Ethical Delimma

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Tom Keels, Jun 15, 2003.

  1. Tom Keels

    Tom Keels Stunt Coordinator

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    If you knew someone was spreading rumors and lies about you and other people, as well as talking bad about other folks behind their back, but the way you found out wasn't exactly ethical what would you do?

    This is not a legal issue, but more a moral issue. We have mutual friends involved and this will easily turn ugly. Do I confront the person in private explaining that I have proof they are lying and defaming mine and other people's reputation, and that if they don't cease I will go public with it? (wow, after typing, it sounds bad)

    Or do I just turn the other cheek and keep it all to myself, yet stewing in my own juices.

    Going public would feel oh so good, but it may hurt me as much as the lies the person is telling.

    I'm open to suggestions for ideas to resolve the situation.
     
  2. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I would personally stay out of it, until the lies are being spread about myself. In that case, I would confront the person as it pertains to me. I would not, however, confront the person on the mutual friend's behalf.
     
  3. Tom Keels

    Tom Keels Stunt Coordinator

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    That's just it. The lies are about me and other people. The fact is when I went digging for proof of him lying, I found stuff he has said about other friends of mine.
     
  4. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    There is no reason for confrontation. Keep it to yourself. Remove this person from your friendship circle. Make no bones about the fact you no longer respect them. Deny any of the lies they spread politely. What goes around will eventually come around. Those who are really your friends will see him/her for what they are: A sad little person looking for attention.

    Take the high road, it is harder and less comforting, but most rewarding.
     
  5. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    You could state that you know longer wish to associate with this person to your friends. You don't have to specify a reason if you don't want to. If everyone knows you don't like him then you don't have to bother pussyfooting around when his name comes out. Also, if you throw a party or social occasion, you won't have to worry about him showing up unannounced. And if he does show up, you can justify throwing him out. [​IMG]
     
  6. Tom Keels

    Tom Keels Stunt Coordinator

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    It's one of those awkward situations where we are constantly in the same circle of acquaintances/friends and probably will be for a while. I feel like I'm suffering by having to bite my tongue so much when this person is constantly around. But I guess that is one of the downfalls of taking the "high road".
     
  7. Tom Meyer

    Tom Meyer Second Unit

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    I say confront him politely (at least at first) and as him was the F his problem is and that you want nothing to do with them from now on. I'd then say that unless he/she wants to lose the rest of the friends in question, he must cease and desist, otherwise you're going to tell everyone else as well. It's not a moral/ethical issue on your part -- it's one of preserving your good name. Their morals are obviously lacking.
     
  8. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    What exactly is this "proof"? Unless it's something recorded in some fashion, it's still hearsay and can easily be denied by this "friend" as their word vs. someone else's.
     
  9. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    First, plant a sharp object in this persons skull and then say "please stop spreading rumors" - remember, say it nicely [​IMG]
     
  10. Tom Keels

    Tom Keels Stunt Coordinator

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    Well it is "recorded", so hard proof to anyone who wanted it would not be a problem.
     
  11. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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  12. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer
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    Well this situation is certainly a sticky quagmire.

    On the one hand you have a person who is falsely disparaging your reputation but the proof you have of this actually shows you to be unethical.

    This is of course just my opinion but don’t be foolish enough to think the ends justified the means. Just because you found proof against the first person doesn’t make your actions “clean”.

    If I were in your situation, I would ride out the lies and tell no one, including the person who is lying about me, of my ill-gotten proof. Better to deal with the lies then having to try to explain my true shortcomings.

    I guess what they say is true, “two wrongs don’t make a right.”
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Tom, It's a tricky situation and I've been there myself. I would suggest against confronting the person because he/she will be threatened and will attack you that much worse. Saying bad things, no matter how true, is generally not a good way to counteract an attack on you and you both will probably end up being distrusted by the same people.

    The biggest time I was in that situation, the person attacking me was terminally ill. Now, that may sound callous of me to say a terminally ill person was attacking me, but it happened. I, of course, could not say a thing, because only an idiot would say anything bad about a person who is dying. In the end, that taught me a great lesson, because eventually virtually all the people I was being talked about to (at least the ones who know me) now know the reality of what really happened. We tend to pity this person who spent his final couple years so consumed with hate, but I think I am respected for how I dealt with it.
     
  14. Tom Keels

    Tom Keels Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input folks. I have been wrestling with the "two wrongs don't make a right" delimma for a while and I guess most feel its better to grin and bare it. I guess I'll just endure to the point that I can't take it anymore.
     
  15. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Hmm, if it was me, I'd confront the person. By allowing it to happen, you are GUARANTEEING that the bad behavior will continue.

    By choosing to do nothing, you are implicitly encouraging the behavior.
     
  16. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I was in no way condoning doing nothing. To me, there are two important things to remember. Think of the situation in terms of years, not days or weeks, and try to avoid acting out of vengeance. Confronting this type of person is usually like cornering a wild animal. No matter what your intentions may be, you are likely the one to be gutted. People who behave like the person you describe will often go to virtually any lengths to "defend" themselves, meaning not facing the reality of what they are doing. They have probably been doing this their entire life and you aren't going to change that any time soon, if ever. Probably not even worth trying.

    I expect the most productive thing you can do at this time is carefully broach the subject with a trusted friend, particularly one who is also being trashed. Test the waters, trying to see, delicately, if there is a mutual feeling. If there is, you can discuss it openly. By doing this, gradually bringing people toogether, you may be able to accomplish something.

    If your true goal is to stop this person from hurting people, you will probably succeed, at least with these people. This person will just move on to another crowd of fresh bait. If your purpose is to hurt this person, it really doesn't matter what you do, it will end badly.
     
  17. Trenton McNeil

    Trenton McNeil Second Unit

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    Make the person a big plate of brownies, and deliver them to his/her doorstep, stick out your hand and say, 'friends?'

    Works every time.
     
  18. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  19. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  20. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

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    You're in a delicate situation. You know there's some nasty stuff going on, yet the only proof you have has been obtained in a way which could potentially land you in equally hot water. What to do?!?

    Franky, I'm suprised no one has proposed the anonymous note solution.

    Sit down in front of your computer and compose a note to this person stating that you are aware of what's going on. Be sure to include whatever form of proof you may have (assuming of course it's not self-incriminating). When writing the note, refer to yourself as "we", not "I". Make it look like there's more than one person confronting this person, and that it's more than just a "me against you" situation. This will put the person on the defensive, as you're the majority. Be nice, but be stern in your descriptions and accusations. Explain that the note is an attempt to keep things civil, without making a scene between friends, but that the curtosy stops here... any future crap will out him in public.

    The benefit here is that you're confronting someone without actually physically confronting them. They'll have no choice but to read through the note - there's no one there to argue or fight with, only themselves. Ultimately, they'll have to reflect upon what you've written, and will be faced to deal with some form of truth & shame.

    Moe.
     

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