A German ballet director has formally apologized for smearing dog feces in the face of a critic, but she’s not buying it.
The incident occurred over the weekend when Marco Goecke approached Wiebke Hüster, a newspaper critic, during an intermission of a show and asked why she was there, per Buzzfeed News. Goecke was allegedly angry about a bad review Hüster had written about one of his shows in The Netherlands and claimed she was responsible for people canceling season tickets to his performances.
Per reports, the ballet director retaliated by smearing dog feces in the critic’s face on Saturday.
“He didn’t just throw it at me. He pulled out the bag with the open side of the bag and rubbed it in my face brutally, so the dog poop would stick in my face,” Hüster told The Daily Beast of the incident. “One moment we were still talking and the next moment his fist was in my face. When I realized what he had done, I screamed. I was so shocked, so panicked. You can’t imagine.”
“I would like to apologize sincerely to all concerned, first and foremost to Ms. Hüster, for my absolutely unacceptable act,” Goecke shared in a written statement. “In retrospect, I am clearly aware that this was a disgraceful act in the heat of the moment and an overreaction,” he continued.
He also said the incident occurred following a “nervous strain of two premieres in quick succession” in The Hague on February 9 and in Hanover on Saturday, per CNN.
Next, the director attempted to defend his actions, saying Hüster should “rethink a certain form of destructive and hurtful reporting that damages the whole cultural sector” and accused her of posting “nasty reviews.”
“I apologize for the fact that I finally blew my top, but I also ask for a certain understanding at least for the reasons why this happened,” he wrote. Goecke also told public broadcast station NDR that Hüster had been “throwing s***” at him “for years.”
“What kind of an apology is this supposed to be?” Hüster replied while speaking with 3sat television, per HuffPo.
Goecke was subsequently suspended from his role as ballet chief at the Hannover State Opera following the incident.
“Ballet director Marco Goecke has violated all principles of conduct of the Hanover State Opera by his impulsive reaction towards journalist Wiebke Hüster last Saturday evening, has deeply offended Ms. Hüster personally and has thus unsettled the audience, the employees of the house, and the general public in the most extreme way,” the organization said in a statement, per CNN.
Hüster’s review of Goecke’s play “In the Dutch Mountain” was published the same day as the incident and called the production “disjointed” and capable of making audiences “go insane and be killed by boredom while watching.”