In the wake of high-profile New York Times and New Yorker reports about extensive, long-term sexual abuse of women by Hollywood producer and executive Harvey Weinstein, victims of sexual harassment and assault are coming forward to share their stories on social media and in the press.
Mar 16, 2019
National Geographic has completed its investigation reports of sexual misconduct by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and will resume plans to air two shows that he is involved with, Star Talk and Cosmos: Possible Worlds, reports Entertainment Weekly.Read Article >
According to EW, National Geographic did not disclose the findings of its investigation, only that it had concluded. We’ve reached out to National Geographic for comment, and will update this post if we hear back.
Feb 7, 2019
Writer-director Woody Allen filed a $68 million lawsuit against Amazon Studios today. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, Allen claims the company breached its contract with him when it declined to release four of his films.Read Article >
“Seeking to capitalize on Mr. Allen’s international stature, talent, and track record, Amazon—a technology giant but Hollywood novice—sought to develop its nascent entertainment studio by entering into a series of deals with Mr. Allen and his company, Gravier, promising to finance and distribute his future films and to be his “home” for the rest of his career,” the suit reads in part. “In June 2018, however, Amazon backed out of the deals, purporting to terminate them without any legal basis for doing so, while knowing that its actions would cause substantial damage to Mr. Allen, Gravier, investors and the artists and crew involved in making the films.” Allen and his company were set to make between $68 and $73 million from the agreements with Amazon.
Jan 9, 2019
Production company Skydance Media announced today that it is hiring John Lasseter, the former chief creative officer of Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Animation Studios, to head Skydance’s nascent animation division. Lasseter, who worked his way up from an animator job at Pixar to a powerful position overseeing Disney’s animation strategy and storytelling, was first placed on a leave of absence from Disney in November 2017, then was pushed out of the company in June 2018, following a wave of complaints about sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and groping female employees at Disney’s companies.Read Article >
Skydance CEO David Ellison issued a memo to staff about the hiring, saying, “Let me be clear: we have not entered into this decision lightly.” The memo says Skydance investigated the allegations against Lasseter and took them seriously, but he adds, “We are certain that John has learned valuable lessons and is ready to prove his capabilities as a leader and a colleague. And he has given his assurance that he will comport himself in a wholly professional manner that is the expectation of every Skydance colleague and partner.”
Dec 1, 2018
Fox and National Geographic say that they have launched investigations into claims made against astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson after two women came forward with allegations that he made inappropriate sexual advances towards them.Read Article >
deGrasse Tyson hosts the Fox and National Geographic reboot of the classic Carl Sagan documentary series, which first premiered in 2014. Earlier this summer, Fox renewed the series for a second season, Possible Worlds, which will premiere in 2019.
Sep 9, 2018
CBS CEO and chairman Les Moonves has stepped down from his post following a new report from Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker, which brought new allegations of sexual misconduct. CBS’s board made the announcement on Sunday evening, following a report from CNN that broke word of his departure.Read Article >
CBS says that its board of directors and its parent company National Amusements announced that they reached a settlement this evening that would see Moonves step down immediately. CBS will also donate $20 million to organizations that support the #MeToo movement, the amount of which will be “deducted from any severance benefits that may be due Moonves following the Board’s ongoing independent investigation.” Moonves will not receive any payout at this time, although whether or not he does receive money will depend on the outcome of the investigation.
Aug 1, 2018
Industry insiders were reportedly shocked about Disney’s sudden firing of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn two weeks ago, in response to an orchestrated outcry over tasteless jokes he’d made on Twitter years earlier. But the most surprising thing was how quickly the entire story moved. The right-wing troll attacks on Gunn, who was in the process of pre-production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, peaked late on Thursday the 19th; by mid-Friday the 20th, Disney had removed him, describing the tweets as “indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values.”Read Article >
At San Diego Comic-Con, where Gunn’s scheduled appearance to promote a horror movie he produced for Sony was pulled at the last minute, the firing prompted executives to gossip about whether Disney had overreacted. (The consensus seemed to be yes.) They repeatedly came back to the same question: What is actually going on here?
Jul 30, 2018
In a New Yorker report last week, six women accused CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves of sexual misconduct, with dozens more describing an environment of sexual harassment and intimidation at the company. Today, the broadcasting company has announced that it is in the process of hiring outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations, The Hollywood Reporter writes.Read Article >
Moonves, one of the highest-paid executives in the world, is a highly influential figure who oversaw popular shows such as The Big Bang Theory at CBS. He is a Television Hall of Fame inductee whose career includes stints as the CEO of Warner Bros. Television and as a vice president at 20th Century Fox Television. While Moonves was vocal about supporting the #MeToo movement, allegations dating back decades accused Moonves of grabbing and groping women he was meeting with, in one case locking a woman in his office while they were meeting.
