Some Russian performers speak out against Putin and the Ukraine invasion : NPR


Conductor Semyon Bychkov, conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in a efficiency in Vienna in 2017.

Joe Klamar/AFP through Getty Photos


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Joe Klamar/AFP through Getty Photos


Conductor Semyon Bychkov, conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in a efficiency in Vienna in 2017.

Joe Klamar/AFP through Getty Photos

Within the midst of the Ukraine disaster, quite a few Russian performing artists are talking out towards Russian President Vladimir Putin. Lots of them come from the worlds of classical music, ballet and theater — revered artwork varieties in a rustic that prizes its high-arts heritage.

The famous conductor Semyon Bychkov, who was born in St. Petersburg however now lives in Europe, canceled his deliberate performances with the Russian Nationwide Youth Symphony Orchestra at Tchaikovsky Live performance Corridor in Moscow that have been deliberate for June. In an announcement posted to Fb Friday, Bychkov wrote: “It is a painful determination as I used to be wanting ahead with monumental pleasure to creating music with the exceptionally gifted younger Russian artists. But doing so underneath the current circumstances could be an unconscionable act of acquiescence.” The youth orchestra is affiliated with the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, which is led by Valery Gergiev.

Bychkov, who’s presently chief conductor and music director of the Czech Philharmonic, continued: “I need the spirit of this determination to be unmistakably clear: it’s under no circumstances directed on the orchestra or its public. The emotional struggling of atypical Russian folks presently, the sensation of disgrace and financial losses they expertise are actual. So is a way of helplessness in face of repression inflicted by the regime. These people who dare to oppose this warfare put their very own life in peril. They want us who’re free to take a stand and say: ‘The weapons should fall silent, in order that we will have a good time life over demise’.”

As a part of a prolonged separate assertion posted on the Czech Philharmonic’s web site, Bychkov stated: “Silence within the face of evil turns into its confederate and finally ends up turning into its equal. … To stay silent at present is to betray our conscience and our values, and in the end what defines the the Aristocracy of human nature.”

The Russian-born conductor Kirill Petrenko, who emigrated to Austria at age 18, made an announcement on Friday with the Berlin Philharmonic, the place he’s chief conductor. Petrenko wrote: “Putin’s insidious assault on Ukraine, which violates worldwide regulation, is a knife behind the complete peaceable world. It’s also an assault on the humanities, which, as we all know, unite throughout all borders. I’m in full solidarity with all my Ukrainian colleagues and might solely hope that each one artists will stand collectively for freedom, sovereignty and towards aggression.”

The influential Russian hip-hop artist Oxxxymiron, often known as Miron Fyodorov, stated in a video posted to Instagram Friday that he was canceling six sold-out exhibits deliberate for Moscow and St. Petersburg to protest the invasion. “It isn’t Ukraine that invaded Russian territory,” he stated. “It is Russia bombing a sovereign state.”

Artists from different disciplines are resigning from their jobs and canceling tasks as effectively. Alexei Ratmansky, who’s the previous choreographer on the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow and presently the artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre in New York Metropolis, left Moscow within the midst of making ready a brand new ballet on the Bolshoi that was imagined to premiere on March 30.

On Sunday, Ratmansky — who’s of each Ukrainian and Russian heritage, grew up in Kyiv, and has household nonetheless in Ukraine — advised The New York Occasions that he doubts he’ll return to Moscow to complete the undertaking “if Putin continues to be president.” He was additionally imagined to premiere a separate ballet in Could for the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.

Elena Kovalskaya, a theater director who served as one of many creative administrators of the Meyerhold Theatre and Cultural Middle in Moscow, posted on Fb Thursday that she might not stay in her place. “It’s not possible to work for a assassin and get a wage from him,” she wrote. The Meyerhold is a state-run theater.

Up to now, some 10,000 different Russian cultural and artwork employees have signed an open letter towards Putin’s actions. “We, artists, curators, architects, critics, artwork critics, artwork managers – representatives of the tradition and artwork of the Russian Federation – categorical our absolute solidarity with the folks of Ukraine and say resolutely “NO TO WAR!” (“No to warfare” has change into a rallying cry on each Russian-language social media and within the protests which can be going down in cities round Russia and elsewhere around the globe.)

