Journalist sues music director over Facebook rant

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A South African music journalist is suing a freelance music director linked to popular South African rock act, the Parlotones. The suit comes after the director threatened to physically harm the journalist on Facebook following a negative review.

According to the Cape Argus, the threat came after the journalist, Diane Coetzer wrote a review of the Parlotones big-budget stage show, “Dragonflies and Astronauts” for the Daily Maverick. The article, subtitled “Lousy theatre, great music”, criticised a number of aspects of the show’s production.

The director, Eban Olivier, was involved in the show and reacted to the review with posts on Facebook, including:

ON A HAPPIER NOTE… I am going to build something like this! Using my Subaru as a base for the chassis and HELL as the inspiration… then I am going to drive over Diane with it!!! Build will start on Saturday!

Olivier, also posted a photo of Coetzer, with the comment: “So after this bitch p***** me off to the end degree today I decided to put a snap shot of miss happy on facebook, so should you feel the need to walk past her and give her a PK [p*** klap] you know who dish it out to!”

The Argus reports that Coetzer is suing Olivier for ZAR150 000 (US$18 865).

Olivier will attempt to defend the action on the basis that he posted he comments on a closed page, visible to his friends only.

He alleged that Coetzer had gained access to the posts through a mutual friend and erroneously assumed they were posted on an open page.

After he became aware that Coetzer had viewed the posts, Olivier removed many but not all of them.

He then posted an apology in the form of a Facebook note, which read:

In honesty…. I have taken it tooo far as I am so passionate as to what I do for a living… I did not decide to not print programs… I did not engineer the shortfall if any… I did not make the opening night a media evening as it was suppose to have been a rehearsal night. I did not ask for criticism aimed at my company but I did hope for objective crit from people like DIANE in the industry that my partner and I respected. She was not even open to calling us to our 5 cents worth. We can take criticism, but her crit was a personal attack for some reasons, I obviously think – for the literal people out there – I offended her and her family – I apologise for that – it was unnecessary….. It was more an Arri Gold moment. I am just sooooo sick and tired of sideline coaches in this country that can always do something better yet they are not able to organise a piss up in a brewery! So call me an arsehole etc. But I put my bloody heart and soul into this project – if someone want do DISS and not Critt – then I can not help to stay vocal about it!

A number of the offensive posts reportedly remained on the site, though, and were not removed until a couple of weeks after the apology.

Olivier has since removed his Facebook profile all together.

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