Two Hungarian women’s associations demanded on Wednesday that all theaters remove the plays created by film and theatrical director Péter Gothár, who was involved in a recent sexual harassment scandal.
“No Hungarian theater should perform any of his plays until his case has been thoroughly investigated,” Kinga Szőnyi, president of Hungarian Women’s Interest Protection, said in front of the theater where Gothár – as he himself admitted – has been involved in at least one harassment case.
“No woman in Hungary should be subjected to the kind of harassment that allegedly happened in this theater,” she said.
In October, Budapest’s prominent Katona József theater announced the sacking of an employee for “repeated inappropriate conduct” but did not name him. The following day Gothár himself issued a statement admitting blame and apologizing.
“One year ago I approached a female colleague in a morally unacceptable way. A few days later, I apologized and she accepted the apology,” the award-winning Gothár wrote in the statement. “Now that the case became public in both the theater and the country, I would like to publicly apologize again. I am very sorry for what happened. I am also sorry if I have offended anyone with my brusque style, bad manners or morally objectionable behavior.”
The two presidents of women’s rights groups held their joint press conference in front of the theater while on the same day the ethics committee of the Budapest University of Theater and Film Arts discussed the issue behind closed doors. No details have yet emerged about the result of the meeting.
Title image: Women’s rights activists Kinga Szőnyi (L) and Nóra Király (R) lead a protest against film and theatrical director Péter Gothár in Budapest on December 4. (MTI/Márton Mónus)