The #MeToo Era Ensnares Plcido Domingo
It from the mon broadcast center at k._p._c._c. This is the frame i'm john horn on today's show opera legend placido domingo is is accused of sexually assaulting and harassing a number of women then mounts ruger the director of a documentary about the mysterious death of the u._n. Secretary general in nineteen nineteen sixty one his film spirals from there into even crazier territory the very idea of killing the secretary general of the u._n. Sounds ludicrous the chris it would be like cutting off the pope but the crime scene plus the perfect cowrote and how little known l._a. Ban scored an invite to open open for the rolling stones all that coming up on the frame today the associated press publishes story that alleges opera superstar star placido domingo sexually assaulted and harassed nine female artists over several decades the l._a. Opera were domingo's has served as general director church since two thousand and three says it will launch an investigation into the allegations to mingo is not scheduled to perform the company until next year. The reaction listen to the news across the country was dramatic. The philadelphia orchestra already has cancelled a performance by the three tenors alumnus at its upcoming season opening gala. The san francisco opera has cancelled in october concert that was to mark the fiftieth anniversary of domingo's debut with that company and new york's metropolitan opera <unk> says it will await the results of the investigation before taking any action domingo is scheduled to perform macbeth their next month. Peggy mcglone is an arts reporter at the washington post. She's written about sexual harassment and the world of classical music and we talked about the pressure domingo's alleged victims felt if they complained or didn't submit to him their careers would suffer that that is a dynamic the the worry that <hes> that you have to make a choice <hes> you know that it's not just a you know getting out of an uncomfortable situation but that your future work is is <hes> imperil. It feels like this is a little bit like harvey weinstein that a lot of people kind of knew it might have been happening and they couldn't stop it. Is that your impression as well <hes> yeah. I think this is <hes> to anybody that we've talked to today and you know in recent months. It's one of those open secrets where <hes> yeah the rumors the people who know people <hes> but very hard to opin- down i wanna ask you about some reporting that the washington post has today you spoke to a singer named cynthia wineman who is part of the washington national opera young artists program and she talks about a flight to china for production of rigoletto and that everybody in the plane kind of knew what was happening and she said in your story. We all pretended nothing was happening. I think it created a culture of it. Being accepted in that company is that limited to opera unpleasant odor mingo. Was it something that happens throughout classical music well she was speaking in reference to that you know a couple of years in that <hes> training program young artist training program <hes> that <hes> that there was a a well-known sexual relationship and and everybody just sort of went about their business and <hes> and that sort of gave permission to others she felt <hes> to behave in similar ways <hes> i i know that <hes> last last year <hes> and majette and i did a major report where we spoke with you know four dozen musicians and we heard that quite a bit this sort of idea that <hes> there's a culture of the people at the top are misbehaving and are harassing <hes> and there's no one to turn to it becomes you know acceptable across the board have you seen classical institutions changed the way they respond to these allegations because as you mention you and your colleague wrote about sexual harassment the classical music world we've had other people like james levine at the metropolitan opera who have been accused of abuse or the institutions changing how they're behaving right well you know i think that's a case by case basis and <hes>. I think it'll take a little while to learn <hes> you know last year. <hes> when we reported about william proposal and the cleveland orchestra <hes> that organization immediately launched an investigation and after several months not only did they <hes> come come back with findings against perusal but against another <hes> musician who we had also had heard reports of but didn't <hes> weren't able to to get it airtight for our report but then they also fired him so that and they put all of their <hes> investigation and their reports online for all to see we <hes> so the l._a. Opera today announced very quickly that they were going to hire outside <hes> <hes> investigators to look into this and that did they take it very seriously so i guess you know only time will tell i guess one of the issues is as well that you have a union like the american guild of musical artists. This and william proposal is both represented by that union as are the accused. Is that an issue as well and that's an yes and there's some issues there to <hes> you know we saw <hes> in new york with <hes> you know some ballet <hes> dancers where the accused and the victims were both being represented by the same people and it can get can get difficult. We're talking with peggy mcglone reporter with the washington post about placido domingo. I wanna ask you about the legend in and power of plasma domingo. The associated press story has one victim saying quote. I was totally intimidated and felt