VIDEO | 24:56
Breach of Trust

Breach of Trust

Told from the point of view of women advocating for accountability and change, Breach of Trust examines the sexual assault scandal at USC, detailing crimes allegedly committed by former gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall and exposing the active cover-up on the part of the administration.

For three decades George Tyndall was the only full-time gynecologist at USC. Complaints of sexual misconduct were made as far back as 1989, however, Tyndall was not asked to resign until 2017 after a nurse named Cindy Gilbert reported him to the Rape Crisis Center.

I was a student at USC when I learned that George Tyndall was given a financial payout and was not reported to the state medical board or law enforcement agencies. Although an independent investigation had found him guilty of sexual misconduct, it was not until the LA Times released an investigative report about the Tyndall case that the USC body were made aware of what happened.

Our first pre-interview was with LA Times journalist Matt Hamilton. On a quiet evening outside the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Matt recounted his remarkable journey of uncovering decades of abuse with fellow journalists Harriet Ryan and Paul Pringle. Matt, Harriet, and Paul would all go on to win the Pulitzer prize for investigative reporting.

The core of this documentary became the first hand accounts of survivors. From the beginning, Amanda Davis, Brennan Heil, Dr. Dana Loewy, and Kay Zhang told their stories with vulnerability and conviction. Their testimonies are the heart of the film, a powerful act of solidarity to the survivor community, and a source of pride to the USC community at large. Meeting Amanda, Brennan, Dana, and Kay was what gave us the impetus to make ”Breach of Trust” in the first place.

The documentary also features Dr. Ariela Gross and Dr. Jane Junn who were among the many USC faculty members who channeled their outrage into action in the wake of the George Tyndall case. They represent the spirit of advocacy that energized us as students and now as storytellers.

Our last interview was with Cindy Gilbert. Cindy Gilbert, the nurse who reported George Tyndall to the Rape Crisis Center, was an unwavering force in bringing this case to the light. She represents every whistleblower and every employee who was placed in the deeply unfair position of having to risk their job in order to do the right thing. Cindy, to us, will always represent hope.

We started off with a dark story about abuse and complicity, but what we also found was a compassionate and subversive group of USC students, faculty, and alumni who continue to advocate for change till this day. The opportunity to collaborate with this community in telling their stories has been the greatest privilege for us all.