Sexual harassment allegations rock Barcelona Theater Institute
Joan Ollé suspended as performing arts school opens investigation into abuse cases
The Theater Institute of Barcelona has suspended one of its teachers following allegations of sexual harassment and abuse of power from some 20 former students.
Joan Ollé, a well-known theatre and television director has been temporarily removed from his teaching position, following an extraordinary meeting of the performing arts school's Board of Governers on Monday morning.
The board also announced that they will open an internal investigation after the newspaper Ara published testimonies alleging abuses from a number of teachers at the school over the past 30 years, naming Jorge Vera and Berty Tovías alongside Ollé.
According to the accounts described in Ara, teachers "have abused their power in front of students with humiliating and sexual comments, even harassing them and in some cases sexually abusing them by touching." The victims also speak of "repeated and structural psychological abuse" and say that they were not "isolated incidents."
Current and former students have demanded the resignation of the school's management, including its head, the actor and director Magda Puyo.
Puyo, for her part, has offered her "full support to the victims," and said that things "have not been done well," but the institution will emerge from the crisis "stronger" than before.