like say no to him would would be saying no to god. How do you say no to god how powerful was to mingo. It's absolutely true right that that these are people who can hire young artists <hes> who can help launch a career who can introduce them to other people that you know who might hire them <hes> and and then the corollary to that is that they can then also <hes> ignore them and you know promised roles dry up and <hes> you know suggest you just you know help help getting another job doesn't happen <hes> and then all of a sudden you're sort of as as these women in the story today <hes> point out you know you're you're. You're thank you so what happened. Just ruined my career. I want to ask you one last thing about what placido domingo said in his defense. I'm quoting his own statement to the a. p. Now now he says i recognize that the rules and standards by which we are and should be measured against today are very different than they were in the past and i'm going to read you what harvey weinstein said when allegations against him came out two years ago i came of age in the sixties and seventies when all the rules about behavior and workplaces says were different that was the culture then i have to say there was never a time where sexually assaulting anybody was permissible but does that get at the heart of the issue you hear that he thought he could maybe get away with right or or or maybe the the the difference is <hes> and he and these men are not articulating it. We heard similar. I things in our in our major report last year the differences maybe women are being believed <hes> and and that's where the fulcrum is change after the harvey weinstein story came out. There were other allegations about a number of prominent people in hollywood and in television. Is it your sense that this could be see the tip of the iceberg not only answer relates to positive domingo but you feel that there might be other people in the classical music world who are going to have their day of reckoning you. You know that that is an interesting question and we've been working on this. <hes> you know very impressed by the reporting and the story today <hes> my colleague an magette ni- has spent a couple a couple of years on it <hes>. There's still a lot of stories out there <hes> that we hear repeatedly <hes> so you know we're interested in. We're trying trying but it's also you know it's it's serious work and you have to be very careful. Peggy mcglone is an arts reporter with the washington post peggy. Thank you for your time and coming on the show. Thank you coming up on the frame a documentary sorry about the plane crash death of the u._n. Secretary general turns into a crazy tale of conspiracies and worse the danish journalist and filmmaker mods brugere is known for taking on complicated and controversial topics for his documentaries all with guns. Oh journalistic style that comes off like a mix between verner herzog and hunters thomson his latest film called ks his hummer sold is no different it begins as an investigation into the nineteen sixty one death of u._n. Secretary general dog hammarskjold whose plane crashed in what is now zambia but the mystery of his death is just the beginning to a film that turns into a crazy tale of conspiracies and genocide genocide plots. Let's just say that this ten minute radio segment will struggle to contain it. All hammarskjold death is believed by some to be the result of pilot error herb but brugere strongly suggests there could be another explanation during his reign. He was very active in africa traveling all oh africa meeting meeting with leaders of newly independent countries and he saw the u._n. As a protector of these newly-independent countries from their old colonial masters which which of course made him unpopular in certain circles <hes> in france and the u._k. And also with white people in a police associates and south africa dot commercial was <hes>. Could you know by certain key players in all of this a problem and a nuisance and of course you know the very idea of killing off the secretary general of the u._n. Sounds ludicrous. It would be like killing off the pope but if you were to put it off at that point in time the crime scene was the the perfect kill room almost immediately lee as that were with spas rumors about a possible attempt to bring the plane down and even more so today where it it. Is you know consider more this <hes> it. It was fishy fish business. A lot of people have investigated what happened and to his plane including united nations and i'm wondering did you think that their investigations weren't completed. You have an angle in other words. What what was your motivation in trying to solve a case that a lot of people have looked into and i haven't yet been able to solve most important for me is my sidekick in the field who is a private swedish research sunday bjork dale who has been tracking down the remaining black witnesses who who were living near the crash site back in nineteen sixty one. They chill a very different story from the official version what they tell is. I thank you know very decisive in the investigation which is ongoing now in the u._n. And also because more than fifty years have passed so archives opening up a secret documents being declassified and people who are still in our at an h. today where they are not afraid about spilling the beans. There's a moment in the film where you are with a shovel and a metal detector near the the site of where the plane went down like instruments when people have to own grave the time i'm about to take off and it