Sexual misconduct scandals

Is Matt Damon out of Ocean's 8?

An online petition demanding the dumping of Matt Damon's cameo in the upcoming Ocean's 8 has garnered almost 17,000 signatures.
An online petition demanding the dumping of Matt Damon's cameo in the upcoming Ocean's 8 has garnered almost 17,000 signatures.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MATT DAMON

The Oscar winner has alienated people with remarks over the sexual-misconduct firestorm blazing through Hollywood.

Now, he may become the next male star to end up on the cutting room floor. An online petition demanding the dumping of his cameo in next year's heist movie, Ocean's 8, had nearly reached its goal of 17,000 signatures, as of Thursday.

Critics said his inclusion would be particularly galling, given its status as an all-female reboot of the popular franchise, starring Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Helena Bonham Carter.

The petition calls on Ocean's 8 producers George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh "to toss Damon's cameo where it belongs: on the cutting room floor".

It alleges that he "enabled" Harvey Weinstein's conduct by trying to quash a New York Times report in 2004 that detailed instances where the now fallen producer exploited his status to assault women.

Damon, 47, denied trying to bury the story and claimed he had no idea of the allegations against Weinstein, who helped catapult him into an international household name.

The actor also came under fire last week for telling ABC News that there was a "spectrum of behaviour" and a "difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation".

HARVEY WEINSTEIN

He and his former production company have been hit with a US$10-million (S$13.4-million) lawsuit by a former associate producer on Netflix show Marco Polo.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Ms Alexandra Canosa in the New York Supreme Court on Wednesday, accuses the 65-year-old of sexual harassment, assault and emotional distress.

The alleged behaviour happened while she was employed by Weinstein and The Weinstein Company.

She is listed as an associate producer on the Netflix show, Marco Polo, on which he was executive producer.

He "made it clear that if she did not succumb to his demands or if she exposed his unwanted conduct, there would be retaliation, including humiliation, the loss of her job and any ability to work in the entertainment business", the lawsuit said.

LEONARD LOPATE, JONATHAN SCHWARTZ

It is the end of transmission for the two long-time personalities on WNYC station after the New York Public Radio pressed the "stop" button on Thursday.

The duo had faced recent allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Lopate, 77, and Schwartz, 79, were suspended earlier this month.

New York Public Radio, owner of WNYC, revealed that the duo had previously been accused of improper acts and had been subjected to disciplinary action, even before the latest claims surfaced.

Lopate, a WNYC host for more than 30 years, had been given a warning and asked to go for anti-harassment sessions.

Schwartz, who joined WNYC in 1999, had also been disciplined before for his behaviour.

MARK SCHWAHN

The creator-producer of The Royals has been axed from the television show about a fictional British royal family.

Last month, he was suspended after the female cast of his previous series, One Tree Hill, alleged that he had acted improperly.

Television writer Audrey Wauchope had accused him of sexual harassment during the time she and her writing partner, Rachel Specter, worked on the drama.

Other former cast and crew members also signed an open letter detailing harassment by Schwahn, saying they were "put in uncomfortable positions" and "felt physically unsafe" and "threatened".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2017, with the headline 'Is Matt Damon out of Ocean's 8?'. Print Edition | Subscribe