HOLLYWOOD—What is going on in Hollywood? Two Oscar-winning actors, a Hollywood filmmaker and a senior US news editor are the latest high-profile figure to be accused of sexual harassment. Actors Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman have been accused of sexual misconduct and have issued apologies. Meanwhile, six women have accused Brett Ratner, 48, director of the “Rush Hour” film series and “X-Men: The Last Stand,” of sexual harassment or misconduct.
Ratner’s lawyer “categorically” denied all of the accusations on his behalf. The women, including “The Newsroom” actress Olivia Munn, made the allegations in the Los Angeles Times. Natasha Henstridge, who appeared in the films “Species” and “The Whole Nine Yards,” claimed she had been forced into a sex act with Ratner as a teenager. The actress, now 43, was a 19-year-old model at the time she alleges Ratner stopped her from leaving a room at his New York apartment.
She reported to the Los Angeles Times, “He strong-armed me in a real way.” “He physically forced himself onto me.” Ratner made a strong denial via his lawyer Martin Singer. He told the LA Times: “I have represented Mr. Ratner for decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. Furthermore, no woman has ever requested or received any financial settlement from my client.”
So who has been accused of misconduct? Well, new allegations have surfaced from a number of men accusing Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct. US filmmaker Tony Montana claims he was groped by the actor in a Los Angeles bar in 2003. According to published reports, Mr. Montana said he was in is 30s when the incident took place at the Coronet Bar in Los Angeles. It follows an allegation made by Anthony Rapp that the “House of Cards” actor tried to seduce him when he was 14 years old. Spacey says he has no recollection of the encounter, and was “beyond horrified.” Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos, who acted in several plays at the theatre in England, claims Spacey “routinely preyed” on young male actors. Netflix, in the meantime has halted production on the sixth and final season of “House of Cards.”
Actor Dustin Hoffman has been accused of sexually harassing an intern on the set of one of his films in 1985. Anna Graham Hunter, a writer, says that when she was 17, the Oscar-winning actor groped her and made inappropriate comments about sex to her. She said, “He was openly flirtatious.” Hoffman apologized, and said he was sorry if he “put her in an uncomfortable situation.”
“I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am,” said Hoffman in a statement.
Senior editor Michael Oreskes resigned following accusations he kissed female colleagues without their consent. The 63-year-old was asked to step down by the National Public Radio (NPR) network in response to the allegations. He has previously worked for the Associated Press and the New York Times. Two women spoke to the Washington Post on condition of anonymity, and reported stories of abrupt and unexpected kisses during business meetings. They said they were worried about career development if their names were made public.
One of the women said that while she met Mr. Oreskes in the hope of getting a job with the New York Times, he suggested that they eat room service lunch in a hotel. He has not, as of press time, commented publicly on the allegations, and journalists at NPR report that they have tried to contact him for comment, without success.
A growing number of allegations have been made against public figures in recent weeks. The allegations have been sparked by multiple women speaking out against the Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, and a subsequent campaign encouraging victims to share their stories of sexual harassment under the #metoo hastag.
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