In case our current president hasn't proved it to you yet, this story will remind you that sexism in the workplace is alive and well.
In March, Rosette Laursen quit her job as an assistant at Michael Einfeld Management in Los Angeles following some unbelievably sexist and offensive emails from her boss, Michael Einfeld. This week, Laursen shared her story (and screenshots of the emails) in a mic drop of a Facebook post. In the post, she refers to Einfeld as "Jorkle." As one does.
Laursen begins her tale by explaining that she emailed Jorkle to request off work on March 8, a.k.a. A Day Without a Woman. The team behind the Women's March founded A Day Without a Woman, which was, "a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity" in which women, gender nonconforming people, and allies were encouraged to take the day off from work, among other things, to shed a light on the value that women add to the socio-economic system, explains the Women's March website.
Laursen emailed Jorkle her request for the day off work, and he responded in a pretty shocking (okay, shocking is an understatement) way:
Are you fucking kidding me. At the end of pilot season. Someone should sew her vagina shut. I’m never hiring a girl ever again.
No bonus for anyone that strikes or leaves early in pilot season. No one is striking in show business we are all against Trump. And women are considered diverse and being shoved in as writer and directors. Zach who is a Jewish male is being pushed out.
Uppity Selfish Cunt. Heather went to work. I’m sure anyone at a casting office or agency would be fired.
EXCUSE ME, JORKLE???
Laursen explains that Jorkle meant to send the message to their two male coworkers–not that that makes it much better.
Jorkle evidently wasn't sure if his language was offensive enough, so for good measure, he sent Laursen an apology with some more shocking language.
I apologize for venting like a misogynistic faggot. I was letting off steam I didn’t mean to hit reply all. I’m an asshole. If you come back we can play Nazi death camp. You can beat me and put me in the oven. Or feed me cabbage and lock me in the shower. I am truly sorry.
Laursen responded to all this sexist, anti-semitic nonsense with the perfect, two-word message: "I quit." YES, GIRL.
However, the story doesn't end there. After receiving encouragement from her friends, Laursen decided to take legal action–in a respectful, private way.
I wanted to handle matters quickly, privately and professionally through a lawyer who specialized in workplace harassment. My lawyer requested a few months pay from Jorkle as compensation for letting the issue go. For me it wasn’t about getting a big pay out from Jorkle, but since he doesn’t seem to have any remorse or a moral compass, I agreed that losing some money over this was one thing that might make him think twice about behaving in the same manner in the future.
But, because Jorkle is Jorkle, he did not respond well.
However, Jorkle’s erratic and irresponsible thought processes lead him to make yet another smooth move. He tried calling my bluff by completely ignoring every letter, phone call and email from the lawyer, essentially refusing to settle privately. My lawyer said this had never happened in all his years practicing as a specialist in hostile work environments. The next step was either to let it go, or take Jorkle to court. If the case is filed and taken to court, the emails become public record. Since the money is not important to me, I decided to skip the trial, and make the emails public with this delightful essay.
Yeah ya did, girl! Laursen goes on to explain another reason why she wanted to make her story public–she doesn't want people like Michael Einfeld to get away with this disrespect toward their employees anymore. "I don’t want people like Jorkle to get away with whatever behavior they want because they know no one is going to do anything about it," she wrote. She also acknowledges that she doesn't care if this gets in the way of her career. "Initially I planned to release this anonymously, but the truth is, I stand proudly by everything I’ve written. If someone chooses not to hire me because of this, it will likely save us both from a weird workplace fit," she said.
As reported by Variety, Einfeld sent an apology email to "his friends, colleagues and clients" on Thursday evening. And wouldn't you know, it's the first email he's ever sent in his life that has no bad words or misogynistic language!
Let me say without reservation – I am sorry. I used language that was tasteless, humorless and completely inexcusable. I believe deeply in workplace diversity regardless of race, gender, creed or sexual orientation, and I am mortified that the things I have said have worked against my commitment to inclusion. As I've searched for a response to all this, what I've discovered is that words fall woefully short of my extreme remorse – I am so sorry...I will be undertaking some obviously needed introspection, and want to thank those of you who have expressed a willingness to standby me. To those that feel they need space from me – I am heartbroken but understand. If it were possible, I wouldn't mind space from myself right now. Again, to everyone – I am sorry. If this is something you are willing to hear from me in person please call, or send me a note and I'll call you. I am devastated, and hope in time you will consider giving me the chance to earn your forgiveness.
Congrats to Jorkle on hiring a PR person to write that email for him.
Check out Laursen's full post, the email receipts, and the rather odd "Christmas bonus" Einfeld gifted her, below.