Mark Stryker

Steve Coleman & #MeToo Moment in Jazz

154 posts in this topic

I have to wonder if he thought he was going to win in court, or if he thought he was going to win in the court of public opinion.  But then, given the undisputed facts, have to question his judgement generally.

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Time flies. I saw Steve Coleman when he was with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band and he was so young, he still had almost a baby face, but was a major soloist in that great band. 

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Posted (edited)

and now, a blink of an eye later, he's a 64 year old who's being accused because of an abusive sexual relationship with someone who is over 35 years younger... :D (and in between he made some pretty good music)

Edited by Niko

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40 minutes ago, Hoppy T. Frog said:

Not buying anything from this guy ever again. 

I will. I buy records by all kinds of bad people. And those are just the ones I know about.

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I certainly won't stop listening to what I already got.

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Ditto. I am all for him getting his comeuppance (which I doubt he will: it seems not to have registered with the mainstream press, which is as gushing as ever), but I don't understand why I would be expected to not like the music suddenly. 

 

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I do have some trouble disassociating his music from his actions.  I've bought every one of his releases I think and this episode definitely leads a very sour taste to the prospect of listening to it again. I probably shall but not immediately. I will definitely think twice before putting money his way again.

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Sincerely asking:

What makes anyone certain that he is guilty of "grooming" or any of the other things claimed by her? 

This will always be 100% he/she said (unless I am missing some independent corroboration of hers?)

Is it that he was older and a mentor so he's a moral degenerate and impossible to separate that from his music? 

How do we know it wasn't consensual until she decided that it really never was?

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I don't 100% remember, but I think that there were reports that I read saying there were some pretty unpleasant emails.

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3 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

Sincerely asking:

What makes anyone certain that he is guilty of "grooming" or any of the other things claimed by her? 

This will always be 100% he/she said (unless I am missing some independent corroboration of hers?)

Is it that he was older and a mentor so he's a moral degenerate and impossible to separate that from his music? 

How do we know it wasn't consensual until she decided that it really never was?

This kind of relationship from an employer and educator is wildly inappropriate no matter what.

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13 minutes ago, Guy Berger said:

This kind of relationship from an employer and educator is wildly inappropriate no matter what.

Absolutely

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, mjazzg said:

Absolutely

Correct. Even if she had initiated it, which I doubt, he was require to say no.

Edited by bertrand

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Why do you doubt it? Is female flirtation in the pursuit of advancement/advantage something that just does not happen? Hell, older people do it, young "adults" definitely do it.

What the older/allegedly more mature person is then called upon to do is divert/deflect. But,,,,"allegedly".

 

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18 hours ago, Guy Berger said:

This kind of relationship from an employer and educator is wildly inappropriate no matter what.

It's not a formal educational environment so "wildy inappropriate" is highly doubtful. Was he her professor, giving out grades? He was an informal mentor helping her become a better musician.

And pretty sure he says the sex started before paying gigs came into the equation. 

Alternate theory:

Mutual attraction, sex commences entirely on a consensual basis, he became controlling/psychologically abusive, she decided she can't believe she was ever attracted to him, she decides she was "groomed" and manipulated and never really consented. 

I don't know that's what happened, but I do know it might be closer to reality than her version. 

 

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There's nothing so sad as somebody trying to make excuses for why they fucked somebody. Whatever you were thinking when you decided to do it, that's why you did it, period.

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Posted (edited)

Well it looks like the court, having considered the documentary evidence and testimony of the witnesses, came to a different conclusion.

Edited by Rabshakeh

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Yeah, well, courts and laws, render unto Caesar the salad, but how you dress is what's on you.

Plenty of people of all illks got the law on their side because the law by definition takes sides. Laws are not really big on telling both sides to go to hell, that's not what they're there for, never have been, never will be.

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Speaking of courts and judicial decisions, who was the judge here, please?

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https://www.bakerlaw.com/news/victory-for-speaking-out?utm_campaign=march_2021&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=pro-bono'

It looks like Coleman lost because New York just passed a new #MeToo law, not because of anything in this he said/she said case. To wit: "The decision is one of the first to apply New York’s recently expanded anti-SLAPP statute (“strategic lawsuit against public participation”), in a defamation case involving a non-public figure. It upholds essential First Amendment rights, particularly for people who speak up about abuse and harassment."

So basically, in New York, you can legally accuse someone (who isn't famous i.e "rich") of sexual harassment, whether it's real or made up. It's now protected speech.

