MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Guthrie Theater has confirmed that they are investigating internal reports of sexual misconduct within the organization, focusing on the scene shop.
Guthrie artistic director Joseph Haj said Friday that “Over the last two years we’ve been actively working to address cultural and workplace issues to ensure a workplace where everyone is valued and respected. This work has been done throughout the organization, and specifically in our scene shop, based on concerns that were raised by employees.”
This comes after two people reported that they had resigned from the Guthrie. On Thursday, employee Nate Saul posted on Facebook that he was joining co-worker Molly Diers in resigning.
“For a long time, the work environment at the Guthrie has been full of anxiety at best, outright fear at worst. For the last few years, I have worked to directly address some of the ways in which people, specifically women, feel uncomfortable, excluded, and disrespected in our organization,” Saul said. “I believe the Guthrie needs to own and publicly acknowledge the fact that their current culture is one of fear: fear of retaliation for speaking out and standing up. I believe the Guthrie needs to bend over backwards and twist itself into knots to reassure all its employees that they are important, valued members of the organization, and that their voices will be heard and their messages will be acted upon.”
Haj says that the Guthrie’s executive leadership this week has been made aware of “a specific allegation of unwanted and inappropriate behavior, and that an employee was prevented from reporting that behavior to Human Resources. We take this allegation very seriously. We have moved immediately to take action, meeting with board leadership and engaging an independent party to launch a full and complete investigation.”