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Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood predators


kerraig UK
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Just seen this shared on FB. Eliza Dusku just posted a story about how she was abused by the lead stunt man on True Lies when she was 12.

 

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When I was 12 years old, while filming “True Lies”, I was sexually molested by Joel Kramer, one of Hollywood’s leading stunt coordinators.

 

Ever since, I have struggled with how and when to disclose this, if ever. At the time, I shared what happened to me with my parents, two adult friends and one of my older brothers. No one seemed ready to confront this taboo subject then, nor was I.

I am grateful to the women and men who have gone before me in recent months. The ever-growing list of sexual abuse and harassment victims who have spoken out with their truths have finally given me the ability to speak out. It has been indescribably exhausting, bottling this up inside me for all of these years.

 

I remember, so clearly 25 years later, how Joel Kramer made me feel special, how he methodically built my and my parents’ trust, for months grooming me; exactly how he lured me to his Miami hotel room with a promise to my parent that he would take me for a swim at the stunt crew’s hotel pool and for my first sushi meal thereafter. I remember vividly how he methodically drew the shades and turned down the lights; how he cranked up the air-conditioning to what felt like freezing levels, where exactly he placed me on one of the two hotel room beds, what movie he put on the television (Coneheads); how he disappeared in the bathroom and emerged, naked, bearing nothing but a small hand towel held flimsy at his mid-section. I remember what I was wearing (my favorite white denim shorts, thankfully, secured enough for me to keep on). I remember how he laid me down on the bed, wrapped me with his gigantic writhing body, and rubbed all over me. He spoke these words: “You’re not going to sleep on me now sweetie, stop pretending you’re sleeping,” as he rubbed harder and faster against my catatonic body. When he was ‘finished’, he suggested, “I think we should be careful…,” [about telling anyone] he meant. I was 12, he was 36.

 

I remember how afterwards, the taxi driver stared at me in the rear view mirror when Joel Kramer put me on his lap in the backseat and clutched me and grew aroused again; and how my eyes never left the driver’s eyes during that long ride over a Miami bridge, back to my hotel and parent. I remember how Joel Kramer grew cold with me in the ensuing weeks, how everything felt different on the set.

And I remember how soon-after, when my tough adult female friend (in whom I had confided my terrible secret on the condition of a trade that she let me drive her car around the Hollywood Hills) came out to the set to visit and face him, later that very same day, by no small coincidence, I was injured from a stunt-gone-wrong on the Harrier jet. With broken ribs, I spent the evening in the hospital. To be clear, over the course of those months rehearsing and filming True Lies, it was Joel Kramer who was responsible for my safety on a film that at the time broke new ground for action films. On a daily basis he rigged wires and harnesses on my 12 year old body. My life was literally in his hands: he hung me in the open air, from a tower crane, atop an office tower, 25+ stories high. Whereas he was supposed to be my protector, he was my abuser.

 

Why speak out now? I was 12, he was 36. It is incomprehensible. Why didn’t an adult on the set find his predatory advances strange — that over-the-top special attention he gave me. Fairly early on he nicknamed me “Jailbait” and brazenly called me by this name in a sick flirty way in front of others (at the time, I remember asking one of my older brothers what it meant). Sure, I’ve come to understand the terrible power dynamics that play into whistle-blowing by “subordinates” against persons in power, how difficult it can be for someone to speak up. But I was a child. Over the years I’ve really struggled as I’ve wondered how my life might have been different if someone, any one grown-up who witnessed his sick ways, had spoken up before he lured me to that hotel room.

Years ago, I had heard second hand that Joel Kramer was “found out” and forced to leave the business. I learned recently that in fact he still works at the top of the industry. And a few weeks ago, I found an internet photo of Joel Kramer hugging a young girl. That image has haunted me near nonstop since. I can no longer hide what happened.

 

Hollywood has been very good to me in many ways. Nevertheless, Hollywood also failed to protect me, a child actress. I like to think of myself as a tough Boston chick, in many ways I suppose not unlike Faith, Missy, or Echo. Through the years, brave fans have regularly shared with me how some of my characters have given them the conviction to stand up to their abusers. Now it is you who give me strength and conviction. I hope that speaking out will help other victims and protect against future abuse.

 

With every person that speaks out, every banner that drops down onto my iphone screen disclosing similar stories/truths, my resolve strengthens. Sharing these words, finally calling my abuser out publicly by name, brings the start of a new calm.

 

Eliza Dushku

 

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Uggggghhhh. Liam. "You do silly things." "It's childhood stuff."

