APPARENTLY, #METOO IS A CESSPIT OF CULTURAL INSENSITIVITY: Banishment of an acclaimed UC Irvine professor sparks debate over whether #MeToo can go too far.
For years, the professor told the assistant dean that she was beautiful and greeted her with hugs and a kiss on each cheek.
During their time together at UC Irvine, Francisco J. Ayala, 84, and Benedicte Shipley, 50, perceived their encounters in dramatically different ways.
He said he believed he was showing her admiration, respect and the courtly manners of his native Spain. She said she felt objectified and humiliated. Her version won out this year, when officials concluded that Ayala had sexually harassed Shipley and two other women.
The university swiftly moved to erase his presence. The world-renowned geneticist resigned, was banned from campus and stripped of prestigious University of California titles. And though he had given Irvine $11.5 million in donations, his name was taken off the university buildings he helped support.
The sanctions have bitterly divided the campus, drawn international attention and underscored the growing complexity of the nation’s pitched battles over sexual harassment.
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