williams, who worked in the story-development department overseen by Mr. Schumacher, said he accused his then-boss of sexual harassment.

As the two worked closely together and socialized, Mr. Schumacher took a sexual interest in the subordinate, Mr. Williams recalled in an interview. At first flattered, Mr. Williams said he became uncomfortable with what he described as “salacious and inappropriate” remarks, including evaluations of how he looked while climbing a ladder and “compliments on my ass.”

Five former Disney employees said they were aware of Mr. Williams’s complaints about Mr. Schumacher’s behavior.

Mr. Williams brought his concerns to two superiors in 1994, he said. Soon after, he recalled, a human-resources representative told him, “We’ve spoken to Tom and he apologizes,” adding, “this time I think he’s heard us.”

To separate the two men, Disney moved Mr. Williams “to the gulag,” he said—a nearly empty floor in another building where he had no work to do.

In 1995, Mr. Williams decided to leave Disney. Now 60 and working as an usher in a Minneapolis theater, he said he has struggled with depression, which he attributes in part to his experience with Mr. Schumacher and subsequent treatment by Disney. “I never felt the same about a workplace again,” he said.

A Disney spokeswoman said the company had no record of a complaint by Mr. Williams.

In the ensuing years, Mr. Schumacher’s career prospered. He worked on films such as “The Lion King” and “Pocahontas” and helped forge Disney’s relationship with Pixar Animation Studios. In 1999, he became president of feature animation.

Around the same time, Mr. Schumacher started overseeing Disney’s nascent theatrical business, which primarily adapts animated movies for the stage.

Among people who worked with him then, Mr. Schumacher was divisive. “Tom is one of the smartest producers I ever worked with and very savvy in navigating the world of Disney,” said Stuart Oken, who worked at Disney Theatrical from 1994 through 2004.

Michelle Mindlin, who worked in animation and theatrical from 1994 through 2003, is one of several former colleagues who said Mr. Schumacher made clear who was part of his inner circle and who was not. “If he liked you, you were treated well, but if he didn’t, he could be very unkind,” she said.

In 2003, Mr. Schumacher left his job in animation after several flops and moved to New York to oversee the theatrical division full-time. His workplace behavior seemed to become more frequently inappropriate, colleagues said.

Several people recalled a day in the mid-2000s when Mr. Schumacher arrived at the office in wet clothes following a rainstorm and changed into a bathrobe. While walking around, he told employees he had nothing on underneath, these people said.

Mr. Schumacher made no secret in the office of his attraction to Josh Strickland, who played the title role in Disney’s 2006 stage version of “Tarzan,” said employees. He boasted that he had gone “naked tanning” with the former “American Idol” contestant and discussed his interest in helping to fit the star’s loincloth, said former employees who heard him.

Mr. Strickland said in a statement provided by his manager that, while he did go to a tanning session with Mr. Schumacher to develop the look for the Tarzan character, “at no point did I ever feel uncomfortable” and that “any suggestion of nudity…is completely untrue.”

Mr. Schumacher made jokes about the sexual prowess of black men after a former assistant of his, Jane Buchanan, brought her biracial son into the office, witnesses said. Ms. Buchanan is white.

That allegation was among a number made by Ms. Buchanan against Mr. Schumacher soon after she was dismissed around 2006, said people with knowledge of her case. Following a human-resources investigation, Ms. Buchanan left with severance and a nondisclosure agreement, these people said.

Reached for comment, Ms. Buchanan said, “Regretfully, I can not talk about anything that happened during my time at Disney Theatrical.”

Mr. Schumacher has continued to use sexual language in the past two or three years, according to colleagues, including discussing his erections.

His talent and drawbacks as a leader will be put to the test as he is front and center with “Frozen.” Its four years of development have been bumpy, including what Mr. Schumacher described as a “painful” decision in 2016 to switch directors during development.

The show’s budget is huge by Broadway standards, and resellers are offering tickets for more than $2,000.

