Today in Hollywood harassment, "The Royals" creator Mark Schwahn has been suspended from that show after allegations of sexual misconduct were brought to light by the cast and crew of his previous show, **"One Tree Hill."
Kevin Spacey, who has already been dropped by Netflix's "House of Cards," faces 20 new accusers from his time at London's Old Vic theater, while Senator Al Franken has been accused of inappropriate conduct during a USO tour.
Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein was slapped with a second lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct -- this one of a class-action nature -- and Vice Media has launched an internal investigation over its own allegations of sexual harassment. Amazon is exploring ways to continue "Transparent" without its lead as the company investigates allegations against Jeffrey Tambor.
Here's the latest:
20 New Allegations Against Kevin Spacey at Old Vic
After initial allegations against the Oscar-winning actor began to surface, London's Old Vic established a process where people who interacted with him could file any allegations of "inappropriate behavior." The theater announced Thursday they have received 20 such allegations.
The theater acknowledged a variety of complaints, though none against minors and no details were given, adding, "It has also not been possible to verify any of these allegations, and it is important to note that Kevin Spacey has not commented on them."
A "cult of personality" around Spacey, who began performing there in the 1990s and served as artistic director from 2004-2015, may have created an environment where people did not feel comfortable coming forward. "The Old Vic truly apologizes for not creating an environment or culture where people felt able to speak freely," the theater said.
In the wake of a letter signed by the cast and crew of "One Tree Hill" alleging sexual misconduct on the part of then-showrunner Mark Schwahn, he has been suspended from the position on current E! series "The Royals."
The production companies behind "The Royals" immediately began an internal investigation and announced in a statement Wednesday that he had been suspended. Production on Season 4 of the series has already wrapped; it is expected to debut in the next few months.
Alexandra Park, one of the series' stars, also released a statement where she claimed that "The Royals" cast and crew had also experienced this behavior. "I have a responsibility as someone who was working under Mark Schwahn on 'The Royals' to acknowledge these claims," she wrote. "I am devastated to admit to myself, to my colleagues and to this industry that I too, have been exposed to this reprehensible behavior."
Park went on to praise the changing culture that allows people to come forward now without fear of "losing an opportunity so hard to come by," and expressed appreciation for the studio and network for taking action. Read her whole statement below:
'Transparent' Considering Moving Forward Without Jeffrey Tambor
While television shows have moved on without their central star before, it's much harder to do when that star is pivotal to the show, and yet that's what the creators of Amazon's "Transparent" are now considering. The studio is currently investigating a sexual misconduct claim against Jeffrey Tambor, and so the writers are reportedly considering ways to move forward without the series' central character.
"Transparent" tells the story of Tambor's Maura, a transgender woman who comes out later in life, and how this impacts her family. Amazon has not made any further statements about the future of the series or Tambor while the investigation is ongoing.
Tambor released a statement denying the allegations from his former assistant, referring to her as "disgruntled." He wrote, "I adamantly and vehemently reject and deny any and all implication and allegation that I have ever engaged in any improper behavior toward this person or any other person I have ever worked with."
One day after a woman filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein for alleged rape, a second woman has come forward to file suit. In her suit, the anonymous actress claims Weinstein denied her a role in a film after she refused to show him her breasts.
This second suit has also asked for class-action status against the fallen mogul, as well as the companies he co-founded, Miramax and The Weinstein Company. It claims that both companies covered up Weinstein's sexual misconduct for years. The suit cites "dozens, and likely hundreds" of possible class members and seeks damages in excess of $5 million, which could be tripled under federal racketeering law.
The suit accuses the defendants of violating federal racketeering laws, assault, civil battery, and infliction of emotional distress, as well as negligent supervision. Weinstein has denied all allegations against him.
Sen. Al Franken Accused of Groping, Kissing Woman Without Consent
Leeann Tweeden, a television and radio host, accused Senator Al Franken of inappropriate sexual contact during a USO tour in the Middle East in 2006. Tweeden detailed the alleged assault on KABC/790's website, saying that it happened while the two were rehearsing a skit he wrote that involved a kiss.
According to Tweeden, Franken kept insisting they rehearse despite her protests. "He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss," she wrote. "We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth."
Tweeden also posted an image of Franken appearing to grab her breasts while she was asleep on the plane ride home. "He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep," she wrote.
Franken apologized in a statement. "I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” he said. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn't. I shouldn't have done it."
The original report alleges that former LA bureau chief Kaj Larsen repeatedly harassed former producer Phoebe Boarghouty, including inappropriate touching and comments, and that when she raised her concerns to then editor-in-chief Jason Mojica, she was dismissed. Mojica was also accused of making sexually charged jokes, which he denies.
"We do not tolerate harassment, abusive behavior, assault or retaliation and we will discipline anyone who engages in such conduct through a range of actions, including termination, as appropriate," a rep for the company said.
Also raised was a "nontraditional workplace agreement" that Vice employees are required to sign, acknowledging that they'll be exposed to "offensive, indecent, violent or disturbing" content.
The Daily Beast reported that it interviewed more than a dozen current and former employees who cited the non-disclosure agreement in choosing anonymity, and spoke of a culture hostile to women. In response, Vice said the agreement is often used by companies that deal in edgy content, but that it in no way sanctions sexual harassment.