On the morning of October 21, 2017, the budding New York choreographer Jinah Parker was sitting in bed, her husband lying alongside, when she opened her email and found a deeply unsettling, one-paragraph message about her debut dance production.
The show was called SHE, a Choreoplay, an off-off-Broadway interpretative dance in which four women vividly monologize rape and abuse.
Parker wrote and directed. Her newlywed husband, Kevin Powell, was the producer. In 1992, as a tenacious 26-year-old activist, he appeared on the inaugural season of MTV’s genre-defining reality show, The Real World. In the decades since, he’d become a prolific public speaker, author of 13 books, and a two-time congressional candidate.
Powell also has a history of violence. He assaulted women in college and once shoved a girlfriend into a bathroom door. Now he’s a sophist of male fragility, and an essential component of his activist repertoire is to engage in public reflection—usually with equal parts self-effacement and self-righteousness—upon this personal shame.
It would seem that this couple got just what they had coming to them, though it’s a bit disingenuous that they can go to crowd funding platforms to spread the blame out. I’m hoping that it was only all the people to whom they spread their invective to that ended helping to foot part of their bill.