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Joss Whedon and Jeff Garlin deserve credit for being candid about their workplace misconduct

  • Whedon's New York magazine cover story profile by Lila Shapiro and Garlin's interview with Vanity Fair's Maureen Ryan were illuminating in how they each confirmed their bad behavior in the workplace, says Melanie McFarland. "Please understand, I am not offering my cheers in sarcastic celebration of Whedon's and Garlin's separate and unrelated authoring of their ironic reversals," says McFarland. "I really do mean to express gratitude for their unfiltered perspective on how they abused their power in the workplace. In both cases, the veracity of what they claim isn't as crucial to the larger societal discourse about worker mistreatment, ineffectual human resource departments and terrible bosses. The treasure is in what their words reveal about how such people think. As we reexamine the many reasons behind the so-called Great Resignation, that culture-wide trend of workers voluntarily leaving their jobs, one that bobs to the surface again and again is the end of our ability to abide thoughtless peers and terrible bosses. In November 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs, setting a new record high according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Polling suggests many left those old jobs for situations offering higher pay and better overall working conditions. Alongside that, more of us are assessing how our day jobs impact our quality of life, which translates to our willingness to put up with bosses like Whedon and colleagues like Garlin...The greater service in these stories is that they put voices, faces and a language to abuse and misconduct. They explain how it is that human resources departments and corporate overlords can claim to disagree as to what constitutes unacceptable behavior between managers and employees, or fellow associates."

    TOPICS: Joss Whedon, Jeff Garlin