strikes me as has almost a kind of comedic device because honestly you're not really gonna find the cause of the plane crash with your shovel in your metal detector or are you. What are you trying to accomplish in that same well. It is a soda macguffin because as you also say you know <hes> the odds of us getting to the heart of the matter. Actually you know digging up. The wreckage is very minute. <hes> it actually came as a surprise to me wendy airport security many just says you know that we can begin digging in a field in the middle of the airport next to the runway not that many you know airport security managers would green light <hes> something something like that yeah although although we should say he's quickly overruled superior but yes he is yes but <hes> no it is a a macguffin but also you know a a sort of mitchell about the quest we are on and amid official on on on looking for truth food coloring <hes> doc secrets from history and so forth there are so many interesting characters that you interview and feature in in this documentary but i would argue none more interesting or complicated than you yourself and i'm wondering when you're thinking about what it's like to film yourself or include yourself and your own documenting. Who is that person is that you is it a <hes> a kind of heightened version of of mods brugere. How would you describe the person that we're seeing. What is it like to actually film yourself in your own movie. When i have a mixed feelings about it you know <hes> in danish. We have a saying which is if you if you stick out your your behind all your your your temperature will get taken and so it's each whiskey business you know being in in your own film but for me and the reason why i am i often do so as you know i i appreciate the honesty christie in showing yourself in the film is instead of being the proverbial no fly on the wall. There is an undersea which i enjoy and i i find important. We're talking with mods brugere about his documentary. Cold-case homers called. I'm going to play another clip from the film and this gets to the kind of bigger idea india of what you find and whether or not what you find is to be believed. This is a man named alexander jones not to be confused with the u._s. Propagandist aghanistan alex jones and he says he used to work for a secret organization. South africa called the south african institute for maritime research that they had a part park and dog homage gold's death. Were they taking orders from cherry. Oh no i think i'll a main orders came from the british government. That's it's mopping the british government while from opportu handlers controllers whatever the and and to this day i still believe i still believe that we were a sub unit of some british into there are a lot of people apple. Alexander jones included who say some very controversial and explosive things. So at what point are you chronic lane lien or transcribing what it is they're saying. At what point are you challenging in checking what they're saying. Well we did do as much just possible to corroborate. What jones claims to be true. <hes> so far we have not you know called him. Chilling us lies or feeding us misinformation of course many of his claims sensational use but what we are capable capable of cooperating basically chicks out most importantly for me. I clearly state in the film that alexander jones do not offer any kind of documentation. He does not have any documents kamenz photographs personal effects which proves that he was a member of saimaa <hes> the south african marriage human resources to shoot he is on a list of men who were recruited into saimaa his name on this which is important i think but at the end of the day you know he has no interest in taking part in this this film with his face and full name <hes> he has no money to gain from it <hes> that would probably be a legal aftermath thematic for him because of this film because you know he confesses to taking pot in killing people. There's another extraordinary allegation asian that is in this film and that is what role secret entities had in spreading aids to africa where it has had a devastating in history and the population of africa and i'm wondering as you reported that <hes> other people have come behind and checked into that reporting. What kind out of confidence do you have in that proposal that that might have happened at that time it is something i have really struggled to deal with as a as a journalist and as film mega in the end i decided to have in the film what i know for sure about these heinous and in horrible allegations what we know to be true is that we learn about <hes> how the leader cima mexico was running a number of clinics around johannesburg where he was posing as a doctor without having had any kind of medical training where he was experimenting on black people. We have an eyewitness who saw him. Giving people people injections <hes> there. We also have these strategy papers written by maxwell where he writes about using h._i._v. The virus s. away to kill off black people thereby radically altering the demographics of south africa and then we learn about chew the people who had the experience of taking pot in a sinister vaccination program with the incense to in fact black people with hiv now. If this really happened how was it financed but was the scientific side to it because at that point in time it would require require an enormously advanced laboratory and all of this needs to be investigated and at that calls for a government agency to cheek to take action. I i think if we <hes> to get