Hollywood predators on the prowl?

Facing sexual harassment accusations: (from left) Actor Kevin Spacey, director James Toback and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Facing sexual harassment accusations: Actor Kevin Spacey (above), director James Toback and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Facing sexual harassment accusations: (from left) Actor Kevin Spacey, director James Toback and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Facing sexual harassment accusations: Actor Kevin Spacey, director James Toback (above) and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Facing sexual harassment accusations: (from left) Actor Kevin Spacey, director James Toback and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Facing sexual harassment accusations: Actor Kevin Spacey, director James Toback and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein (above).PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Corey Feldman
Corey Feldman

Kevin Spacey: Netflix ends House Of Cards

NEW YORK • Kevin Spacey has the cards stacked against him now. The day after the actor apologised following an accusation that he made a sexual advance on a 14-year-old boy in the 1980s, Netflix announced that the next season of his show House Of Cards would be its last.

Netflix and Media Rights Capital, the studio behind the show, said in a statement on Monday that they were "deeply troubled by last night's news" concerning Spacey, 58.

"Executives from both of our companies arrived in Baltimore this afternoon to meet with our cast and crew to ensure that they continue to feel safe and supported," the statement said. "As previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time."

A Netflix spokesman said the decision to make the sixth season the show's last had been made months ago. Those episodes are scheduled to be released next year.

Spacey has played the lead character in the House Of Cards since it debuted in 2013, starring alongside Robin Wright and also serving as an executive producer.

The political thriller was a breakthrough for Netflix, just as it was starting its efforts to produce original programming and offer subscribers an opportunity to watch an entire season of a new series in one fell swoop.

Spacey's over-the-top performance as politician Frank Underwood has earned him five Emmy Award nominations.

This is not a coming-out story about Kevin Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Anthony Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against unwanted sexual advances.

MS SARAH KATE ELLIS, president of the Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

On Monday, the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which presents the International Emmy Awards, also announced that it would not honour Spacey, a two-time Oscar winner, with a founders award.

It was to be bestowed at the International Emmy Awards Gala on Nov 20.

On Sunday night, BuzzFeed published an article in which Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making a sexual advance when he was 14 and Spacey was in his mid-20s.

Spacey released an apology shortly after, in which he revealed that he was gay. He said he did not recall the episode, but apologised for his "deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour" and that the allegation "has encouraged me to address other things about my life".

Beau Willimon, a creator on House Of Cards who left the series last year, said earlier on Monday that he found Rapp's allegations "deeply troubling".

"During the time I worked with Kevin Spacey on House Of Cards, I neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behaviour on set or off," he tweeted.

"That said, I take reports of such behaviour seriously, and this is no exception. I feel for Mr Rapp and I support his courage."

Spacey has also come under fire on social media for what many saw as a disingenuous conflation of an apology for sexual misconduct with a public acknowledgement of being gay.

"Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault," said Ms Sarah Kate Ellis, president of the Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. "This is not a coming-out story about Kevin Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Anthony Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against unwanted sexual advances."

NYTIMES, REUTERS


Corey Feldman: Former child star wants $13 million before naming alleged paedophiles

NEW YORK • Should he not report to the police? Last week, 1980s child star Corey Feldman said he would reveal the men who, he alleges, molested him and other young Hollywood actors - but only once he raises US$10 million (S$13.6 million) to create a feature film that will be the "most honest and true depiction of child abuse ever portrayed".

The delay in naming names is a concern for, among others, the mother of actor Corey Haim, who Feldman claims was raped at 11.

Haim died of pneumonia in 2010.

On Monday morning, before Feldman, 46, appeared on the Today show, host Matt Lauer read a statement from Haim's mum.

She had told NBC News that if Feldman decides to expose abusers now "for the sake of more victims, I'll be 100 per cent behind that. But if he's waiting to release the names in the movie, I don't support that.

"He doesn't need US$10 million to do it."

Both Lauer and fellow host Megyn Kelly talked to Feldman during interviews that got heated at times. During the Kelly session, Feldman revealed one name - talent manager Marty Weiss - though he said he had already done so in his 2013 memoir Coreyography.

