Rosette Laursen wanted to spend March 8, A Day Without a Woman, the same way many females across the country planned to: by demonstrating the value women bring to the modern workplace. Instead, her former boss allegedly responded to her request for an unpaid day off with a misogynistic reply.
Laursen, a former Hollywood assistant, spelled out the situation in a Facebook post on Tuesday, where she shared screenshots of his emails. According to her post, the movement encouraged women to take the day off work and refrain from spending money to help others realize their impact, while also raising awareness of pay inequality, wage gaps, and sexual harassment.
An email meant only for two of Laursen’s male coworkers that accidentally got forward to the whole team read: “Are you f—— kidding me. At the end of pilot season. Someone should sew her v—— shut. I’m never hiring a girl ever again.”
A second email continued, “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.” At the end of her post, she revealed her boss was talent manager Michael Einfeld of Michael Einfeld Management.
Upon realizing his mistake, Einfeld apologized to Laursen via text message. “I apologize for venting like a misogynistic f—–,” he started. “I was letting off steam I didn’t mean to hit reply all. I’m an a-hole. 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,’” she wrote on Facebook. Still, one of her coworkers encouraged her to come back to the office, qualifying that it was “just a joke.” Laursen said while her boss “could be kind of terrible,” he also “was actually really cool and funny any nice.”
Ultimately, her friends encouraged her to pursue legal action. When Einfeld failed to respond to Laursen’s lawyers, she publicly posted his emails on Facebook.
Before revealing his identity, Laursen referred to Einfeld as “Jorkle.” In her post, which has gained significant traction, she explained why she was no longer willing to be subjected to unfair treatment. “Many Hollywood assistants are underpaid and overworked, yet we are more than willing to do everything it takes to pay our dues to reach our goals and dreams. But in return there needs to be a basic level of respect from our bosses. Nothing fancy, just human decency,” she wrote. “I don’t want people like Jorkle to get away with whatever behavior they want because they know no one is going to do anything about it.”
On Thursday evening, Einfeld sent an email apologizing to his friends, colleagues and clients as Laursen’s post began to draw attention from mainstream media outlets.
“Let me say without reservation – I am sorry. I used language that was tasteless, humorless and completely inexcusable. I believe deeply in workplace diversity regardless of race, gender, creed or sexual orientation, and I am mortified that the things I have said have worked against my commitment to inclusion. As I’ve searched for a response to all this, what I’ve discovered is that words fall woefully short of my extreme remorse – I am so sorry,” Einfeld wrote.
“I will be undertaking some obviously needed introspection, and want to thank those of you who have expressed a willingness to standby me. To those that feel they need space from me – I am heartbroken but understand. If it were possible, I wouldn’t mind space from myself right now. Again, to everyone – I am sorry. If this is something you are willing to hear from me in person please call, or send me a note and I’ll call you. I am devastated, and hope in time you will consider giving me the chance to earn your forgiveness. “