Berlin theater manager quits after harassment claims

Entertainment

BERLIN (AP) — The manager of a prominent Berlin theater has stepped down in the wake of accusations by women of bullying and sexual harassment.

Klaus Doerr announced his resignation from the German capital’s Volksbuehne theater on Tuesday. He said that he takes “complete responsibility for the accusations against me” and was stepping down in agreement with the city government.

“I deeply regret it if I hurt employees with my behavior, with words or glances,” Doerr said in a statement released by the theater.

He added that he regretted not succeeding in “creating an open climate sensitive to discrimination” within the theater that would have recognized problems in time and enabled employees to come forward confidentially with complaints.

The city government’s culture minister, Klaus Lederer, said Monday that employees had “reported incidents of abuse of power, bullying, verbal violence and sexual harassment.”

Officials spoke to the women concerned in late January and were still evaluating a meeting with Doerr held earlier this month, he said.

Doerr, an experienced theater manager, took over at the Volksbuehne in 2018.

Lederer’s department has said that no one came forward with complaints against Doerr before he was appointed. But that changed in January when a letter setting out complaints was sent to a counseling office set up in 2018 for people in the film, television, theater and music sectors.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.