French theater director stops after rape because of rape
French theater director who made a name for himself with a play about sexual harassment stops after a fallout about rape
- Jean-Pierre Baro resigned on Thursday after his theater staff went on strike
- He made his name with stage adaptation of JM Coetzee & # 39; s novel & # 39; Disgrace & # 39;
- Claims that sex with a production assistant was consensual eight years ago
The director of a French theater that made a name for itself with a play about sexual harassment resigned after his staff went on strike and accused him of rape.
Jean-Pierre Baro, the first major theater figure hit by the # MeToo movement in France, denied the abuse of a colleague in 2011 and the police dropped the case for lack of evidence.
Baro, one of the few black men at the head of a French cultural institution, made his name with a stage adaptation of JM Coetzee & # 39; s novel & # 39; Disgrace & # 39; about a South African university professor who is accused of sexually harassing a student.
Last year, a formal rape complaint was filed shortly after he was elected head of the Theater des Quartiers d & # 39; Ivry on the southeastern outskirts of Paris.
Jean-Pierre Baro, the first major theater figure to be hit by the # MeToo movement in France, resigned on Thursday after his staff claimed the rape strike
& # 39; My conscience is pure, & # 39; Baro told AFP after his resignation on Thursday, and said he had only stopped saving the subsidized theater, which has seen his audience drop since the accusation was first broadcast in June.
He said that sex with a production assistant was consensual and insisted that he work closely with her for seven years.
& # 39; I was interrogated by the police and when they let me confront her, it turned out that I had never forced her & # 39 ;, he said.
& # 39; I did not use any form of violence or pressure that night, & # 39; he said. & # 39; What happened was completely consensual to me. Only seven years later did I find out that she didn't feel the same way. & # 39;
Baro said he was 33 and & # 39; totally unknown and barely out of school & # 39; when the alleged rape took place.
& # 39; We were two young people who started together … and we grew up professionally together for 10 years. & # 39;
He said: & # 39; What happened was completely consensual to me. Only seven years later did I find out she didn't feel the same & # 39;
For example, 60 actors, directors and theater professionals signed an open letter on Thursday in which they defended Baro and said that the image that he was being propagated as a & # 39; sexual criminal abusing his power did not suit the person we were know.
& # 39; He shouldn't be the scapegoat for a crack that gnaws on our society, & # 39; she added.
The accusation appeared for the first time in a blog on the Mediapart research website.
But since then the theater staff have stopped, the bookings have dried up and & # 39; refuse to set foot on many artists & # 39 ;, said the striking staff in a statement.
French actress Adele Haenel spoke to Mediapart last month about sexual harassment from the age of 12 by the director of her first film.
Director Christophe Ruggia, 54, initially denied the accusations before being Haenel – star of the critically acclaimed new film & # 39; Portrait of a Lady on Fire & # 39; – asked him to forgive.
Mediapart has also uncovered various allegations of abuse against the powerful French film producer Luc Besson, which he denies.
Baro told AFP that he supported women who talked about abuse, but & # 39; here it turned into a public lynch on rumors and indictments & # 39 ;.
He said he did not want to resign because it gave & # 39; legitimacy to the strategy of terror & # 39; who ended the career because people were convicted on social media without any legal recourse.
But his hand was forced by the French Ministry of Culture, who found his position untenable.
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