Jul 27, 2018
A new investigation from journalist Ronan Farrow tracks sexual misconduct accusations against Les Moonves, the influential 68-year-old chief executive officer of CBS, by six women. Farrow’s articles detailing extensive sexual assault and harassment from Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein won him a Pulitzer Prize for public service, and kickstarted the backlash against sexual harassment and abuse that later spawned the #MeToo movement.Read Article >
The investigation was published in The New Yorker this evening, following a leak earlier today to The Hollywood Reporter, which published news of Farrow’s imminent report and immediately caused CBS stock to drop more than 5 percent. CBS released a statement earlier today saying it took the claims seriously and would be opening an internal investigation.
Jun 28, 2018
When John Lasseter, Pixar’s former chief creative officer, left the esteemed animation studio in early June 2018, the public word on his transgressions were vague. Lasseter reportedly had “missteps” that made some people feel “disrespected and uncomfortable.” Today, a former Pixar employee has detailed how things at Pixar have been, and it’s much worse than Pixar had previously disclosed.Read Article >
In a guest column for Variety, edited from a much lengthier original post on the Be Yourself vertical at Medium, graphic designer Cassandra Smolcic — who spent her late twenties at Pixar, from 2009 to 2014 — levels specific accusations about Lasseter and other men at the company. From the onset, she claims she was warned about the behavior Lasseter and other Pixar leaders displayed around women. It was bad enough that she says that she was banned from the weekly art meetings on the film she was assigned to because a superior told her that the COO “‘has a hard time controlling himself’ around young women.” Smolcic reportedly experienced this firsthand with Lasseter, who she says made a number of unwanted advances toward female staff.
Jun 8, 2018
John Lasseter, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ chief creative officer, will leave both companies by the end of 2018, following revelations last year that he sexually harassed employees, according to The New York Times. Lasseter has been on a leave of absence from the studio since November, when he first acknowledged what he worded as “missteps” that left his employees feeling “disrespected and uncomfortable.” In the months since, media organizations and entertainment industry critics widely speculated on whether he could return to Pixar, or whether Disney would force him to resign.Read Article >
Lasseter was one of Pixar Animation Studios’ first employees, and he directed its earliest hits — including Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, and Toy Story 2. He has been one of the primary authors of Pixar’s house style and voice since its inception, and he has similarly directed Disney’s animation division since Disney acquired Pixar in 2006.
Mar 20, 2018
The Weinstein Company has filed for bankruptcy and ended all of its nondisclosure agreements. The company, which produced and distributed Hollywood films like Inglourious Basterds and Silver Linings Playbook, was co-founded by Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct dating back decades.Read Article >
More than 70 women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault since October, creating a global reckoning and sparking the #MeToo movement, which has continued to shine a light on misconduct in the workplace. Weinstein was fired as the company’s CEO in October over the allegations and the company has since been struggling financially. Weinstein has denied ever having non-consensual sex.
Feb 3, 2018
The New York Times has published a lengthy report about actress Uma Thurman, who details several sexual assaults from disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, as well as the unsupportive and physically endangering behavior of Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino.Read Article >
In the exposé, Thurman says that she got to know Weinstein and his wife after starring in Tarantino’s 1994 film, Pulp Fiction. “He used to spend hours talking to me about material and complimenting my mind and validating me,” she says. “It possibly made me overlook warning signs. This was my champion.”
Jan 17, 2018
When a little-known website called Babe published a detailed account of alleged sexual misconduct by comedian Aziz Ansari on Saturday night, many of the reactions were colored not just by the behavior it described, but the informal nature of the reporting and the obscurity of the platform. “What the fuck is babe dot net?” asked one writer, a question several outlets felt obliged to answer with explainers.Read Article >
The story, which was recounted to 22-year-old reporter Katie Way by an anonymous source with the pseudonym “Grace,” is framed as a first-person narrative with the headline “I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It turned into the worst night of my life.” Since its publication on Saturday, it’s become a flashpoint for the ongoing backlash against the #MeToo movement, largely because of the tabloid packaging and the bizarre style of the reporting. The article clocks in around 3,000 words, and details the incident exhaustively, from arguably irrelevant minutiae like Ansari’s choice of wine or Way’s personal opinion on Grace’s choice of first-date look (“It was a good outfit”) to a graphic description of an unwelcome sexual maneuver termed “the claw.”
Jan 15, 2018
Actor Aziz Ansari has responded to allegations of sexual misconduct published this weekend on the website Babe.Read Article >
In the report, a 23-year-old woman recounts a 2017 date with Ansari that she says turned sour when they went back to his apartment after dinner. She says Ansari was persistent in trying to undress her and initiate sex, even after she told him she was uncomfortable. The Babe report includes a text screenshot from the following day in which the woman tells Ansari, “It’s like nothing changed even after I expressed that I’d like to slow it down.”
On Twitter this morning, comedy writer Megan Ganz told Dan Harmon that she is willing to forgive him for the harassment and abuse she suffered while working for him on NBC’s Community.Read Article >
Ganz responding after listening to episode of Harmon’s podcast Harmontown, where he confessed to the abuse and explained it in detail. That confession came after Harmon had tweeted a vague New Year’s resolution promising to become “not an asshole” in 2018 and Ganz responded by asking for a more specific apology.