Some overseas artists are selecting to interrupt their ties with Russian establishments as effectively. On Saturday, the French ballet dancer Laurent Hilaire resigned his publish as creative director of ballet of Moscow’s Stanislavsky Ballet. “I’m leaving Moscow tomorrow in view of the scenario,” he advised AFP. “I’m departing with a heavy coronary heart, however the context not permits me to work with peace of thoughts.”

Mindaugas Karbauskis, a theater director who was born in what was then Soviet Lithuania, all of a sudden left his position as director of the Mayakovsky Theater in Moscow final week. He didn’t specify a purpose for his departure, however posted on his Fb account Friday: “I am leaving too!”



Pantdemic: Your Pandemic Sweatpants Speak


Tennis Stars Speak Out On China


Amid rising worldwide consideration on her plight, Chinese language state media on Thursday all of a sudden released an email it stated Peng had written to Ladies’s Tennis Affiliation Chair Steve Simon.

The letter, the authenticity of which couldn’t be verified, claimed Peng was resting at dwelling and had by no means licensed for the unique “not true” assertion to be posted on Weibo.

However in a press release on Thursday, Simon stated the purported Peng letter solely made him extra fearful for her security.

“I’ve a tough time believing that Peng Shuai really wrote the e-mail we obtained or believes what’s being attributed to her,” he stated.

He known as for “unbiased and verifiable proof” of her security and a full investigation into her claims.

“Peng Shuai should be allowed to talk freely, with out coercion or intimidation from any supply,” Simon stated. “Her allegation of sexual assault should be revered, investigated with full transparency and with out censorship.”

Simon instructed CNN the WTA was ready to not do enterprise with China, and thus lose out on a whole lot of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in income, if Peng was not accounted for.

“That is larger than the enterprise,” he stated.

A spokesperson for the Ladies’s Sports activities Basis, a US nonprofit based in 1974 by tennis legend Billie Jean King, instructed BuzzFeed Information they supported the WTA’s place.

“We’re deeply involved and troubled by the disappearance of Peng Shuai and her allegation of sexual assault,” the spokesperson stated. “We assist the WTA’s calls for for verifiable proof of her security and that her allegations be revered and investigated with full transparency.”

However the letter was apparently sufficient for the Worldwide Olympic Committee, which has been largely quiet on the disappearance of a three-time Olympian.

“Now we have seen the most recent experiences and are inspired by assurances that she is secure,” an IOC spokesperson stated Thursday.

That tepid assertion was criticized as feckless by broad swaths of the Western media and nongovernmental organizations.



Jennifer Sey quit a top job at Levi’s to speak freely about COVID rules : NPR


Former Levi’s government Jennifer Sey speaks at a convention in 2018.

Lintao Zhang/Getty Photos for The Enterprise of Trend


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Lintao Zhang/Getty Photos for The Enterprise of Trend


Former Levi’s government Jennifer Sey speaks at a convention in 2018.

Lintao Zhang/Getty Photos for The Enterprise of Trend

Within the spring of 2020, firstly of the coronavirus pandemic, Jennifer Sey took a hard-line, controversial place: Colleges ought to keep open.

On the time, Sey was chief advertising officer at Levi Strauss & Co., with 21 years on the firm. Later within the 12 months, Sey obtained promoted to Levi’s model president — on a path to doubtlessly turn into the following CEO. As an alternative, she has now resigned.

“Finally,” Sey advised NPR, “nearly a month in the past, the CEO mentioned to me, ‘There’s simply not a path for you right here.’ You recognize, ‘It is all an excessive amount of.’ “

Sey’s resignation made a giant splash, as she mentioned she walked away from a $1 million exit package deal, which might sometimes embrace a nondisclosure settlement. Levi’s says no such supply was formally made. Both means, Sey’s exit has prompted massive questions on firms and speech.

The place is the road between private {and professional} opinions? And is that line totally different for high-level executives?

Private model vs. firm model

Sey had constructed her private model round outspokenness: She’s a former elite gymnast who has written a e-book and produced a documentary about abuses within the sport.

