closet industry

rumar

New Member
italian
Hi everybody, I'm translating into italian the following passage, but I don't understand the meaning of the expression between asterisks, cen you help me?


Did I forget to mention that Pierce is black? I also forgot to mention that although most readers are undoubtedly aware of it, we live in an environment where harassment lawsuits have become a *closet industry*. Pierce sued the city of Los Angeles for racial harassment and intentional and negligent infliction
of emotional distress on the part of his fellow firefighters.

(I'm italian mothertongue)

thanx :)
 
  • pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    What's the source? I think it's a mistake for "cottage industry," meaning a very limited area of business, by analogy with businesses that were, literally, run out of cottages in the past.
     

    rumar

    New Member
    italian
    The author it's talking about this lawsuit, his purpose is to show that some legal cases should be settled ot of court. it follows like this:

    The case was to be argued by a high - powered attorney. Fearing a possible adverse judgment from a “ downtown jury ” — code for a predominantly black jury of the type that acquitted O.J. Simpson in his famous double - murder trial — the city attorney recommended settling the lawsuit for $ 2.7 million.
    The city council voted 11 to 1 to support such a settlement.


    I think that it seems the opposite of "a very limited area of business"....
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I think closet industry is used in the sense taken from from closet homosexuals, etc., i.e., although no one will admit it openly, there are a lot of people whose sole purpose in life [industry] is to (in this case) pursue harassment lawsuits.
     

    rumar

    New Member
    italian
    I think closet industry is used in the sense taken from from closet homosexuals, etc., i.e., although no one will admit it openly, there are a lot of people whose sole purpose in life [industry] is to (in this case) pursue harassment lawsuits.
    Thanks, I think that's just what it means :)
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The article (or book) is about Tennie Pierce, a black firefighter in Los Angeles. As a practical joke someone fed him dog food at the firehouse. He sued and won (I think) over $1,000,000.00.

    I Googled "Tennie Pierce" but I could not find the exact quote.

    I believe "closet industry" is parallel to "being in the closet" or the equivalent of "hidden from general view". We often hear about homosexuals that "come out of the closet", i.e, they let the general public know that they are gay. Prior to coming out of the closet they would be "closet gays", i.e. gays that keep that fact hidden from the general public.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think that it seems the opposite of "a very limited area of business"....
    I don't. It's something very few people do. The fact that it's extremely lucrative isn't the point.

    I think closet industry is used in the sense taken from from closet homosexuals, etc., i.e., although no one will admit it openly, there are a lot of people whose sole purpose in life [industry] is to (in this case) pursue harassment lawsuits.
    I know a lot of lawyers, some of whom do harassment lawsuits; none of them keep it a secret. I don't see the parallel. That may very well be what the author intended, but I don't see it.


    Edit: Wait, are you saying that the passage is referring to the plaintiffs as the "closet" industry? I didn't read it that way. That would make more sense.
     
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