The biggest chunk of Disney Theatrical’s annual profits still come from the 21-year-old “The Lion King,” currently playing in six countries, people familiar with the company’s finances said. Disney is hoping Mr. Schumacher will take “Frozen” to a similar level of success.
Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/at-straitl ... 1519228818

_________________
ImageImageImageImageImage


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:08 pm 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:34 pm
Posts: 4814
Location: The Netherlands
Another one bites the dust...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:27 pm 
Offline
Limited Edition
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:29 pm
Posts: 1270
I hope Disney is proud of all the offenders they've been sheltering.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:36 pm 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:34 pm
Posts: 4814
Location: The Netherlands
JeanGreyForever wrote:
I hope Disney is proud of all the offenders they've been sheltering.


This isn’t a Disney problem. It’s a cultural problem. This is what happens when sexuality is being repressed and misrepresented, while guns and violence are being glorified: a culture of sexual harassment and mass shootings.

America needs a doctor.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:38 pm 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:46 am
Posts: 3646
Location: Maryland, USA
Had a gut feeling he was going to be the next person.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:43 pm 
Offline
Limited Edition
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:29 pm
Posts: 1270
PatrickvD wrote:
JeanGreyForever wrote:
I hope Disney is proud of all the offenders they've been sheltering.


This isn’t a Disney problem. It’s a cultural problem. This is what happens when sexuality is being repressed and misrepresented, while guns and violence are being glorified: a culture of sexual harassment and mass shootings.

America needs a doctor.

You're right, but Disney has had two major figures now and I'm sure there are more to be revealed as well. On top of that, Disney prides itself on being a family-friendly company that caters to gender and ethnic diversity, yet all the reports we've seen and heard so far claim anything but that, so I'm holding them especially accountable


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:16 pm 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 9684
Location: North Carolina Gender: Male
Disney should be held accountable. There weren't any repercussions whatsoever despite regular complaints about two different people at the top level of power now.

What America needs are more women and more men who support women to shake out these pieces of trash. And I'm sure this is happening in every country on the face of the Earth. Americans have just been recently re-awakened to the reality of misogyny here after living in a bubble for 10-20 years, sort of like how many pretended racism was dead because we had a black president.

EDIT: P.S. I do know that the Schumacher accusations are male predator versus male victim(s). And not all the harassment/rape stories that have come out are strictly male predator-female victim(s) either (there's Melanie Martinez accused by another woman; Kevin Spacey accused by a man/boy at the time the alleged behavior occurred; the male models who recently came out about harassment, etc.). It's ultimately a power issue and the reason the majority of stories are male predator-female victim(s) is because men have more power than women in general. One woman in a position of power won't be a magic fix--that's just a bandaid--but a continuous progress to more and more women in power would make a big difference, imo.

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:14 am 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:27 pm
Posts: 2456
This is an industry problem, as we've seen plenty of times over the past few months. Executives at Universal, Warner Brothers, Amazon Studios and of course, The Weinstein Company, have also been ousted as harassers and predators. Not to mention Chris Savino, the creator of Nickelodeon's The Loud House. It was inevitable a few people at Disney would also be revealed as such.

I, for one, am glad to see this cleansing and I'm sure many industry folks of re-evaluating their behaviour.

_________________
"If your life had a face, I would punch it." - Kim Pine, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:46 pm 
Offline
Limited Edition
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 1771
Who wants to bet Iger is also a potential predator?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:53 pm 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:06 am
Posts: 10999
After reading the firewall-protected, original article, the accusations don't seem like such a big deal. There were only two instances of alleged misconduct: telling a male employee in 1994 that he had a nice butt (a remark for which he apologized afterwards) and making a crude joke about the sexual prowess of black men to a female assistant who had a biracial child. Of course, this behavior is not acceptable but it's slim pickings compared to every other case of sexual misconduct we've heard. Me thinks someone was gunning for him and took advantage of the current cultural climate to take him out.

