Shocking NSFW photo shows depravity behind OBF’s firing of Matthew Halls

Bob Keefer has the latest on the deBachle in the Eugene Weekly, from another drip of UO public records. Apparently OBF Exec Director Janelle McCoy was keeping a dossier on Halls’ various infractions, “small and smaller”, including photos of the depraved acts that took place at the house the festival rented for him in Eugene:

Actually, that’s a photo of Who drummer Keith Moon’s hotel room after a concert back in the 70’s. The photo below shows what happened at the house the OBF rented for Halls – courtesy of the UO Public Records Office:

Yes, that’s a dryer filter, with lint in it. I’m no Maytag repairman, but the family lint is pretty personal stuff for a university that claims it can’t release personnel records. While the EW choose not to publish this photo, UOM’s editorial board is far more progressive, and as Keefer reports this is not exactly Harvey Weinstein material:

… OBF executive director Janelle McCoy apparently kept a laundry list of Halls’ sins, small and smaller, nearly from the moment she began work at the festival on Jan. 28, 2016. … No transgression seems too petty for McCoy’s list, which contains a photo of excessive lint in the clothes dryer at the house where Halls stayed during the 2015 festival.

Perhaps the biggest item on the laundry list was that Halls was “abusive” toward McCoy at an OBF Friends of the Festival board retreat on Oct. 30, 2016. Whatever abuse Halls may have committed, though, doesn’t appear anywhere in the official minutes of that retreat, which EW obtained from the university.

… Board member and OBF co-founder Royce Saltzman said, “OBF is in great hands. Openness has given each of us an insight into what has to happen to make OBF successful.” He’s also quoted saying, “The openness Janelle and Matthew demonstrated to the board of their working relationship is important.”

And Doug Blandy, the UO’s senior vice provost for academic affairs, says in the minutes that “such honest discussion leads to a stellar festival.”

No one, according to the minutes, felt the need to comment on or even hint at Halls’ supposed abusiveness.

In early December, though, more than a month after the retreat, Blandy — who would later sign off on Halls’ firing — wrote to Halls that his “treatment of Ms. McCoy [during the retreat] was unacceptable” and threatened to terminate his contract.

And then Blandy – not known for his decision-making ability – gave Halls a raise and a new contract. Then someone fired Halls. Then UO’s PR flacks cooked up a story for Around the O and the smear campaign started. I wonder when UO will give Keefer the records showing who started it?

Meanwhile I’m going to go check our dryer, just in case. For the nostalgic, here’s a link to the smear campaign against me from Doug Blandy, Tim Gleason, Sharon Rudnick et al. during the first round of union bargaining.

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14 Responses to Shocking NSFW photo shows depravity behind OBF’s firing of Matthew Halls

  1. Fugue says:

    It’s admirable how Mr. Halls has kept his dignity whilst doing what he could to defend himself from these smear attacks. Ms. McCoy would have done better for herself, and the Festival, had she followed his example.

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  2. Seasoning Queen says:

    I bow to you, sir. Hilarious.

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  3. Old Gray Mare says:

    How did they know he was not planning to make useful and thrifty fire-starters using that lint and leftover candle wax?

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  4. mindless husk says:

    Word I hear is that the OBF board was pleased with the exchange at that meeting.

    Sounds more and more like a McCoy initiated fiasco, Blandy got sucked into it, then Banavar and probably Schill.

    I hear that Banavar now has regrets.

    If the patrons, the musicians, the audience don’t regain confidence soon, I’m afraid OBF will be dead.

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  5. Anonimo says:

    Interesting to me, Bill, that you redacted the Weekly article’s report that Halls used a queer-antagonistic phrase— “puffer” —during an early meeting with new ED McCoy. You might be aware that this would be equivalent to using the 6-letter “f” word in a meeting. A meeting. At work. Not having a pint with friends or even sipping scotch at the Faculty Club; a professional meeting that he was paid to be at, where sex discrimination and language that enacts and perpetuates such discrimination are at minimum deeply unprofessional, as well as grounds for disciplinary action. If you’d like to know more about the ways in which such language creates a hostile work environment, I’m confident SOAGIE could share some resources.

