Czech children's theater director to leave at year's end over allegedly racist remarks
Speculation around the choice of Vlastimil Peška to direct the Divadlo Radost children's theater in Brno and the allegedly racist remarks he made during the job interview is continuing. Deputy Mayor of Brno Matěj Hollan, who is responsible for cultural and social issues, has announced that Peška should remain as director only until the end of the year, when he will evidently be replaced by Tomáš Pavčík, who was the hiring commission's second choice.
Hollan rejects allegations that his decision interferes with the results of the hiring procedure. In a press release, he explains the City Council's decision regarding Peška's temporary work as director by asserting that the hiring commission is just an advisory body, while he bears responsibility for the cultural agenda.
Peška became unreliable in Hollan's eyes after he allegedly told the hiring commission that he did not want Romani children to come to the theater and that Romani children over 10 years of age belong in prison. "It's not possible for the director of a children's theater to plan on erecting barriers and applying collective blame to young children on the basis of their skin color. One of the priorities of the governing coalition at City Hall is precisely to ameliorate the exclusion of the people in the Bronx and to promote inclusion through cultural organizations, which is not possible with Vlastimil Peška because of his opinions. If the City is contributing millions from its budget to revive the Bronx, it's not possible that the director of one of the most important local institutions sabotages these efforts," Hollan said.
Peška has objected to these allegations, calling them a complete lie. After meeting with Mayor of Brno Petr Vokřál (ANO), however, he did agree that a new position of artistic director would be created at the theater to replace the existing post of director.
Peška, however, does not consider Pavčík an appropriate candidate. Petr Jančařík, the manager of the theater, also has complaints about how the City Council and Hollan are proceeding in this matter and says it bothers him that applicants were never told that the winning candidate would only head the theater for one year.
Collaboration with local Romani NGO
Moreover, during his presentation to the hiring commission, Peška mentioned that he has already established cooperation between the theater and the DROM Romani Center, which works with people from excluded localities on Cejl street in Brno. Miroslav Zima, the director of DROM, has confirmed that to Romea.cz.
"Roughly a month ago we agreed with Mr Peška that we might be able to establish cooperation with the theater. Youth from our drop-in club would be able to attend some performances free of charge, take a look backstage, and go on excursions. People from the theater would also aid us with our drama circle," Zima said.
As for the dispute around the hiring procedure, Zima views it as very unpleasant. He is, however, very interested in collaborating with the theater because he believes it will benefit the children.
"I only know about the scandal around Mr Peška's election from the media. I was not there during the voting and for the time being this is a messy situation as far as I am concerned. However, if Mr Peška actually said what Mr Hollan claims he said, then it should have been responded to immediately, on the spot, not with a delay after the choice has been made. Under such circumstances, the result of the election was a mistake," Zima told news server Romea.cz.
- Czech children's theater director criticized for racist remarks about Roma
- Czech Republic: Did Romani people traffic in votes in Brno?
- Czech Constitutional Court postpones repeat elections in Brno municipality
- Czech bishop lunches with the homeless, Romani representatives and senior citizens in Brno
- Czech amateur theater group rejects Romani boy in institutional care
- Czech Republic: New Holocaust memorial in Brno
- Commentary by Pavel Pospěch: Romani people "on the attack in Brno"
- Roma from Brno call on Czech PM to support the creation of dignified jobs
- Czech Police Inspectorate to reopen case of police brutality in Brno
- Documentary about blockade of neo-Nazi march in Brno, Czech Republic premieres next month
- Roma residents of Brno, Czech Republic thank those who stood up to neo-Nazis on 1 May
- Czech Television reporter responds to criticism of his reporting from Brno on 1 May
- Commentary: Czech Television report from Brno on 1 May - Václav Havel looking to brawl?
- Online reporting from 1 May counter-protest against neo-Nazis in Brno, Czech Republic
- BRNO BLOCKS has proof of the neo-Nazi background of the 1 May march, calls for its ban
- Czech celebrities on why they will demonstrate against neo-Nazis 1 May in Brno
- The people of Brno (CZ) want to block neo-Nazi march peacefully on May Day. They are supported by celebrities
- Four anti-Nazi actions planned for 1 May in Brno, support for blockade increasing
- Massive protests expected against neo-Nazis in Brno on 1 May, city wants rally site changed
- Czech Regional Court returns online hate speech case about death threats against first-graders to lower court, more evidence needed
- Michal Mižigár: What democracy brought us Romani people in the Czech Republic in the 1990s
- Lifeguard gets state honors from Czech President for injuries sustained in brawl that sparked ultra-right anti-Romani demonstration
- Czech MPs pass over ultra-right party's candidate for Czech News Agency board in favor of Pirates' pick
- Pavel Botoš: Who will stop the use of terms like "cigoši" in the Czech Republic?
- Iveta Bílková: Czech society should not tolerate words like "Cigán", "Cigoši", etc.
- Roma are most frequently targeted by hatred on the Czech Internet, experts say the law applies online too
- Patrik Banga: Social media is depriving us of context and driving us all crazy
- Czech court gives suspended sentences and fines to "Bloc against Islamicization" followers over death threats to random pedestrians
- Czech court frees women charged with promoting Nazism more than a decade ago
- Czech court acquits man of using force against two racists who insulted him
- International Romani amateur boxing match won by team from Slovakia