A Facebook post from a Hollywood assistant is going insanely viral, after her former boss called her an “uppity selfish cunt” who deserved to have “her vagina [seen] shut” in an email and accidentally hit ‘reply all’.
Rosette Laursen writes that she asked her boss for a day off (without pay) on International Women’s Day on March 8 this year, as part of the ‘Day Without Women‘ movement.
“I asked for the day off because I thought this was a great cause,” she writes. “I was working as an assistant at a boutique talent agency. For privacy purposes, let’s call my boss ‘Jorkle‘ as that is not a common name for talent managers in Hollywood (Correct me if I’m wrong!) I emailed Jorkle that I would love to spend the day writing, as my career goal is to be a TV Writer, and unfortunately writers’ rooms are very dominantly male, even in 2017. I did not ask to be paid for the day, so it was the equivalent of asking for an unpaid sick day. Pilot season was slowing way down, and things were pretty quiet at work that week so far.”
Her boss then intended to email two of her male co-workers, but accidentally hit ‘reply all’ instead.
After ‘Jorkle’ realised what he’d done, he texted her some weird ass form of apology that included offering to let her play “Nazi death camp” and put him “in the oven”.
I’m not 100% on this, but that might just be the worst apology of all time.
Rosette wasn’t too keen on it, either.
“I wasn’t a big fan of any of this, and responded ‘I quit’,” she writes. “One of my male coworkers, obviously realising he would be experiencing ‘a day without a woman’ for the indefinite future and would have to do more work, encouraged me to come back into the office saying, ‘It was just a joke.’ My coworkers had worked there for years and my only guess is that they slowly became desensitised to Jorkle’s behaviour to the point where the line of what is normal or acceptable didn’t just blur, it disappeared. Which is sad, because I otherwise liked them. But, I understand the psychological effects a person of power can have on their crew.”
And while she does clarify that Jorkle wasn’t always the shittest human in the world (“sometimes he was actually really cool and funny”), he does sound like he fit that descriptor 99.% of the time.
“Good qualities aside, a majority of the time he was screaming terrific things like the N word at the top of his lungs while describing black clients who were frustrating him,” she writes. “He would call his employees ‘f***ing retards,’ and scream he is never friends with women. Then it would slowly dawn upon him that he maybe took things a little too far, and he would say, ‘I was just joking.’ Knowing that his employee’s are not professional joke judges on Last Comic Standing, he was confident that he had just convinced us that we simply missed the clever and subtle punchline. I put up with the fun filled outbursts for 5 months, because I wanted to have thick skin, be hardworking and most of all, not be a quitter. I told myself the job was temporary and I would be out of there soon and things would get better, much like Annie when she sings ‘Tomorrow.’ Yet something about this behaviour affected me to the core, because I’m not a sociopath or an AI.”
So, she quit. But afterwards, she was encouraged by friends to pursue legal action, and in the end decided to do so in order to hopefully “make him think twice” about his behaviour.
“However, Jorkle’s erratic and irresponsible thought processes lead him to make yet another smooth move,” she writes. “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.”
She says that although she originally intended to release the essay anonymously, she decided in the end to stand by it.
“If someone chooses not to hire me because of this, it will likely save us both from a weird workplace fit. If someone doesn’t want to be my friend because of this I respectfully understand that our differences would probably come between us sooner or later and we should probably spend our time with like minded people. I value and respect who I am and I want to be surrounded by people who value and respect me too.
Please don’t let anyone treat you like this, and to paraphrase the great Mike Birbiglia – If you have to say it was a joke, it wasn’t a good joke.”
You can read her full post below.