QUIZ: Which “West Side Story” Cast Member Are You? One of the Normal Ones, or the Sexual Harasser?
Updated: Feb 13
EDITOR'S NOTE: The original title of this piece referred to Amar Ramasar as a "sex offender". It has since been updated to the term "sexual harasser". Amar Ramasar is not legally a sex offender as he was not convicted of a crime and does not reside on the sex offender registry. So, in both the headline and body of this piece, we were using the term "sex offender" solely as a concise, synonymical term for "person who has committed multiple acts of sexual harassment" and not via the legal definition. Still, this was incorrect, and we have amended the piece to represent this.
Sondheim’s West Side Story is back on Broadway in a daring new revival helmed by acclaimed director Ivo van Hove. Now, you at home can help celebrate the revival by finding out which of the show’s young, promising cast members is closest to you. Are you one of the normal ones, or are you noted sexual harasser Amar Ramasar?
Put one hand (and one heart) on the questions below and find out for yourself!
What were you doing in September of 2018?
A. Finishing up college
B. Auditioning and waiting tables
C. Performing on a cruise ship
D. Being named in a lawsuit regarding the distribution of explicit photos featuring several principal female New York City Ballet dancers, and subsequently being fired from the organization before being rehired several months later.
Have you ever done something you weren’t supposed to?
A. No, of course not!
B. Yes, I’m a little bit of a sneak ;)
C. Once in a while, but I can’t remember anything specific
D. Yes - for example, I, along with Chase Finlay and Zach Catarazo, shared sexually explicit, private photos of several female members of the NYC Ballet and/or their associate school, The School of American Ballet, without their knowledge or consent of the photos being shared. I was sued by one of the dancers and to this day have not publicly apologized, but have instead chalked it up to a “learning experience." Fun fact: I was 36 years old when I did this - therefore violating and exploiting the privacy of several women half my age.
What was the subject of the last text you sent?
B. Coffee date
C. Telling my roommate I forgot to pick up milk
D. Not sure, but in 2018 I traded photos of several young women without their consent, which as of July 2019 is a Class-A misdemeanor in New York State. It wasn’t a misdemeanor when I sent the texts, so while that timing may absolve me from a legal standpoint, it doesn’t mean that I’m not a threat to any workplace and should be given a prominent role in a Broadway house just a year-and-a-half later.
How would you describe your perfect afternoon?
A. Hanging with some close friends in the park
B. Writing and reflecting alone with a nice cup of coffee
C. Um, can you say nap time?!
D. Doubling-down on my defense that the texts were sent outside of a work environment, as if it were the location from which I sent the photos that people are upset about. Also adding that the woman consented to having her photo taken, as if that’s the same as her consenting to it being shared with several of her co-workers.
Which animal do you most identify with?
D. I’m not going to answer this, but would like to give a shout out to The American Guild of Musical Artists, who defended and fought for me to be reinstated by the ballet at the expense of another member of the union’s safety (i.e. the women whose photos I sent).
Who’s your best friend?
A. My mom
B. My spouse
C. My college roommate
D. Producers Scott Rudin, Barry Diller and David Geffen, who cast me in spite of the lawsuit, my admission of guilt, and the backlash from theatre fans. They do not care about the precedent this sets for performers moving forward and would rather give a life-changing opportunity to someone who’s proven themselves irresponsible with their access as opposed to anyone else, perhaps purposefully so. This is a total misuse of money and power, and a step to the left of supporting safe, respectful workplaces for individuals not just in the arts. but at large. That's why it's important to keep matters like this in the conversation - so that we continue to hold all of the responsible individuals and organizations accountable for setting up and supporting a pattern that the majority of the community actively does not want.
Now, round up your Sharks (or your Jets) and tally your answer below!
Mostly A’s - C’s: One of the normal cast members and not a sex offender!
Mostly D’s: Amar Ramasar - a sexual harasser!
Don't agree with your answer? Click HERE to read the full court document from the lawsuit, including specific texts sent between Amar Ramasar, Chase Finlay, Zach Catazaro, and Young Patrons of the Arts member John Longhitano, as well as further details of the materials they sent each other.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated as of 2:32pm EST on Friday 1/31/2020.