LOS ANGELES • Brett Ratner, a top producer and director whose films include Rush Hour and The Revenant, is facing allegations from women who said he had sexually harassed or assaulted them over the course of two decades, making him the latest prominent Hollywood figure to be accused of sexual misconduct.
The news comes as Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman responded to an allegation of sexual harassment by a teenage intern on a film set more than 30 years ago.
And the escalating allegations of misconduct reached the US media business on Wednesday as National Public Radio chief executive Jarl Mohn wrote in an e-mail to staff seen by Agence France-Presse that he had asked senior vice-president for news Mike Oreskes for his resignation because of "inappropriate behaviour" and that the executive had obliged.
In an article published on Wednesday in the Los Angeles Times, six women described encounters with Ratner that ranged from lewd comments to assault.
Actress Natasha Henstridge, who has appeared in films including the Species series and The Whole Nine Yards, said that Ratner had forced her to perform oral sex more than 20 years ago. Actress Olivia Munn said Ratner had masturbated in front of her when, as an aspiring actress, she delivered food to his trailer.
Late on Wednesday, Ratner issued a statement saying that "in the light of the allegations being made", he was stepping away from all activities related to Warner Bros, the movie studio with which he has a US$450 million (S$612 million) agreement to co-finance films.
Ratner's lawyer, Mr Marty Singer, disputed the women's accusations in the Los Angeles Times.
He also denied in a statement to The New York Times that there had been any misconduct by Ratner, asserting that "we are confident that his name will be cleared once the current media frenzy dies down and people can objectively evaluate the nature of these claims".