_________________
ImageImageImageImageImage


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:01 pm 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 9684
Location: North Carolina Gender: Male
I didn't see the other linked article within the excerpt. I can't see the whole thing because I'm not a subscriber, unfortunately. There have been a couple incidents where the story isn't really that bad*, so I don't think that's out of the realm of possibility. Hopefully more details will come out somewhere that is free to read.

What I'm most interested to see with this story is how will it be treated compared to the Lasseter story. I feel as if Disney has done its best to shutdown the Lasseter allegations so it spreads as little as possible. Will they do the same for Schumacher, I wonder? Or is a gay employee more expendable to Disney?

*Aziz Ansari, for example. I'm not going to criticize the woman in question at all (since our culture conditions women to be silent), but based on her story, I'm not sure how he could've known she was uncomfortable after she'd already given consent earlier and she wasn't explicit with him that she wanted to stop? His later behavior in her account shows he would've stopped if she had been clear with him because he called her a taxi when she said she wanted to leave. He's the only one so far I don't think is a monster though.

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:31 pm 
Offline
Gold Collection

Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:58 pm
Posts: 60
Quote:
After reading the firewall-protected, original article, the accusations don't seem like such a big deal. There were only two instances of alleged misconduct: telling a male employee in 1994 that he had "a nice butt" (a remark for which he apologized afterwards) and making a crude joke about the sexual prowess of black men to a female assistant who had a biracial child. Of course, this behavior is not acceptable but it's slim pickings compared to every other case of sexual misconduct we've heard. Me thinks someone was gunning for him and took advantage of the current cultural climate to take him out.


There's has always been a spectrum of horrible with these different accusations. But I don't think you can argue certain ones are not a big deal.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:07 pm 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:06 am
Posts: 10999
willard wrote:
But I don't think you can argue certain ones are not a big deal.

I meant "not a big deal" in terms of it not being a big enough story to be picked up by a major publication like it usually happens. I don't excuse sexual harassment regardless of its degree or severity.

_________________
ImageImageImageImageImage


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:30 pm 
Offline
Walt Disney Treasure
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:47 pm
Posts: 2729
Sotiris wrote:
After reading the firewall-protected, original article, the accusations don't seem like such a big deal. There were only two instances of alleged misconduct: telling a male employee in 1994 that he had "a nice butt" (a remark for which he apologized afterwards) and making a crude joke about the sexual prowess of black men to a female assistant who had a biracial child. Of course, this behavior is not acceptable but it's slim pickings compared to every other case of sexual misconduct we've heard. Me thinks someone was gunning for him and took advantage of the current cultural climate to take him out.

Wait, was that all? Because that sounds like nothing. Certainly not something worth dragging his name through the mud for.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:45 pm 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:06 am
Posts: 10999
Kyle wrote:
Wait, was that all?

There was another incident which I didn't include because in my opinion doesn't qualify as harassment where when his clothes got wet, he changed into a bathrobe and made a joke, that wasn't directed at anyone in particular, about not wearing anything underneath.

Update: I've replaced the first post with the original article in its entirety so people can judge for themselves.

_________________
ImageImageImageImageImage


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:47 pm 
Offline
Gold Collection

Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:58 pm
Posts: 60
I accessed the article via google. It appears there's more this than just two incidents. It certainly is worth attention.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:28 pm 
Offline
Gold Collection

Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:58 pm
Posts: 60
Kyle wrote:
Wait, was that all? Because that sounds like nothing. Certainly not something worth dragging his name through the mud for.


I'm not sure about that. From the article.

Quote:
Bruce Williams, who worked in the story-development department overseen by Mr. Schumacher, said he accused his then-boss of sexual harassment.

As the two worked closely together and socialized, Mr. Schumacher took a sexual interest in the subordinate, Mr. Williams recalled in an interview. At first flattered, Mr. Williams said he became uncomfortable with what he described as “salacious and inappropriate” remarks, including evaluations of how he looked while climbing a ladder and “compliments on my ass.”