I think it's pretty sad that Steve Coleman's fame as a Jazz artist is so low that he has been classified as a non-public figure. I mean hell, just the fact that we are talking about it here would seem to indicate that he is, in fact, a public figure. He's just not rich enough, I guess.

This whole thing is truly messed up. From a 52 year-old man thinking it's a good idea to have a sexual relationship with a 17 year old (student no less), to said student threatening to expose this inappropriate relationship so that he would continue it.

Dude should've kept it in his pants, no matter what she was doing.

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_N._Vitaliano

Nothing glaring here, so, still, fuck 'em both. Although, in the back of my mind...middle-aged African American male,  young European white woman...where does one go to find a comparable measure of findings when both/same? Apparently, for this, none, new laws, but before, for he/she said...

For the record...was she 17 when they started fucking? Apparently not, so, facts matter? And...is Coleman going to get hit by further accusations, is anybody thinking that this might be serial behavior on his part?

I'm reminded of what the devil says when he comes to collect on the contract and an objection is put up - you could have always said no. But you had a choice between getting this and not getting it, and you chose to get it.

That goes for both of them. Immature people make immature decisions, no matter their age. And the bill always comes due.

I mean, whatever happened to good old-fashioned voodoo? These fucking modern rational people, no wonder jazz is dead.

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How old she was when they fucked for the first time is a key point here, and I am not sure it has been established that she was 18. I am not saying she wasn't.

A friend of mine booked Coleman for a gig and she was there. This was in the early days, no one knew who she was. He figured they were an item and wondered if she was 18 yet.

Even if she was 19, even if she initiated it, and even though one is supposed to know what one is doing at 19, he was in a position to stop it and it was morally his duty, even if she was not officially his student. Times have changed, you just don't do that shit, period.

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Except that some people still do. The list of things that should have stopped by now but haven't is a long one, it's a list full of things that go back far longer than Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, and if you are going to depend on the law to take care of you...good luck on that one. Laws are subject to change at any given moment and with any given people. And it's so much more than sexual mores, which is always going to be a charged proposition, regardless of age. Rape is rape, no definitely means no, but but flirty, maybe racial/sexual dynamics (and maybe both ways), power dynamics (again maybe both ways), Stella and/or Steve needing to get their mojos back, PYT feeling hers...Rape is rape, but consensual...ok, there are degrees of "willingness"  but in the end, that devil of ambition can get anybody of any age to sign that contract.

Again, own your shit, period. And know where to get some voodoo.  And that goes both ways too. 

1 minute ago, JSngry said:

Except that some people still do. The list of things that should have stopped by now but haven't is a long one, it's a list full of things that go back far longer than Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, and if you are going to depend on the law to take care of you...good luck on that one. Laws are subject to change at any given moment and with any given people. And it's so much more than sexual mores, which is always going to be a charged proposition, regardless of age. Rape is rape, no definitely means no, but but flirty, maybe racial/sexual dynamics (and maybe both ways), power dynamics (again maybe both ways), Stella and/or Steve needing to get their mojos back, PYT feeling hers...Rape is rape, but consensual, "age of consent".ok means little more than, hey, you can say yes if you want to, don't look for us to stop you, and yes, there are degrees of "consent"  but in the end, that devil of ambition can get anybody of any age to sign that contract.

Again, own your shit, period. And know where to get some voodoo.  And that goes both ways too. 

 

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Lots of dancing on the heads of pins.  He shouldn't have done it, whatever the situation.

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Posted (edited)

On 29-5-2021 at 3:15 PM, Dan Gould said:

Sincerely asking:

What makes anyone certain that he is guilty of "grooming" or any of the other things claimed by her? 

This will always be 100% he/she said (unless I am missing some independent corroboration of hers?)

Is it that he was older and a mentor so he's a moral degenerate and impossible to separate that from his music? 

How do we know it wasn't consensual until she decided that it really never was?

regarding the "guilty" part: Basically, he sued her for writing on Facebook that she felt abused and groomed and all these things...so what the court had to decide here was whether whatever happened was so obviously not an abusive relationship that she was lying when she claimed she perceived it like that in retrospect... if you ask me, this is pretty far away from the usual "he said  vs she said" situation - this was impossible for SC to win. So, yes, I do believe she was not guilty (which was the question here).

Besides that, I agree with what others wrote above - you have a moral responsibility as a teacher and as a mentor which goes beyond the 18 year threshold... If SC wants to date an 18 year old he meets at a country club, that's creepy enough - but it's still completely different. Similarly, I do think that SC made matters worse by forcing her through all this legal stuff - even though, from a legal perspective, he can sue whoever he wants to sue

Edited by Niko

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