a full close up out about this list vaccination program but in my mind and most importantly you know planning for it is inseparably coco's planning forward writing strategy papers about it discussing it somehow also acting out in itself constitutes shoots a crime and that is why it has to be in the film mods brugere is the filmmaker behind the new documentary. Cold-case hammarskjold is in theaters on august sixteenth <music>. Thanks so much for coming to the show finger on <music> coming coming up a little known l. a. band on opening for the rolling stones rock band still flocked to southern california with hopes of making it big and sometimes a band gets a completely random break aac. That's what happened recently. The band called vista kicks. They're going about their business from their base. In the highland park neighborhood and then the biggest rock band in the world came calling k._p._c._c.'s marley foia worker auto put together this story for us. We're bank. Vista kicks six from roseville california. We live in highland park now. My name's sam and i play guitar and i sing. I'm trevor and i play bass unknown and i play drums. My name is derek doc. I'm a singer in the band and play guitar and piano. We all met between ages five and ten t ball soccer van class for just passing z. through the halls. She grew stairs. We funded at our last album with a kickstarter. We kick started work with our name vista kicks. We're an independent band and we didn't have any sort of overhead funding. We didn't think we'd make we've made <hes> we asked for thirty thousand and we were at about eight thousand about three days before it was like well. I guess we'll just do it again. I don't know i mean kind of embarrassing. We're not even close but <hes> then it happened and it was really great for us because we could fund the album and it got us across the pond around go on tour with the kooks in the u._k. It saved us. I mean it saved us totally yesterday <hes> common when i was young we were on tour of the kooks in the u._k. Okay and the manager of the stones came to our show in london and we met her and we were like wow you're actually the manager of the rolling stones. That's insane same. She's like yeah. I really like you guys and would love to put you in the running for the stones and we're like yeah okay so so they we just forgot about it and then months later we get a call saying like ronnie wood's heard you music and he likes it and we're like what the heck you know. We're talking to ourselves. What still still never going to happen. Half mick jagger's heard your music in dozen hate it to a big compliment. I know my gosh. We're driving home. We're driving to roseville and we're in the car. Are manager says well. They didn't give view the stones gig for the rose bowl. They gave it to gary clark and we're like oh well yeah. Of course i mean come on. What are we have no business doing any of this. This is what they did. Get you on the santa clara. Show freaking out freaking. We went immediately home hung out with our parents encino celebrated. I mean we're still knocking on wood. It still doesn't seem real. I think until it actually happens. We won't feel what we're supposed to feel. Maybe this is what we're supposed. I don't know i mean th for a ban like independent. We're small. We're known each other. Our whole is like this is beyond our wildest dreams so it's hard to take in and process not believe in magic now squeezed squeezed. We thought big for a second. We're like whoa you we're going to have to hire crew because we can't go up on stage and put our amps down like any other gig and then we really reflected on them. We said all right we got here. Doing what what we're doing. We might as well just do that funny like even if we wanted to hire people. We don't know anybody who does stadium level. It's not my rolodex so we're artist us. We're going to go out there and we're gonna put our little amps down plug on in and jam and we're gonna wave. Maybe even take a bow and then we'll uh-huh kardar ramps off like we always do know smoke and mirrors. You know you're getting you're getting the mystic show even at a little pob or the lever reflection one stadium gig we haven't it's not tam to retain yeah exactly that's it but each one of us have a hotter weather mansion. It's just another thing. I think that helps keep our spirits up in the ball rolling because it does times i do get hard. You know. It's like the kickstarter think too. It's just something that's unbelievably. <hes> great i mean we're always looking forward to the next record just excited to make that next chunk of music and tried tried to outdo ourselves and make something that we're proud of and that people that we admire would be stoked to listen to. It's always gonna be that. It always has been that. You just got to keep the grind right. Still we'll just building a m._b._a. So i mean never really ready for it but we're israelis will ever be just been really blessed and lucky to be to be doing this. We're clearly in the thick think of it right now and after playing gigs with the rolling stones were a few more inspired than ever to make the best music we can because we're it can have probably more is on us than we've ever had and see and vista kicks. We'll we'll have a post rolling stones homecoming show. It's on august twenty first at the terror grand ballroom in downtown l._a. And that's our show for today. Remember you can follow us on facebook and twitter. You can find us at the frame. I'm john horn. Thanks for listening or back here tomorrow at the broadcast center.