Five former Disney employees said they were aware of Mr. Williams’s complaints about Mr. Schumacher’s behavior.

Mr. Williams brought his concerns to two superiors in 1994, he said. Soon after, he recalled, a human-resources representative told him, “We’ve spoken to Tom and he apologizes,” adding, “this time I think he’s heard us.”

To separate the two men, Disney moved Mr. Williams “to the gulag,” he said—a nearly empty floor in another building where he had no work to do.

In 1995, Mr. Williams decided to leave Disney. Now 60 and working as an usher in a Minneapolis theater, he said he has struggled with depression, which he attributes in part to his experience with Mr. Schumacher and subsequent treatment by Disney. “I never felt the same about a workplace again,” he said.

A Disney spokeswoman said the company had no record of a complaint by Mr. Williams.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:29 am 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:06 am
Posts: 10999
According to a new report, the Broadway community has come to Schumacher's defense. I suppose that's why he felt comfortable attending the opening night of previews for Frozen after the story broke.

Quote:
In response to the allegations, the Broadway community has voiced near-unanimous support of the producer, who last year became chairman of its trade organization, The Broadway League.

"I was shocked," says three-time Tony winner Anita Waxman, who commutes with Schumacher each week from their homes upstate. "Usually, if there's a bad word, you'd hear it from actors — and you never, ever, ever hear a word about Schumacher. People vie to work with him."

(Several Frozen cast members backed up this assertion with glowing reports of his conduct at the show.)

Waxman went on to vouch for his character in the wake of tragedy. According to her, he was one of two producers who closely looked after writer Rick Elice after Elice's husband, well-liked thespian Roger Rees, died in 2015.

Another former colleague, Charlie Fink, was more blunt in his defense, saying Schumacher is "a fair and good man. With a potty mouth."

Fink, a former executive at Disney Animation, worked closely with Schumacher when some of the harassment was alleged to have occurred. They collaborated on numerous films, notably The Lion King. "His behavior, at least as far as I know, was always above reproach," Fink said. "A secretary says he made her cry — I guess it's possible on a bad day. But he's not Harvey Weinstein."
Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/leeseymour ... -broadway/


A former assistant of Schumacher's is also defending him.

Royal C. Riedinger III wrote:
I worked directly for Thomas Schumacher in his office in the late 90’s and early 2000’s as one of his 2 assistants and I cannot state more emphatically that these accusations do not match the professional, nurturing executive and mentor that my family and I came to know very well. He maintained a remarkable ‘open door’ policy for creatives and staff and cared profoundly for all. During the best of times, such as the Los Angeles theatrical opening of The Lion King at The Pantages or the difficult times of company-wide downsizing, he made it a point to be visible and available to lead and listen. WDFA was a community of brilliant creatives and a continuous parade of A-List acting, musical and Hollywood talent. On more than one occasion, I heard some ‘inappropriate comments’ in and around the animation building, however NEVER from Tom … and if it happened in his presence, no matter who said it, Tom immediately shut it down with his trademark firm yet tactful manner. Such behavior was unquestionably not tolerated by him. I do not recognize the two individuals named in the article making these claims. I cannot suppose what their motives might be, but I stand resolutely with Tom Schumacher as a man of integrity, character and dignity.
Source: http://deadline.com/2018/02/thomas-schu ... 202297888/

_________________
ImageImageImageImageImage


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:24 pm 
Offline
Platinum Edition
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:26 pm
Posts: 9684
Location: North Carolina Gender: Male
I'm mixed on this story. The most damning allegation is from Williams (of course Disney denies it). I'm sure more'll come out eventually if the man's a monster. *shrug*

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:52 pm 
Offline
Gold Collection

Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:58 pm
Posts: 60
Quote:
I'm sure more'll come out eventually if the man's a monster


Well its highly doubtful that he'll turn out to be like Harvey Weinstein. But like I said, its always been a scale of bad behavior.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Disney Duster, Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], zackisthewalrus and 15 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group