James Franco has been accused of sexually inappropriate or exploitative behavior by five women in the Los Angeles Times this morning.Read Article >
Each of the reports, which come from five women who attended Studio 4, Franco’s acting school, or otherwise considered him a personal mentor in the film industry, are corroborated by multiple sources and denied by Franco’s attorney, Michael Plonsker.
Jan 3, 2018
On New Year’s Eve, Community and Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon tweeted, “This was truly the Year of the Asshole. Myself included. We don’t have to make 2018 the Year of the Mensch but I hope it can be the Year of the Not as Much of an Asshole. #RealisticGoals.” The admission, vague as it is, was not totally surprising: Harmon was a notoriously impetuous showrunner during Community’s heyday at NBC, and was fired from the show in 2012. A 2014 behind-the-scenes documentary about his podcast Harmontown often showed him berating his girlfriend and friends.Read Article >
On Tuesday morning, comedy writer Megan Ganz — who worked on Community from 2010 to 2013 and now works on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia — quote-tweeted the admission and asked Harmon to explain.
Dec 14, 2017
Director Morgan Spurlock, best known for the 2004 fast food documentary Super Size Me, stepped down from his production company Warrior Poets today following his detailed, preemptive Twitter confessions about sexually abusive behavior towards women.Read Article >
In a TwitLonger post, he wrote, “As I sit around watching hero after hero, man after man, fall at the realization of their past indiscretions, I don’t sit by and wonder ‘who will be next?’ I wonder, ‘when will they come for me?’”
Dec 13, 2017
On Monday, Netflix fired Andy Yeatman, the executive who reportedly discounted the women who accused actor Danny Masterson of rape in early December, according to The Hollywood Reporter.Read Article >
“Mr. Yeatman is no longer employed at Netflix,” a Netflix spokesperson confirmed in a statement to The Verge.
Dec 5, 2017
Netflix announced today that the company will write actor Danny Masterson out of its original series The Ranch, following allegations from multiple women who say Masterson raped them in the early 2000s. A Netflix statement says Monday was Masterson’s last day on set, and that the comedy series will continue in 2018 without him.Read Article >
The announcement comes one day after the Huffington Post reported that one of Masterson’s alleged victims approached Netflix executive Andy Yeatman at a children’s soccer game in Los Angeles this weekend and asked why Netflix hadn’t responded to the allegations against Masterson. Yeatman, Netflix’s director of global kids’ content, reportedly responded, “We don’t believe them.” Yeatman later reportedly said he wasn’t in a position to make any decisions about Masterson.
Nov 29, 2017
Warning: this piece contains extremely graphic descriptions of sexual assault and/or violenceRead Article >
For the last several years, Morgan Marquis-Boire was widely considered a rock star of the cybersecurity world. He was known as one of the “good guys,” an activist committed to progressive causes and the protection of digital privacy and human rights. Within the goth scene in Auckland, New Zealand, he DJed at goth events, where his bombastic personality and good looks earned him popularity and notoriety within a small and insular subculture.
Nov 21, 2017
John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, is taking a six-month leave of absence in the wake of complaints about his professional behavior. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lasseter announced the news in a staff memo on Tuesday, where he admitted to “missteps” and behavior that left employees feeling “disrespected or uncomfortable.”Read Article >
“I’ve recently had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me. It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them,” he writes in the memo. “Collectively, you mean the world to me, and I deeply apologize if I have let you down. I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form. No matter how benign my intent, everyone has the right to set their own boundaries and have them respected.”
Nov 20, 2017
Just weeks after Amazon launched an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against the star of its Emmy-winning show Transparent, Jeffrey Tambor has told Deadline that he is not returning next season.Read Article >
In a statement to the publication, Tambor said that while he was privileged to take part in the show, recent events have made it clear that it “is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago.”
Nov 12, 2017
On Friday, BuzzFeed published a report with sexual harassment allegations against former DC Comics Group Editor, Eddie Berganza. On Saturday the publisher announced that Berganza has been suspended, pending a review of the allegations.Read Article >
In the report, three former company employees alleged that Berganza groped, kissed, or made otherwise inappropriate remarks and advances over a period of years, and that his actions were an open secret throughout the company. Despite complaints brought to DC’s human resources office, Berganza was promoted to Executive Editor in 2010, but was later demoted to Group Editor amidst rumors of sexual harassment complaints and an incident at a convention. Despite that, Bleeding Cool reported that Berganza went through remedial training, and was allowed to oversee the production of several high-profile titles such as Superman and Wonder Woman, to the dismay of other employees.
Nov 11, 2017
In an interview in The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, model Scott R. Brunton accused Star Trek actor George Takei of sexual assault, which allegedly took place in the actor’s condo in 1981. In a response on Twitter, Takei says he is “shocked and bewildered” at the accusation, and says the incident “simply did not occur.”Read Article >
Brunton claims he met Takei at a bar when he was 23, and says they exchanged numbers and spoke from time to time. When Brunton broke up with his boyfriend, Takei invited him to dinner, and ended up at Takei’s home for drinks. Brunton says Takei offered him a drink, and soon thereafter, he felt “disoriented and dizzy” and passed out, waking up to find Takei groping him. THR says several of Brunton’s friends have confirmed that Brunton told them the story over the years.