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/entertainment-arts-42675667/liam-neeson-bemoans-sexual-harassment-witch-hunt-in-hollywood

 

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Actor Liam Neeson has said he feels there is a now witch hunt around sexual harassment in Hollywood.

He told RTE that harassment needed to be looked into, but he was on the fence about allegations surrounding Dustin Hoffman.

Mr Hoffman's lawyers have described claims by three women as "defamatory falsehoods".

 

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Interesting to see Megan Ganz say that it was healing just to hearing Harmon say out loud and in public what she'd known all along. Basically up until that point, him continuing to exist in the same world without acknowledging this was a form of gaslighting, I guess. That's where, say, Louis CK's apology falls a bit short in comparison - it was still targeted towards protecting himself and his reputation to a large degree, and framing what had happened in terms of the rationalisation rather than the truth, and I say that having felt at the time that it was better than those that came before. But yeah, I'm glad to see a positive outcome in this case at least.

 

But just to bring me back down to earth, I'm seeing the online conversation quickly turn from general support and believing victims, to wheeling out the same arguments that had briefly seemed to be consigned to the past. "Can we wait for proof before we ruin this guy's career", "why doesn't she go to the police instead of doing this through the media", "why didn't she say anything at the time" etc. I fully expect that in the case of Joel Kramer, if no other victims come out with other accusations, or if no criminal charges result from Dushku's accusation, then the guy will keep working, for sure. People are acting like one unverified claim can leave someone destitute and friendless, what planet are they living on?

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1 hour ago, Liamness said:

 

 

 

But just to bring me back down to earth, I'm seeing the online conversation quickly turn from general support and believing victims, to wheeling out the same arguments that had briefly seemed to be consigned to the past. "Can we wait for proof before we ruin this guy's career", "why doesn't she go to the police instead of doing this through the media", "why didn't she say anything at the time" etc. I fully expect that in the case of Joel Kramer, if no other victims come out with other accusations, or if no criminal charges result from Dushku's accusation, then the guy will keep working, for sure. People are acting like one unverified claim can leave someone destitute and friendless, what planet are they living on?

 

I think this is the first claim in Hollywood I've seen where the claim might leave the accused destitute. I doubt that stunt co-ordinators have as much money tucked aside as some of the more high profile accused.

 

However, by running this line the other line that's being silently run even if the people saying it don't realise it is that the health of the career of abusers is more important than the health and welfare of the woman or child that's being mistreated. It puts pressure on the survivors of abuse to put the welfare of their abusers above their own. And it also assumes that any abusive act should be taken as an isolated incident that needs to be instantly forgiven and buried. This ignores that the survivor will have to deal with the consequences for years to come and also ignores that this sort of thinking enables serial abuse.

 

It also flips the truth. It makes it out like Eliza Dushku's actions will make him destitute whereas it was his actions 25 years ago that will make him destitute.

 

In any case Eliza Dushku's testimony has been backed up by her mother who wasn't on the set of True Lies due to work committments and her legal guardian who was on set.

 

http://deadline.com/2018/01/eliza-dushku-true-lies-legal-guardian-sexual-assault-allegations-joel-kramer-1202242637/

 

Booth-Forbes, now Director of Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat, provided her account to Deadline that supports Dushku’s accusations against Kramer. “Eliza Dushku is telling the truth,” said Booth-Forbes who added that she was on the set of True Lies for three weeks and reported Kramer’s misconduct but nothing happened. She also said that she unsuccessfully tried to keep Kramer away from the young actress. Booth-Forbes accompanied Dushku to the hospital after a stunt accident had left her with broken ribs.



 

"Eliza Dushku is telling the truth.

I was on the True Lies set for 3 weeks and reported Joel Kramer’s inappropriate sexual behavior towards 12-year-old Eliza to a person in authority. I was met with blank stares and had the sense that I wasn’t telling that person anything they didn’t already know.

I tried to keep Joel away from her as did others working on the set, but because of all the stunts she had to do, he was constantly involved with her and her body. Those who knew didn’t know what to do and were far enough down the pecking order to be afraid of losing their jobs if they pressed the issue because all the power lay in the hands of those who called the shots and would stop at nothing to protect each other.

That was years ago when that power structure was the norm, and the bullies were in charge. Only now does it appear that women and men know what to do and are doing it. May Eliza be believed and supported and may her courage in telling her truth make a contribution to the sea change that is in progress."

 

 

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Aziz Ansari now...

 



Golden Globe award-winning comedian and writer Aziz Ansarihas been accused of sexual misconduct by a woman who claims she went on a date with him in 2017. 

