Marco Goeke, the director of Hanover State Opera’s ballet company, was fired for smearing dog feces on journalist Wiebke Hüster‘s face following a lackluster review that she wrote, in which she described his production In the Dutch Mountain as “boring” and evoking feelings comparable to being “a personal state of retirement.”

Goeke was previously one of biggest German names in choreography.

Police are currently investigating the incident, and Goeke has since also been banned from visiting the opera house.

The confrontation started out as a verbal one, before escalating into an assault. He removed a bag of feces from his pockets that allegedly belonged to his pet dachshund Gustav, and then rubbed them “most brutally into her face,” Hüster, who reports for the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, told CNN.

“When I felt what he had done, I screamed,” she continued, stating that a member of the opera house’s press office had helped her clean her face in the bathroom. She then drove to a police station in central Hanover to report Goeke.

Her paper defended her and called the incident “an attack on press freedom” and one which revealed the true colors of artistic circles and how they handled criticism.

Lauren Berman, the house’s artistic director, released a statement apologizing to Hüster.

Goeke was fired officially this week.

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