You can’t help but notice that Hollywood, as of late, has been addressing the sharks and wolves that have been preying on victims. Hell, it has been happening for decades; for example, Alfred Hitchcock was noted for it. Well, now the raped, harassed, intimidated and discriminated are speaking up against their attacks and dozens of bullies have been called out with all sorts of allegations. It has even touched (bad choice of word) performers involved at HBO. They are all names you will recognize.
One of the biggest set of allegations that drew attention was the ones made against comedian Louis C. K. Five women spoke out against his lewd behavior over the years. He’d get them into a space where he could masturbate in front of them. When such actions take place or at least when accusations surface many choose to distance themselves from any association with the perpetrator as not to show support for their behavior or to enable a situation for it to happen again. HBO has taken that stance with this comedian. Louis C. K. was in the line-up of scheduled performers for NIGHT OF TOO MANY STARS and was pulled from that live event. It even took down from its streaming sites the 2006 series LUCKY LOUIE that ran for thirteen episodes. Also out of sight are any of his stand-up stints HBO aired. Not so lucky now is he?
Another HBO persona charged with allegations of inappropriate and unwarranted actions is Jeremy Piven from ENTOURAGE. He has been accused of groping women. At least one victim was an extra on the HBO series where Piven played the character of Ari Gold. HBO said in a statement that its records from the time don’t show any complaints against Piven and that it ‘takes sexual harassment seriously’ and is committed to ensuring ‘a safe and comfortable work environment’ for all its employees. Piven, recently of CBS’s Wisdom of the Crowd, went public with the results of an officially conducted polygraph test which revealed when asked about such assaults that he answered truthfully when he said he did not assault anyone. As of now all eight seasons of ENTOURAGE are available on HBONow/Go.
GIRLS’ Lena Dunham at first defended a writer for that series, Murray Miller, claiming false accusations that he assaulted the actress Aurora Perrineau. A day later Dunham backpedaled a bit and tweeted: “I naively believed it was important to share my perspective on my friend’s situation as it has transpired behind the scenes over the last few months. I now understand that it was absolutely the wrong time to come forward with such a statement and I am so sorry.” The supposed new age feminist caused a bit of buzz with all that.
Russel Simmons of Def Records and HBO’s DEF COMEDY JAM, which is relaunching on HBO in December, has been accused of sexual assault by model Keri Claussen Khalighi. He has addressed the allegation against him.
Lastly, we previously reported that Mark Halperin, political journalist & writer of HBO Films’ GAME CHANGE, had his projects with HBO dropped. That movie is still available on the streaming sites.
There is a long list that seems to grow almost daily, of accusers and the accused. It has been a problem since the entertainment industry began but only now has victims come out in force to decry the actions that have affected them. We can always hope we have finally exhausted that list of offenders. Here’s hoping.
The list of victims is an even longer list. Here are a few that have come forward that HBO fans will recognize: from BIG LITTLE LIES Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern of ENLIGHTENED, Evan Rachel Wood of WESTWORLD, Melanie Lynskey of TOGETHERNESS, Anna Paquin of TRUE BLOOD, Anika Noni Rose of THE NO 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY, Julianne Moore of HBO Films’ GAME CHANGE, Angelina Jolie of HBO Film’s GIA and probably some we’ve missed. Some of those above have reached out, among others, at #MeToo.