In case you needed a gentle reminder as to why we still need the body positive movement, a Toronto-based orchestra just shut down after being criticized for fat-shaming their vocalists via email, expressing that the orchestra would only feature "fit and slim" artists in the future. This news comes right after a principal was caught telling students they shouldn't wear leggings unless they're a size 0 or 2. Yes, you read that right.
Sydney Dunitz, a volunteer vocalist with the Sheraton Cadwell Orchestra, screenshotted the email and shared it on Facebook, where it was quickly picked up by local media.
"It has been brought to our attention that although almost all of our vocalists are fit and slim—the way our boutique orchestras would like our front line performing artists to be—two of our featured singers were not," the email reads. "Kindly note that for all future shows ... only singers who are physically fit and slim (or, at the very least, those who know how to dress strategically/suitably in order to not bring attention to their temporary physical/dietary indulgences) would be showcased with our boutique orchestras."
The email also noted that instrumental musicians are not held to the same physical expectations because they're "essentially background wallpaper" and the way they look doesn't have as much of an impact on the company's image.
Dunitz, who also runs a fitness studio, was appalled by the outrageous message and felt that it was important to call out the organization and bring some much-needed attention to the type of body-shaming that still happens every day. (Related: People Are Taking to Twitter to Share the First Time They Were Body-Shamed)
"This is not about dress code; you have gone a step further and commented on someone's physicality," she wrote in her response. "This email is bullying, it is dealing with well-recognized issues that many women have with their bodies."
Several other vocalists also spoke out, which finally prompted the management to apologize for the snafu, adding that they will all be resigning.
"With our resignation, our financial funding for the Sheraton Cadwell community service project and music training program will also be terminated," they wrote in an email, according to Global News. "With much regret and, as such, the entire organization will cease to exist in due course."
The Sheraton Cadwell Orchestra has been around since 1991 so it's not entirely clear whether their sudden shutdown was because of this particular scandal. Either way, there's no room for hate in music, or anywhere for that matter.