ATHENS – Greek actors demonstrated outside the Culture Ministry Feb. 22 to protest what they said was the New Democracy government’s bungling of the case of the director of the Greek National Theater who’s accused of rape.
Members from the actors union, many of whom were said to have made anonymous charges of sexual harassment in the community by prominent leaders are upset over the scandal surrounding Dimitris Lignadis, who’s facing two accusations of rape from males, one of whom was a minor at the time.
They accused the government and Culture Minister Lina Mendoni of being slow to react despite a growing #MeToo movement that has led to a number of mostly women in sports, arts and other sectors to complain about harassment.
They demanded that Mendoni quit although she said she had been deceived by Lignadis, calling him a “dangerous” man and as she asked a Supreme Court prosecutor to investigate.
Kehagioglou Kostas, General Secretary of the Pan-Hellenic Federation of Spectacles and Audio (POTHA), also called for “strong legal and moral protection for people who report incidents of abusive behavior,” the state-run Athens-Macedonian news agency (ANA-MPA) reported.
“Society is ready to listen,” he said.
Lignadis, 56, appeared before a court in Athens on Feb. 21 and was given until Feb. 24 to respond to charges of multiple rapes by an examining magistrate. He will remain jailed until then, court authorities said.
He had been handpicked for the job by Mendoni in August 2019 after she scrapped an existing open competition for the post, leading to charges she favored and protected him.