An article in Babe reports the 23-year-old photographer, named only as "Grace" to protect her anonymity, describing in uncomfortable detail an encounter which allegedly took place last year after they met at an Emmy Awards afterparty.

She claims the Master of None star asked for her phone number and they exchanged texts for a week before arranging a date in September, which reportedly ended with Grace in an Uber on the way home, “in tears”.

The pair of them allegedly had dinner, where it felt like “Ansari was eager for them to leave”. “He got the cheque and then it was bada-boom, bada-bing, we're out of there,” she told Babe. 

She then says they walked back to his apartment, and started kissing. “In a second, his hand was on my breast.” She describes how Ansari allegedly kept persisting in his attempts to have sex with her, “going to grab a condom within minutes of their first kiss” and sticking his fingers down her throat before performing a sex act on her. 

She claims she used continual verbal and non-verbal indicators that she was uncomfortable, and eventually told him she didn't “want to feel forced”. Ansari then allegedly motioned for her to perform a sex act on him, and repeatedly asked her: “Where do you want me to f**k you?”.

Eventually Grace says they sat and watched television, where “it really hit me that I was violated”. She says she went home and felt “groggy and miserable” the next day, telling some of her friends about the experience. 

Ansari reportedly sent Grace a text the next evening to say it was “fun” meeting her.

Grace claims she responded: “Last night might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me. You ignored clear non-verbal clues; you kept going with advances.”

“I’m so sad to hear this,” Ansari allegedly responded. “Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.” 

Babe viewed the text exchange, and confirmed the number Grace was texting matched Ansari's details on a public register.

Grace told the website she was shocked by Ansari’s behaviour, as he has had a reputation for being a “woke” guy who respects women. 

Ansari was one of the many men who has voiced their support of the #TimesUp movement, which aims to eliminate sexual misconduct, and wore a pin supporting the campaign at this year's Golden Globe awards.

He has built a career on comedy that focuses on issues of race and sexual consent, which has earned him considerable praise from prominent female voices. Refinery29 called him a “certified woke bae” in 2016.

Responding to the allegation, he issued a statement via a representative where he acknowledged he went on a date with "Grace" and "ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual". 

"The next day, I got a text from her saying that although 'it may have seemed okay', upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable'," he said. "It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she said. 

"I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue."

Grace said she never saw Ansari again, that is until she saw him win a Best Actor award at the 2018 Golden Globes. It was at that time that her memories of the alleged incident flooded back.

“It was actually painful to watch him win and accept an award,” she said. “And absolutely cringe-worthy that he was wearing the Time’s Up pin. I think that started a new fire, and it kind of made it more real [...] I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz. I was not listened to and ignored. It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had.”

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Edit: in response to Unofficial Who:

 

He is one of the most sought-after stuntmen in Hollywood, I think it's fair to assume he's pretty fuckin rich, or living "comfortably". Not that that makes any difference, as whatever happens, he brought on himself.

 

For now, his talent agency has dropped him

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3 minutes ago, Omizzay said:

Aziz Ansari now...

 

 

 

 

Too many men think that when they go on a date with a woman, she afterwards owes them sexually. It is automatically assumed. Even something seemingly innocent as a goodnight kiss, if a man forces that on a woman, he takes away her ability to decide with whom she shares sexual contact or intimacy, her ability to decide over her own body. Our bodies are not yours to grab, kiss, or insert anything into just because we had dinner and a chat.

 

He's just one of many. I am so tired of seeing these stories. Now I'm not saying his career need be affected by this, but if it clues him into the fact that he is still part of the problem, and his behaviour grows more considerate, then that's good enough. 

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58 minutes ago, Illyria said:

 

Edit: in response to Unofficial Who:

 

He is one of the most sought-after stuntmen in Hollywood, I think it's fair to assume he's pretty fuckin rich, or living "comfortably". Not that that makes any difference, as whatever happens, he brought on himself.

 

For now, his talent agency has dropped him

 

Good. 20 plus years late but good.

 

Jamie Lee Curtis has backed up Eliza's claims.

 

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jamie-lee-curtis-eliza-dushku-true-lies-abuse_us_5a5ba76de4b03c418966b2e2

 



Yesterday, Eliza Dushku published her account of having been molested during the shooting of the movie “True Lies,” in which I played her mother. She had shared that story with me privately a few years ago. I was shocked and saddened then and still am today.

We have all started to awaken to the fact that the terrible abuses now commonplace in daily news reports have been going on for a very long time. Unconscionably, those reports frequently come along with claims by the perpetrators that, as adults, those perpetrated against had some part in it.

