At the moment it seems as though everyday, another male celebrity is accused of some form of sexual harassment. This week alone we have seen it in the form of The Disaster Artist‘s James Franco and Marvel Legend Stan Lee. The latest actor to find himself on the receiving end of these allegations is Ant-Man and The Wasp star, Michael Douglas, however this time the actor has tried to preempt the damage and has released a statement denying the claims. Read on to find out more.
The actor was recently contacted by The Hollywood Reporter and Variety in regards to allegations they were looking to run from a former employee of Douglas’ who makes some pretty interesting claims about the stars behavior. Whilst those websites haven’t yet released the claims, we do have some idea of what they are thanks to a statement put out by Douglas to Deadline. The statement reads:
“I got a message from my attorney that The Hollywood Reporter wanted to do a story about an employee that worked for me approximately 32 years ago. She claims that, One, I used colorful language in front of her, not at her, but that I used colorful language. Two, she claims that in conversations I had in front of her, on the phone, that I spoke raunchily, or dirtily with friends of mine, in private conversations. I fired her eventually, for the work she was doing, but Three, she claims that I blackballed her from the industry and stopped her from getting another job. And then, Four, she claims that I masturbated in front of her.”
He then went on describe the claims as “a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever” and hinted that he believes it to be simply a disgruntled former employee looking to take advantage of the current #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns which are trying to make a change in Hollywood.
Until we hear from The Hollywood Reporter or Variety what the actual allegations are, we will need to base it on what we know from the above statement. If these are the points however, with the exception of number four, they aren’t particularly condemning. Yes, bad language is wrong, but it’s not illegal and it’s certainly not an issue if it’s not actually being aimed at the victim, similarly what Douglas discusses in a private phone-call shouldn’t be brought into question if it doesn’t relate to her at all.
It’s also hard to believe that Douglas would go out of his way to ‘Blackball’ her from the industry, it’s likely more a case of her simply not being able to find work and finding someone to pin the blame on.
In regards to the idea of his character being brought into question, Douglas also added
“I pride myself of being so supportive of the women’s movement. My mother was an actress, and I myself married to an actress [Catherine Zeta Jones] and have been supportive of this movement wholeheartedly, through all my years. I was forced to look over my past. I’ve had up to 20 female executives who worked at my company in different areas over the years. Over 20 producers I partnered with on pictures have been women. Not to mention all the actresses I’ve worked with and the hundreds of performers. How am I, in a 50 year career in this industry, dealing with an employee 33 years ago who perhaps is disgruntled that I let her go, even though I have never heard from her in 32 years. And a legitimate trade publication is going to try and print this story? There is no corroboration, just that they found out somebody else might run the story.”
It certainly seems like there is any truth in these claims there would have been others coming forward with similar stories.
Stories like this are becoming all too common and it’s getting to the point where it is difficult to know what is true and what isn’t these days. It is all too easy to make an allegation that could damage an actor’s life. That’s not to say that there aren’t genuine cases out there and people who do need to face justice, but it just seems like people are using the campaign for all the wrong reasons.
Through the internet, it has now become a ‘Guilty until proven innocent’ situation that means that a lot of people are finding their reputations called into question, something which can be very damaging to a person’s career.
We will need to wait for The Hollywood Reporter or Variety’s reports to find out the entire story.
What do you think? Do you believe these claims? Is anybody in Hollywood innocent? Let us know below.