On July 8, 2020, the Madrid district of Arganzuela approved an initiative by Más Madrid and PSOE to get rid of Plácido Domingo’s name from a school.
The proposal to remove the famed opera star’s name from the school started up months back prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 and a vote on the issue was set to take place back on March 11.
While Más Madrid and PSOE voted in favor of the initiative, not everyone was in favor of the vote. Ciudadanos and PP abstained from voting, while Vox voted against the action.
The call for action was fully backed by a petition made on Change.org, which per a report from Scherzo, had over 1,300 signatures.
“It is not prudent that someone who has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse of power, that he himself has recognized, to have his name attached to an educational institution,” remarked Rita Maestre of Más Madrid, per a report by COPE.
Accusations of sexual harassment by Plácido Domingo toward nearly two dozen women were reported in mid-August of 2019, leading to the cancelation of many of singer’s engagements at opera houses around the world. Several organizations launched investigations into Domingo’s behavior with the American Guild of Musical Artists confirming behavior in line with sexual misconduct.
In response to those findings, Domingo issued a statement in which he noted, “I have taken time over the last several months to reflect on the allegations that various colleagues of mine have made against me. I respect that these women finally felt comfortable enough to speak out, and I want them to know that I am truly sorry for the hurt that I caused them. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I have grown from this experience. I understand now that some women may have feared expressing themselves honestly because of a concern that their careers would be adversely affected if they did so. While that was never my intention, no one should ever be made to feel that way. I am committed to affecting positive change in the opera industry so that no one else has to have that same experience. It is my fervent wish that the result will be a safer place to work for all in the opera industry, and I hope that my example moving forward will encourage others to follow.”
A few days later he issued another statement that read, “I feel I must issue a further statement to correct the false impression generated by my apology in some of the articles reported on the AGMA investigation. My apology was sincere and heartfelt, to any colleague who I have made to feel uncomfortable, or hurt in any manner, by anything I have said or done. As I have said it repeatedly, it was never my intention to hurt or offend anyone. But I know what I have not done and I’ll deny it again. I have never behaved aggressively toward anyone, and I have never done anything to obstruct or hurt anyone’s career in any way. On the contrary, I have devoted much of my half century in the world of opera supporting the industry and promoting the career of countless singers. I am grateful to all the friends and colleagues that, up until now, have believed in me and supported me through these difficult moments. In order to spare them harm or any additional inconvenience, I have decided to withdraw from my upcoming performances of ‘La Traviata’ at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Furthermore, I will withdraw from the engagements in which theaters and companies find it difficult to carry out those commitments. On the other hand, I will fulfill all my other commitments wherever circumstances permit it.”
Since then, several organizations in Spain cut ties with Domingo, including the Teatro de la Zarzuela.
Domingo still has several performances scheduled at the Arena di Verona, Vienna State Opera, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and Teatro alla Scala, among others.