SFMOMA Responds to the August 8 Incident involving Thomas Hawk

On August 8, Thomas Hawk was forcibly removed from the SFMOMA.

Photo taken by Torben*I just read SFMOMA’s response.  First, I must say I am very happy they finally released a response.

However, I am a bit perplexed on their wording and complete dismissal of their “visitor” (Thomas Hawk).  They could have easily stood behind the actions of their employee while still offering an apology.  The SFMOA instead stated that according to witnesses, an employee was “being photographed in an inappropriate and harassing manner.”  If I had not heard one side of the story or another, I would immediately think of how the paparazzi acts.

Now, I do understand SFMOMA’s view.  If at any point an employee feels they are being harassed in any way, management should step up and confront the customer.  If the customer is aggressive or unwilling to cooperate, management should by all means use force against the customer as necessary.

However, in this case, we have only heard the “visitors” point of view.  The SFMOMA has not made it any clearer on what transpired within the Atrium that day.  So, with what I know about the incident, the SFMOMA’s director of visitor services was in the visitors face and unwilling to communicate with the visitor.  With the information I have, I believe the situation was handle inappropriately and the response from the SFMOMA doesn’t help the cause.

In the end, I believe the entire thing was a misunderstanding.  Communication is key and it could have been halted at the beginning had the situation been handled correctly.

How do you feel this incident should have been handled?

(Photo of SFMOMA provided by Flickr member Torben*)


There is a lively discussion on FriendFeed…

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