    Were I McCoy, that too would have been the moment that I began to take note of—and takes notes on—Halls’ behavior.

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    • mindless husk says:

      If this is what he was fired for, why did it take a year and half, after he had been given a good raise? Or if this is not what he was fired for, what was it then? The lint in the dryer? Or what?

      I have increasing doubts that the Bach Festival will survive, given the mistrust of the key constituencies and the seemingly endless stream of damaging stories in the face of UO’s refusal to explain what really happened.

      Was it really worth it to do this with Halls?

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    • Amy Adams says:

      ….so, “Anonimo”…if indeed the term means what you claim it does (and not, say, an asthma inhaler; a puffy sleeveless vest or jacket; a pot smoker who doesn’t share…)

      The question remains WHY it was not addressed on the spot or soon after (because misunderstandings do abound, right, Anonimo?) …and instead used as a launchpad for a collection of grievances deliberately sought.

      What an odd way to work for a performing arts organization.
      One would think that the very opposite approach – seeking the good in each other, capitalizing on it and encouraging it – would be more desirable in an ED-AD relationship.

      I wonder if a similar dynamic occurred during her 1 1/2 year stay as ED at Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, a job which she left to come to OBF.

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    • uomatters says:

      Hi Anonimo –

      I’ve always thought “puffer’ meant a pompous blowhard. But Amy is right – the first hit from google is about bogarting a blunt. I apologize unreservedly if anyone thinks I’ve insulted them inaccurately.

      As for the 6-letter “f” word, UO administrators call me a “fucker” all the time in meetings, occasionally to my face. Are you telling me I can get them fired for this? Can you send me a link to the form for reporting it? Is there a list of other names they can’t call me? If I don’t want to get them fired, can I make them buy me a bottle of Laphroaig instead?

      Thanks, Bill.

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      • Dog says:

        surely you mean pucker and not fucker

        as in fuffer, which is the name of my neighbor’s cat

        personally, I thought a puffer was a fish ….
        probably my neighbor’s cat ate it

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    • Amy Adams says:

      “Anonimo”…words appear to matter to you a great deal. I share that value. To that end, the word “redacted” has three meanings:
      1. to put into suitable literary form; revise; edit.
      2. to draw up or frame (a statement, proclamation, etc.).
      3. to hide or remove (confidential parts of a text) before publication or distribution, or to examine (a text) for this purpose: “The account number has been redacted from the top of the statement.”

      That third sense is, I think, the most commonly used, and certainly Bill has notable experience with heavily redacted material sent from the University.

      However…Bill didn’t do any redacting in this post.
      Perhaps what you mean is “ignore” or “look past” or even “not consider worthy of firing an artistic director over”…

      Just food for thought. Carry on.

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    • Seasoning Queen says:

      I’m still trying to find a place that lists “puffer” as a derogatory term for homosexual. Only things I can find that are similar have a name attached, or start with the same letter but are totally different words.

      Also, I’m sorry, but every morsel of information that comes out reeks of Janelle McCoy’s personal agenda. None of this was about speaking for any alleged victims. Not was it about, you know, the MUSIC at a music festival. It was about winning a war with Matthew Halls, to show she had more power.

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      • nope says:

        The derogatory word you are looking for is ‘Pufter.’ Those of you who made an argument based on a small misspelling will get a failing grade, unless you need to maintain academic standing for sportsball, in which case your grade will be changed to an A and no professors will be punished because there is no behavior worthy of punishing a professor, lest we stifle all academia.

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        • Heraclitus says:

          Jesus H. Effing. 1. Puffer = cocksucker. Does nobody know about Urban Dictionary? May or may not be derogatory (nothing wrong with said activity), but certainly not appropriate for work. 2. Mr. Nope: it’s poofter/poof. Watch where you throw that spelling stone. The word is old and thoroughly homophobic. I hope it’s not what JH said. 3. This is all hearsay about a conversation that may well have involved misunderstandings based on a) accent differences b) different argot. It may not have happened at all. JH may have said much worse things. How the F. do we know?

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