New York — The sex harassment scandal roiling Hollywood jumped across the Atlantic Ocean, dove decades into the past and abruptly tanked an upcoming film release Friday when the BBC scrapped a TV series in the wake of rape allegations against actor Ed Westwick, actress Jenny McCarthy accused Steven Seagal of asking her to strip 22 years ago and Louis C.K’s new film was dumped a week before it was to open.
The decision to cancel the release of C.K.’s “I Love You, Daddy” came a day after the comedian was accused of sexual misconduct toward five women, including masturbating in front of them. The indie distributor The Orchard said it “will not be moving forward with the release.” C.K. has already been edited out of the upcoming HBO benefit “Night of Too Many Stars” and his work is being scrubbed from the cable network’s vaults.
More fallout came Friday when Netflix said it will not produce a second planned standup special starring the comedian, citing his “unprofessional and inappropriate behavior.” He had been tapped for two specials, with the first airing in April. At least five of the comedian’s stand-up special remain on Netflix.
Westwick also saw his work buried when the BBC pulled the Agatha Christie mystery thriller adaptation “Ordeal by Innocence” in which he appeared. The broadcaster also paused filming on the 1980s-set sitcom “White Gold,” which stars Westwick. The former “Gossip Girl” star has been accused of raping two women, charges he denies. On Instagram, he called the allegations “unverified and provably untrue.”
Actor Jeremy Piven also took to social media to once again declare his innocence of sexual misconduct, saying on Twitter he hopes the string of sexual harassment allegations will lead to “a constructive dialogue on these issues” but warned about “false accusations.”
“We seem to be entering dark times — allegations are being printed as facts and lives are being put in jeopardy without a hearing, due process or evidence. I hope we can give people the benefit of the doubt before we rush to judgment,” he wrote.
Piven, who has been accused by two women of sexual misconduct, faces a fresh accusation made against him from an advertising executive. Tiffany Bacon Scourby told People magazine that Piven held her down while he performed a sex act at a hotel 14 years ago.
McCarthy also reiterated an allegation she made against Seagal, saying she fled from a 1995 audition with Seagal after he repeatedly asked her to take off her clothes for a part that didn’t require nudity.
The former Playboy model recounted her encounter with Seagal during a tryout for “Under Siege 2” on her Sirius XM radio show Thursday, a day after actress Portia de Rossi accused Seagal of unzipping his pants during an audition.
McCarthy said Seagal was the only person in the room when she showed up to read for her part, she said. After declining his invitation to sit next to him on a couch, McCarthy, who said she purposefully wore a loose-fitting garment to the audition so the focus would be on her acting instead of her body, said Seagal asked her to remove her clothes. When McCarthy countered that she was told the part didn’t require her to be naked, she said Seagal told her that it involved “off-camera nudity.”
“I know you must have a beautiful body underneath there. Can you lower it so I can see your breasts,” she recalled Seagal saying.
A representative for Seagal didn’t immediately return a request for comment Friday, but a Seagal spokesman has denied McCarthy’s accusations to The Daily Beast. McCarthy told the same story to Movieline in 1998.
A look at some of the men accused:
- Producer Harvey Weinstein— Accused by dozens of women of sexual harassment or assault. Fired by The Weinstein Co. and expelled from various professional guilds. Under investigation by police departments in New York, London, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. He denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.
- Actor Jeremy Piven — Accused by three women of sexual misconduct. He denies all allegations.
- Actor Kevin Spacey — Accused by at least 14 men of sexual misconduct or assault. London police reportedly investigating a sexual assault. Fired from ‘House of Cards’ and replaced in Ridley Scott’s completed film ‘All the Money in the World.’ His former publicist has said he is seeking unspecified treatment.
- Filmmaker Brett Ratner — Accused by at least six women of sexual harassment. Playboy shelved projects with Ratner and Ratner stepped away from Warner Bros. related activities. He denies the allegations.
- Actor Steven Seagal — Accused by two women of rape. He denies the allegations.
- Comedian Louis C.K. — Accused by five women of sexual misconduct. Planned release of film “I Love You, Daddy” halted. Netflix special canceled. He says the allegations are true and has apologized.
- Actor Ed Westwick — Accused by two women of sexual assault. The BBC pulled an Agatha Christie adaptation from its television schedule and halted production on a second sitcom starring the “Gossip Girl’ actor. Los Angeles police are investigating. He denies the allegations.
- Actor Dustin Hoffman — Accused by woman of sexual harassing when she was 17. He has apologized for his behavior.
- ‘Mad Men’ creator Matthew Weiner — Accused by one woman of sexual harassment. He denies the allegation.
- Actor Robert Knepper — Accused by one woman of sexual assault. He denies the allegations.
- Actor Jeffrey Tambor — One woman alleges sexual misconduct. He denies the allegation.
- Writer—director James Toback — Accused by hundreds of women of sexual harassment. Beverly Hills police investigating complaints. He has denied the allegations to the Los Angeles Times.
- Producer Chris Savino— Accused of harassing up to 12 women. Fired from Nickelodeon. He has apologized for his behavior.
- Amazon executive Roy Price — Accused by one woman of sexual harassment. He resigned from Amazon.
- Journalist Mark Halperin — Accused of harassing about 12 women while at ABC News. Book contract terminated. Fired from job at NBC News. He has denied some of the allegations.
- New Republic publisher Hamilton Fish— Multiple sexual harassment allegations. He has resigned from the magazine.
- New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier — Accused of sexually harassing numerous women. Removed from the masthead of The Atlantic magazine. He has apologized for his behavior.
- NPR news chief Michael Oreskes — Accused of inappropriate behavior or sexual harassment by at least four women while at The New York Times, NPR and The Associated Press. He has been ousted from NPR.
- Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner — Accused by one man of sexual harassment. He says he did not intend to make the accuser uncomfortable.
- Billboard magazine executive Stephen Blackwell — Accused of sexual harassment by one woman. He has resigned from the magazine.
- Artforum publisher Knight Landesman — Accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and sued by one woman. He has resigned from the magazine.
- Webster Public Relations CEO Kirt Webster — Accused of sexual assault by one woman. Firm renamed and Webster is “taking time away’”
- Celebrity chef John Besh — Accused by 25 women of sexual harassment. He has stepped down from the company he founded.
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