Why is it if I don't release the names in the next two months, six months or a year, I'm the bad guy? I'm the victim here.

COREY FELDMAN

The interview got contentious, especially when Lauer said: "In all fairness, though, we've been down this road before... you have promised in the past to name names."

"Never," Feldman replied.

Lauer said: "When you were talking about your book, you said you were going to blow the lid off this."

Feldman claimed that his publisher forced him to leave out allegations against specific people, "which is why I'm taking the matter into my own hands", he said. "And this is why I need America's support. I need the world's support."

Lauer said: "You just told me that this (sexual abuse) is still prevalent in Hollywood so every day you wait, every day you try to raise money, I would imagine, you believe children are still being abused by paedophiles in Hollywood.

"So why are you sitting down talking to me? Why aren't you... talking to the police right now?"

According to Feldman, he gave all the names to Santa Barbara police in 1993 when they questioned him about Michael Jackson over child molestation. The singer, Feldman maintained, never abused him.

The reason he will not go to the police now, he said, is because the statute of limitations has expired.

"And let me push this forward," Feldman said. "There are thousands of people in Hollywood who have the same information.

"Why is it all on me? Why is it if I don't release the names in the next two months, six months or a year, I'm the bad guy?

"I'm the victim here. I'm the one who's been abused. I'm the one who's trying to come forward and do something about it."

WASHINGTON POST


Harvey Weinstein: Producers' guild bans him for life

LOS ANGELES • The storm surrounding disgraced Harvey Weinstein shows no signs of blowing over, with the Producers Guild Of America banning him for life on Monday, as new accusations of sexual assault from three more women have surfaced.

It has been three weeks since The New York Times and New Yorker exposed the Hollywood tycoon as a relentless and bullying sexual predator in their investigative reports.

More than 50 women - including stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Mira Sorvino - have accused the 65-year-old Weinstein of sexual abuse and harassment, although he denies forcing himself on anyone.

"In the light of Mr Weinstein's widely reported behaviour - with new reports continuing to surface even now - the Producers Guild's national board has voted unanimously to enact a lifetime ban on Mr Weinstein, permanently barring him from PGA membership," the guild said in a statement.

"This unprecedented step is a reflection of the seriousness with which the guild regards the numerous reports of Mr Weinstein's decades of reprehensible conduct. Sexual harassment can no longer be tolerated in our industry or within the ranks of Producers Guild membership."

The announcement came as accusations of serious sexual assault continued to pile up against Weinstein, whose films have received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes.

Ms Hope Exiner d'Amore said she was raped by Weintein in a hotel room in the 1970s, according to a Times article published on Monday.

This unprecedented step is a reflection of the seriousness with which the guild regards the numerous reports... Sexual harassment can no longer be tolerated in our industry or within the ranks of Producers Guild membership.

PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA

Now 62, she was in her early 20s at the time of the alleged incident. She worked for Weinstein's concert promotion company in the late 1970s.

Cynthia Burr said he attacked her in the 1970s, in an encounter that ended with forced oral sex in a hallway.

She was then trying to make it as an actress and her manager had told her to meet Weinstein, then seen as a promising industry prospect.

A third complainant, Ashley Matthau, a dancer with a bit part in one of Weinstein's movies, said he pushed her down on a bed in a 2004 attack, masturbating while straddling her.

On Saturday, the New Yorker ran an interview in which actress Annabella Sciorra - an Emmy nominee for her role in the acclaimed television series The Sopranos - accused Weinstein of forcing his way into her apartment and violently raping her in the 1990s.

Last week, according to the Times, the actress Dominique Huett filed a lawsuit claiming that in 2010, Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her, while Mimi Haleyi, a former production assistant, told a news conference in New York he had attacked her in 2006.

Police in New York, Los Angeles and London have all confirmed criminal investigations into Weinstein's activities.

The toppled tycoon was sacked as co-chairman of The Weinstein Company and also resigned from its board.

The fallout has also spread to other men, with director James Toback, political journalist Mark Halperin, celebrity chef John Besh and former United States president George H.W. Bush all drawing flak over allegations of sexual misconduct.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2017, with the headline 'Hollywood predators on the prowl?'. Print Edition | Subscribe