German Ballet Director Smears Dog Poop on Journalist’s Face Because She Wrote a Bad Review

The theater apologized for Marco Goecke’s behavior, saying he "violated" the woman's “personal integrity in an unspeakable way.” She's pressing charges.

German Ballet Director Smears Dog Poop on Journalist’s Face Because She Wrote a Bad Review
Marco Goecke, designated ballet director of the Staatsoper Hannover, has been suspended for his actions. Photo:Christophe Gateau/picture alliance (Getty Images)

Today in “men horribly overreacting to things,” the ballet director of Germany’s Hanover State Opera physically violated a woman journalist who wrote a negative review of his show.

According to the AP, the ballet director, Marco Goecke, had been upset about a review of a recent performance that appeared in the daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. At a subsequent performance on Saturday, an incensed Goecke confronted Wiebke Huester, the paper’s dance critic who wrote the review in question, at Hannover’s opera house and threatened to ban Huester from the ballet, saying that she and her work were causing fans to cancel their season tickets. Then, Goecke reportedly pulled out a paper bag with dog shit in it and literally smeared said feces in Huester’s face before running off.

Huester has since filed a criminal complaint, obviously, and the ballet company has suspended Goecke from his post. In a statement on Monday, the state theater confirmed the incident and apologized for Goecke’s behavior, adding that Huester’s “personal integrity” was violated “in an unspeakable way.” Goecke’s “impulsive reaction,” the company continued, not only broke the theater’s own rules, but “caused massive damage to the Hannover State Opera and State Ballet.” He has been given a few days to apologize “comprehensively…before further steps are initiated.”

Screaming at a journalist over a negative review would be entirely inappropriate, as would initiating any sort of physical contact with a journalist. But to smear dog poop in a woman’s face? What a strangely offensive—and humiliating for Huester, of course—choice. This encounter had to have been premeditated, right, because he had to have collected the poo sample just before the performance? But either way, I am stunned thinking about a man proactively deciding he would rub shit in another human being’s face for doing her job…and at his own place of work, no less. He could’ve just drafted up a nasty email calling her a “cunt” like every other incel on the internet and escaped potential jail time.

Anyway, please tell me again how women are too emotional to lead.

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