Wednesday 15 August 2018

Warner Bros ends 450 million dollar deal with misconduct accused Brett Ratner

A lawyer for the Rush Hour producer has previously denied sexual misconduct claims by women including actress Olivia Munn.

Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment

By Sam Blewett, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Warner Bros will not renew a 450 million dollar deal (£317 million) with Brett Ratner, the powerful Hollywood producer who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.

The move, announced on Wednesday, severs the remaining ties with the Rush Hour producer whose accusers include actress Olivia Munn.

The studio’s deal with Ratner’s RatPac-Dune Entertainment financing company will expire with the US release of the new Dwayne Johnson film, Rampage, on Thursday.

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Baby names

A Warner Bros spokesman confirmed that the co-financing deal is off after the Los Angeles Times reported on the revelation.

The studio did not elaborate to the Press Association when asked if the decision was influenced by the allegations that were denied by Ratner.

There have been many frustrations at the lack of legal repercussions for those accused in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

These were amplified when prosecutors announced they would not charge film-maker James Toback, who has reportedly been accused by nearly 400 women, over five sexual assault investigations because of the statute of limitations in California.

But the Warner Bros decision appears to be one of the many financial implications of public allegations, which also have seen an international shift in the debate surrounding the treatment of women in many industries.

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Olivia Munn is among Ratner's accusers

Ratner first said he chose to “personally step away” from the studio to avoid “any possible negative impact”.

That came after X-Men: Apocalypse actress Munn and The Whole Nine Yards’s Natasha Henstridge were among six women to tell the Los Angeles Times that Ratner subjected them to sexual misconduct.

Munn, 37, said Ratner masturbated in front of her on the set of his film After The Sunset, which she visited as an aspiring actress in 2004.

Henstridge, 43, alleged she was subjected to sexual harassment by Ratner when she was 19.

Ratner’s lawyer Martin Singer previously “categorically” disputed the women’s claims and told the newspaper: “I have represented Mr Ratner for two decades, and no woman has ever made a claim against him for sexual misconduct or sexual harassment.”

The Press Association has been unable to contact Toback, the 73-year-old Oscar-nominated writer of 1991’s Bugsy, but he denied claims to Rolling Stone magazine and The Los Angeles Times.

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