Flemish Minister of Culture Sven Gatz said on Thursday that he was taking seriously an open letter signed by about 20 colleagues and interns of Jan Fabre, complaining about the conduct of the Antwerp-based artiste and announced that his ministry was launching an investigation into Fabre’s Troubelyn dance company. “I am worried by the contents of the letter,” the Open Vld minister said on VRT-radio’s morning programme, “De Ochtend”, adding that he had been informed of the issue 10 days ago. “Any complaint about transgressive behaviour needs to be taken seriously,” he stressed.
Gatz said his ministry’s Culture, Youth and Media Department would look into the matter. “An audit by my administration offers the possibility of giving a hearing to all parties,” he noted. “I am awaiting the conclusions of my administration before launching other phases,” he stated in a press release.
Minister Gatz recalled that Troubelyn receives subsidies from the Flemish Government. The conditions governing such assistance include respect for labour laws and, therefore, do not authorize transgressive behaviour.
An investigation Gatz commissioned into the culture and media sector showed that every other woman working in the sector has been the target of inappropriate behaviour, while four percent said they had been subjected to forced sexual contacts or blackmail.
Following the publication of the results of the investigation, Gatz wishes to develop a plan of action together with the trade unions.