Rosette Laursen was an assistant at a Hollywood talent agency until last March, 2017, when a shocking exchange with her boss made her feel too uncomfortable to work in the office anymore. March 8th, you may remember, was International Women's Day, which, in response to many policies and scandals surrounding the newly established Trump administration, many women celebrated by founding the "A Day Without A Woman" initiative. The idea behind the day was to demonstrate the importance of women in the modern workplace and appreciate the contributions that they make. Laursen emailed her boss to ask for the day off, offering to forgo pay during her time away. Her boss, who she calls Jorkle but has since been identified as Michael Einfeld, replied in a way that is truly stunning:
Are you f*****g 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 C***. Heather went to work. I’m sure anyone at a casting office or agency would be fired.
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.
I wasn’t a big fan of any of this, and responded “I quit.” One of my male coworkers, obviously realizing 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 desensitized to Jorkle’s behavior 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.
Anyway, the response from Jorkle shouldn’t have surprised me considering my past exchanges with him. He could be kind of terrible. However, sometimes he was actually really cool and funny and nice. He even bought me a really hilarious Jurassic Park Christmas sweater. No one is bad constantly. The point of this article isn't to humanize Jorkle for you, but that's the truth, he isn’t all bad. We bonded over our love of Broadway Musicals and had some really good laughs. And that's why it's harder to get out of these situations. It is similar to feeling trapped with a physically abusive partner or family member. I’ve also been in that position and it would have been a lot easier to leave quickly if they were only awful. But no one is. That is the truly sad thing about leaving an abusive situation, because you are leaving someone who is sometimes human and good.
I wanted to handle matters quickly, privately and professionally through a lawyer who specialised 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.