Eliza’s story has now awakened us from our denial slumber to a new, horrific reality. The abuse of children.

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41 minutes ago, Illyria said:

 

Too many men think that when they go on a date with a woman, she afterwards owes them sexually. It is automatically assumed. Even something seemingly innocent as a goodnight kiss, if a man forces that on a woman, he takes away her ability to decide with whom she shares sexual contact or intimacy, her ability to decide over her own body. Our bodies are not yours to grab, kiss, or insert anything into just because we had dinner and a chat.

 

He's just one of many. I am so tired of seeing these stories. Now I'm not saying his career need be affected by this, but if it clues him into the fact that he is still part of the problem, and his behaviour grows more considerate, then that's good enough. 

 

Yep, a Dan Harmon style apology would be super awesome. Not sure it's going to happen though.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/jan/15/aziz-ansari-responds-to-sexual-assault-allegation

 



In a statement given to People on Sunday night, Ansari said: “In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual.

“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed OK’, upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem OK to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.

“I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture ... It is necessary and long overdue.”

The woman’s texts to Ansari the day after their date were supplied to Babe. In them, she wrote: “Last night might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me. You ignored clear non-verbal cues; you kept going with advances.

“You had to have noticed I was uncomfortable … nothing [changed] even after I expressed that I’d like to slow it down.”

Ansari responded: “I’m so sad to hear this. All I can say is, it would never be my intention to make you or anyone feel the way you described. Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.”

 

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23 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

Good. 20 plus years late but good.

 

Jamie Lee Curtis has backed up Eliza's claims.

 

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jamie-lee-curtis-eliza-dushku-true-lies-abuse_us_5a5ba76de4b03c418966b2e2

 

 

 

I saw yesterday that her on-set guardian backed her up too. She even tried reporting it, but just got a blank stare in return. 

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12 minutes ago, JohnC said:

I saw yesterday that her on-set guardian backed her up too. She even tried reporting it, but just got a blank stare in return. 

 

Yep. I think I quoted some of that further up the page. End result was no report sent up the chain plus Eliza ended up almost dying in a later stunt.

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1 hour ago, Illyria said:

Even something seemingly innocent as a goodnight kiss, if a man forces that on a woman, he takes away her ability to decide with whom she shares sexual contact or intimacy, her ability to decide over her own body.

 

When I started dating in my late 20's I could never do the 'traditional' kiss thing at the end, no matter how well it went. For me it sort of felt more natural at around date 3 or 4. Quite a few people always found this absurd and funny, couldn't believe that I had not  'went for it'. Women too. I think it's some kind of insecurity thing why a lot of men try to force it at the end, sort of like 'Is this going well? I need to know NOW!' or 'It's now or never!' or 'She might go on another date after this, I must seal the deal now.' or even the cliche 'Got to look confident!'.

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16 minutes ago, Capwn said:

 

When I started dating in my late 20's I could never do the 'traditional' kiss thing at the end, no matter how well it went. For me it sort of felt more natural at around date 3 or 4. Quite a few people always found this absurd and funny, couldn't believe that I had not  'went for it'. Women too. I think it's some kind of insecurity thing why a lot of men try to force it at the end, sort of like 'Is this going well? I need to know NOW!' or 'It's now or never!' or 'She might go on another date after this, I must seal the deal now.' or even the cliche 'Got to look confident!'.

 

Oh yeah it's so deeply ingrained in society, and many women also think like that, like you said. It's obviously not all black and white or always easy to tell what the other party expects or tries to signal. But too many guys just assume they have a right to get a goodnight kiss, or more. Which they don't.

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3 minutes ago, Illyria said:

 

Oh yeah it's so deeply ingrained in society, and many women also think like that, like you said. It's obviously not all black and white or always easy to tell what the other party expects or tries to signal. But too many guys just assume they have a right to get a goodnight kiss, or more. Which they don't.

 

Too many guys assume they deserve a kiss regardless.

 

I still remember the weird landlord we had who we dubbed "kissy kissy David" because he would try to kiss my mum on the lips every time he came to collect the rent.

 

Naturally after she refused his advances one too many times he evicted us the pathetic shit. "Sorry, my girlfriend thinks you want to sleep with me. You've got two weeks to move out."

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The David Cage story merits a mention here if only for his Hollywood name dropping as a defence.

 

https://www.kotaku.com.au/2018/01/david-cages-quantic-dreams-accused-of-being-a-toxic-workplace/

 

Reports in three separate French outlets depict a pattern of inappropriate behaviour, sexist and homophobic jokes, and an overall toxic environment at Quantic Dream, something the video game studio's executives strongly deny.