Throughout the pandemic, Sey took to Twitter, op-eds and native TV, talking out in opposition to shutdowns of faculties and playgrounds. She wrote concerning the affect of distant studying on college students and ultimately opposed masks mandates for kids altogether.

“I used to be at all times very cautious. Levi’s was not in my public profile,” Sey says. “I used to be talking as a mother of 4, a public faculty mother of 4.” Generally, she spoke as a resident of San Francisco, the place Levi’s relies. Sey acknowledges her skilled job was representing the Levi’s model, although she says she’s a mother and a baby advocate earlier than being a enterprise government.

However is it potential for prime executives to wall off a private marketing campaign from their firm’s picture?

“It is such a high-powered place, most individuals is not going to separate it out,” says Americus Reed, who research manufacturers and social identification on the College of Pennsylvania. “You’ll be able to’t actually be a C-suite particular person as of late and have a totally separate private model.”

Controversial interviews

Final spring, decided to ship her children to in-person faculty, Sey moved from San Francisco to Denver. And she or he filmed extra interviews: with writer and anti-vaccine campaigner Naomi Wolf and with Fox Information host Laura Ingraham, who has forged doubt on COVID-19 vaccines and measures. Sey did not focus on vaccines and says she’s absolutely vaccinated, however her selection of platform escalated controversy.

Levi’s workers started to complain to human assets and company leaders, Sey says, whereas posts on social media started calling for Levi’s to fireplace her and for customers to boycott the model. A number of the outcry Sey confronted was over her husband’s anti-vaccination tweets, with which Sey says she disagrees.

On the similar time, Sey describes receiving many messages of assist from Levi’s staff. And so she by no means stopped her public commentary on COVID-19 restrictions for kids.

She additionally stayed concerned in a marketing campaign to recall members of the San Francisco Board of Training, largely over prolonged faculty closures. The push ended this month with a landslide metropolis vote to oust three faculty board members.

Levi’s personal political positions

A key a part of the story is Levi’s personal historical past of political speech. The denim firm is a storied American model that has advocated for homosexual rights, immigrants, sure gun management measures and, most not too long ago, voting rights.

“You have to be constant,” says Charles Elson, a company governance and ethics professional on the College of Delaware. “On the one hand, they took robust positions on sure social points, with which many within the firm may disagree. But they punished her for successfully doing the identical factor.”

Levi’s spokesman Ancel Martinez, in an announcement to NPR, argues Sey’s case was not considered one of “stifling dissent,” noting that the corporate had supported Sey’s private advocacy earlier than.

“Jen went far past calling for varsity re-openings, continuously utilizing her platform to criticize public well being pointers and denounce elected officers and authorities scientists,” Martinez says. “As a prime government, her phrases and actions successfully undermined the corporate’s well being and security insurance policies, creating confusion and concern amongst workers.”

Bitter finish

When a few of San Francisco’s non-public colleges started reopening in late 2020, Sey says she made a pitch for Levi’s to take a stand alongside her: to assist San Francisco public colleges reopen.

Firm leaders turned her down, she says, although it wasn’t acrimonious. She says they argued that Levi’s would not weigh in on native points and that advocating for reopening public colleges could be unseemly since kids of many executives attended non-public colleges.

Levi’s hasn’t commented on this or different specifics of its discussions with Sey.

A few 12 months later, in late 2021, Sey acquired particular directions from human assets about matters she ought to depart alone, such because the California governor recall vote, vaccine mandates and the motives of pharma firms. She says her public statements within the media and on-line had been often tracked and assessed.

For some time, Sey felt her bosses had her again — till they did not.

“There was a way that I might misplaced the flexibility to steer inside the group as a result of so many workers had been so upset by the issues I had mentioned,” Sey says.

Elson and Reed each say this will get to the guts of the massive query: What’s the position of right this moment’s company chief? Elson argues it is to make high quality items at first rate costs — not wade into politics. However firms are more and more taking stands on social and political points, inevitably colliding with the views of some workers.

Reed notes that Sey made the one selection accessible to a employee on such a collision course: She left. As Sey sees it, she gained the last word freedom: to talk freely.