Director warns that big Hollywood actor is being protected against 'troubling' allegations
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A director has warned that there is a big Hollywood actor who is currently being protected against ‘troubling’ allegations.
Jim Field Smith, the director of Apple TV’s Hijack and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Truth Seekers, took to Twitter to share details of allegations he’d heard about an unnamed actor, saying he had been ‘dissuaded’ from hiring them by others in the industry.
He said he’d felt motivated to share what he’d been told in the wake of accusations that comedian Russell Brand had sexually assaulted a number of women – as detailed in a joint investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches and British newspapers The Times and The Sunday Times.
“The Russell Brand case has brought this all up for me again,” he wrote.
“If someone in a position of relative power, such as me, can’t really make a dent on a situation like that, then what hope do victims have?”
Field Smith, 44, said the actor he’d been warned about had displayed a concerning ‘pattern of behaviour’, despite there being no criminal allegations against them.
In a lengthy thread on Twitter, the director explained: “I was once dissuaded from hiring Actor X because other actors I was meeting for other roles had heard X might be attached to the project and had said unequivocally they would not work on the project in those circumstances.
“There were no criminal allegations against X, but rather a pattern of behaviour that several people had either noticed or been personally subjected to. When I asked these people why this wasn’t common knowledge, they said that speaking up didn’t seem to make a difference.
"This was really troubling. After not much deliberation, the casting director and I decided not only to cease negotiations with X, but also more importantly to be very open and honest about why we were doing so.”
Field Smith said he received ‘fury and thinly-veiled threats’ from the actor’s ‘very powerful agency’, before being contacted directly by the star – who ‘calmly and […] somewhat convincingly’ tried to reassure him that anything he’d heard about them ‘was just gossip’.
“But nonetheless they were keen to know who my ‘sources’ were,” he continued.
“When I refused to disclose them, X started listing several possible suspects – none of whom, tellingly, were the original sources, thus convincing me we had made the right decision.
“But of course several years later X is still working, in front of and behind camera. Those that had expressed their concerns originally were all right about one thing for sure – speaking up didn’t seem to make a difference.”
Comparing the incident to the Brand case, Field Smith added: “Are we really surprised that people don’t speak up, when at best it has no effect and at worst it can destroy their own lives further?
"The onus is not on victims to press charges. There is also not, as Russell Brand seems to think, a statute of limitations on s***ty behaviour.
“We should of course hear and enable the victims’ voices. But it’s not them that should be forced to speak up. It’s us.”