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Allegations of sexism at the Bayreuth Festival: no legal implications – Kultur Wien


Allegations of sexism at the Bayreuth Festival have no legal consequences.
© APA / MARTIN FICHTER-WÖSS (avatar)

There are no legal ramifications regarding allegations of sexism at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany. The Attorney General’s office dropped the investigation into allegations of sexual harassment. Attorney General Martin Diebold told dpa on request, as reported on Sunday.

According to Diebold, the district attorney’s office investigated allegations by four employees that the proceedings were directed against a suspect and an unknown individual.

“It was very minor harassment without any consequences at the slightest level of criminal responsibility,” Diebold said. Diebold continued, “The four aggrieved parties had no interest in a criminal prosecution and did not file a criminal complaint. Under the circumstances, there was no public interest in a criminal prosecution.”

Investigations start in the summer

The public prosecutor said at the time that the investigation officially began in the summer because of the media coverage.

Before the Bayreuter Festival began, the women described the attacks

Shortly before the start of the festival in July, women anonymously described sexually motivated assaults to a “Nordbayerischer Kurier”. They have been touched or forced to listen to vulgar remarks. The festival had — at the inopportune moment shortly before opening — the #Metoo discussion on its hands.

Festival president Katharina Wagner confirmed that she herself was affected. “Sexual innuendos, assaults sometimes in a way… yes,” she told dpa. “But I knew how to stand up for myself.” She added that she “acted very clearly”. She was “shocked” by the reports of assaults, insults and insults.

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Labor law results

In the 2022 season, there were labor law consequences for a participant in this context, as announced by spokesperson Hubertus Herrmann on demand. After all shareholders had been “proactively” addressed by management about the matter, employees flagged and reported incidents involving a shareholder. “The actions of those affected were taken and discussed in detail in a timely manner, and the consequences were determined by the labor law for the responsible person after thorough clarification and consideration.” Hermann did not want to say what the nature of these consequences would be.

At a business meeting in December, the permanent staff was informed of this issue and again informed of the need to contact management directly or anonymously. “In addition, a code of conduct will be preemptively drawn up based on the Code of Conduct of the German Theater Association, training courses for directors are planned and the theme – as at the 2022 festival – will be part of the occupational safety instructions.”