Edmonton theatre troupe cuts ties with former artistic director over ‘rape culture’ confession

'I have acted as though women were objects, to be won, to be obtained, to be used,' wrote Chris Craddock

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An Edmonton theatre company is cutting ties with its former artistic director after the acclaimed actor and playwright said on Facebook he has contributed to “rape culture.”

The Rapid Fire Theatre, a local improv troupe, issued a public statement on Wednesday announcing that Chris Craddock will no longer be affiliated with the company.

Rapid Fire’s move comes after Craddock posted a confession on his personal Facebook page about the way he has treated women.

Craddock served as Rapid Fire’s artistic director from 2004 to 2008 but had continued to work alongside the troupe as an actor, director, producer and playwright, largely during the annual Edmonton Fringe Festival. Craddock is a mainstay of Edmonton’s theatre and film industry, with more than 30 years of credits to his name.

In the statement, Rapid Fire management indicated that Craddock had “publicly admitted to unacceptable behaviour” in violation of the company’s own zero-tolerance harassment policy.

The ongoing scandal surrounding sexual violence and abuse of power in the entertainment industry — triggered by reports about film producer Harvey Weinstein — provoked the theatre company to cut ties, the statement suggests.

‘Enough is enough’

“This week so many people around the world have engaged in a large conversation of sexual harassment and abuse; much of that conversation focusing on issues of sexual harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry.

“The improv industry has its fair share of predators and we know that at times in Rapid Fire Theatre’s 37-year history we have featured some of those individuals in our performing ensemble. Enough is enough.”

The statement said Craddock “has publicly admitted to unacceptable behaviour in violation of our own harassment policy.”

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