 

However

Calling these charges and others "absurd", Cage told Le Monde, per Eurogamer,



"You want to talk about homophobia? I work with Ellen Page, who fights for LGBT rights. You want to talk about racism? I work with Jesse Williams, who fights for civil rights in the USA... Judge me by my work."

 

Woah, that's pretty ballsy. Because what journalist isn't going to follow this up by contacting Ellen Page and asking for her opinion?

 

Loads more discussion here https://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/303296-dailymail-article-on-david-cages-detroit/&page=2

 

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10 hours ago, Illyria said:

 

Too many men think that when they go on a date with a woman, she afterwards owes them sexually. It is automatically assumed. Even something seemingly innocent as a goodnight kiss, if a man forces that on a woman, he takes away her ability to decide with whom she shares sexual contact or intimacy, her ability to decide over her own body. Our bodies are not yours to grab, kiss, or insert anything into just because we had dinner and a chat.

 

He's just one of many. I am so tired of seeing these stories. Now I'm not saying his career need be affected by this, but if it clues him into the fact that he is still part of the problem, and his behaviour grows more considerate, then that's good enough. 

 

See, this is where I struggle slightly, and I'm happy to be corrected, but if a date went well, and you felt a connection, then surely at some point it's accepted that you go in for a kiss?

 

You could ask "can I kiss you?", but that's a bit rubbish really, and can spoil the moment. I'm clear that if it's not reciprocated then obviously it'll be an awkward moment that you can both laugh off and then not date again, but kissing when there is a mutual attraction there is something that 90% of people will just go for.

 

I don't get how going for a kiss is sexual assault, in the context of a date. Am I missing something?

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1 hour ago, Isaac said:

 

See, this is where I struggle slightly, and I'm happy to be corrected, but if a date went well, and you felt a connection, then surely at some point it's accepted that you go in for a kiss?

 

You could ask "can I kiss you?", but that's a bit rubbish really, and can spoil the moment. I'm clear that if it's not reciprocated then obviously it'll be an awkward moment that you can both laugh off and then not date again, but kissing when there is a mutual attraction there is something that 90% of people will just go for.

 

I don't get how going for a kiss is sexual assault, in the context of a date. Am I missing something?

 

Let me give you my own personal experience:

 

First date, met via dating app. Went out for dinner and a couple of drinks, had a good long chat but nothing too flirty, just friendly getting to know one another. No touching of arms, hands, thighs, whatever: zero physical contact the entire evening. After the dinner we're both grabbing the same tram, his stop comes up before mine. As we say goodbye, I say "ok bye" and go in for a friendly quick hug, you know, very obvious. He then says "I do want a kiss though", grabs my chin, moves my head to the side and kisses me all within the space of 1 second, not giving me a chance to prevent it. I'm a very timid person, I don't share this stuff easily, and I cried all the way home because it had happened against my will. Yeah it was just a kiss, but for me, it crossed a line. I'd have much preferred if he'd asked and I could've said, no, sorry not tonight. Personally if I want to be kissed I don't mind being asked, I'd think that's sweet. Obviously not all women are going to agree on this point, so I don't envy you guys, but if it was me I'd choose to play it safe rather than upsetting someone, you know?

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11 hours ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

Yep. I think I quoted some of that further up the page. End result was no report sent up the chain plus Eliza ended up almost dying in a later stunt.

 

It's mind boggling that this all took place and was ignored on the set of one of the biggest films of that year.

 

A Cameron/Arnie film set where a 12 year old is sexually assaulted and then put in danger by her attacker who is negligent in doing his job. 

 

The fact he thought he could, and did, get away with all this is horrifying.

 

 

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On 30/11/2017 at 15:22, Stevedave said:

Has Steven Seagal been mentioned in all this yet?

 

There's almost never ending tales of him hitting on 15 year olds, touching women at premieres etc.

 

Finally someone's called him out.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42627922

 

There's so many stories out there involving Seagal and his sleezy ways. Maybe this will snowball now. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Ork1927 said:

 

It's mind boggling that this all took place and was ignored on the set of one of the biggest films of that year.

 

A Cameron/Arnie film set where a 12 year old is sexually assaulted and then put in danger by her attacker who is negligent in doing his job. 

 

The fact he thought he could, and did, get away with all this is horrifying.

 

 

 

Looks like it might not have been an isolated incident either. Two more women have come forward.

 

https://www.avclub.com/2-more-women-come-forward-accuse-stunt-coordinator-joe-1822102111

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