The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles told its members Monday that longtime board chairman and major fundraiser John Duran—who is also mayor of West Hollywood—will step down from his post at the end of the season.
The change in leadership comes amid allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct that all sound remarkably the same.
Duran denied any wrongdoing according to the Los Angeles Times and said “that after 20 years with the chorus, he was planning to leave anyway. But, he said, the ‘toxic’ climate within the organization spurred by ‘false allegations’ contributed to his decision to step down this summer.
Multiple current or former chorus members told the Los Angeles Times that they were victims of Duran’s harassment. Singers Brian Phillip Nichoalds and Jason Tong reported strikingly similar times where Duran put his hands inside their pants or underwear. Other accusations included inappropriate comments.
Tong says he reported the incident to leaders within the Gay Men’s Chorus, alleging in the Times that the Chorus’ management “supported somebody who wielded power, rather than somebody who is vulnerable and needs community.”