A flutist who courted controversy with online posts about everything from COVID to the 2020 election results is out of a job in Baltimore. The city's orchestra this week fired principal flutist Emily Skala, reports the Baltimore Sun. The move comes about six months after the orchestra publicly rebuked Skala for posts questioning the effectiveness of vaccines and masks, per the New York Times. She also shared a conspiracy theory that the virus originated in a lab in North Carolina and questioned the presidential election results, among other things. "Ms. Skala has had discipline imposed upon her over these past few months," says a statement from the orchestra. "(U)nfortunately, she has repeated the conduct for which she had been previously disciplined, and dismissal was the necessary and appropriate reaction to this behavior."
Skala, who'd been with the symphony for 33 years, told the Sun that "I've only ever wanted to state my truth," adding that "the BSO can expect to hear from me." The orchestra said the issues went beyond social media posts, and Skala says that likely is a reference to a visit she made last month to the orchestra's offices to hand in a tax form. She didn't have a mask or COVID tests results as required to enter, and she says she tried to open the door, but only to hand the form to a guard. Skala suggests that her politics is part of the problem, with colleagues unhappy with her support of former President Trump's allegations of election fraud and her criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement. "They just punish me for being me," she tells the Times. (Read more Baltimore Symphony stories.)