Story at a glance

  • The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra fired its principal flutist Emily Skala.
  • Skala has been criticized for social media posts promoting conspiracy theories about coronavirus vaccines, the use of face masks and the 2020 election.
  • The symphony has said it fired the flutist because of numerous violations of a number of its workplace policies, but Skala maintains her right to free speech was violated.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) fired its principal flutist months after condemning her social media posts promoting conspiracy theories about the coronavirus vaccines, the use of face masks and the 2020 election.

In now-deleted posts from February, Emily Skala falsely claimed, among other things, that the coronavirus was created in a North Carolina lab and sold to Wuhan. The symphony said it fired Emily Skala after numerous violations of a number of its workplace policies. 


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“Principal Flutist Emily Skala has been dismissed from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in accordance with the progressive discipline policy agreed to in our collective bargaining agreement,” BSO CEO Peter Kjome said in a statement, according to The Baltimore Sun. “Ms. Skala has had discipline imposed upon her over these past few months; unfortunately, she has repeated the conduct for which she had been previously disciplined, and dismissal was the necessary and appropriate reaction to this behavior.” 

In response, Skala accused the BSO of infringing upon her right to free speech. 

 I’ve only ever wanted to state my truth,” she said. “I’m not going to publicize what I’m going to do, but I’m not going to sit passively by. The BSO can expect to hear from me.” 


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Published on Aug 05, 2021