Hollywood sex accusations now levied at Ratner, Hoffman

  • FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2017 file photo, Dustin Hoffman arrives at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grants Banquet in Beverly Hills, Calif. Hoffman is apologizing for alleged sexual harassment of a 17-year-old intern in 1985. Writer Anna Graham Hunter alleges that the 80-year-old actor groped her on the set of TV movie “Death of a Salesman” and “talked about sex to me and in front of me.” (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File) Jordan Strauss

  • FILE - In this April 26, 2017 file photo, Brett Ratner arrives at the Wolfgang Puck's Post-Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony Celebration in Beverly Hills, Calif. Hollywood's widening sexual harassment crisis ensnared another prominent film director when six women, Including actress Olivia Munn, accused Ratner of harassment or misconduct in a Los Angeles Times report, on Wednesday, Nov. 1. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File) Willy Sanjuan

  • FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2014, file photo, James Toback arrives at the 2014 AFI Fest "The Gambler" in Los Angeles. Beverly Hills police say they're investigating complaints against film mogul Harvey Weinstein and writer-director Toback, who've been the subjects of sexual harassment allegations. The Police Department acknowledged Tuesday night, Oct. 31, 2017, that it's received multiple complaints against the two men. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) Richard Shotwell

  • FILE - In this April 28, 2017 file photo, Harvey Weinstein attends the "Reservoir Dogs" 25th anniversary screening during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival in New York. A Delaware judge has scheduled an initial hearing in a lawsuit filed by the disgraced film mogul against the company he co-founded. Weinstein is seeking access to his employment file and emails. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File) Charles Sykes

  • FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2017 file photo, Jeremy Piven attends the CBS Summer Soiree during the 2017 Summer TCA's in Studio City, Calif. CBS says it's investigating a sexual harassment allegation against Piven, who currently stars in the CBS series, "Wisdom of the Crowd." Actress and reality star Ariane Bellamar claimed in posts on her Twitter account Monday, Oct. 30, that the Emmy-winning "Entourage" star groped her on two occasions. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) Richard Shotwell

  • FILE - In this May 28, 2017 file photo, Illinois Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, speaks at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield Ill. Denise Rotheimer a crime-victims advocate told an Illinois House committee Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 that Ira Silverstein D Chicago, a power state senator's sexual harassment last year caused her such mental anguish she dropped 20 pounds and lost her hair. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman File) Seth Perlman

  • FILE - In this March 18, 2015 file photo, former Associated Press Vice President and Senior Managing Editor Mike Oreskes poses for a photo at AP headquarters, in New York. Oreskes, current vice president of news and editorial director at National Public Radio, Oreskes has resigned as chief of NPR’s newsroom following accusations of sexual harassment that dated back to the 1990s. (AP Photo/Chuck Zoeller, File) Chuck Zoeller

  • This image released by Netflix shows Kevin Spacey in a scene from "House Of Cards." Netflix says it's suspending production on "House of Cards" following harassment allegations against Spacey. (David Giesbrecht/Netflix via AP) David Giesbrecht / Netflix

Associated Press
Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Hollywood’s widening sexual harassment crisis has ensnared a prominent film director after six women – including actress Olivia Munn – accused Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct in a Los Angeles Times report on Wednesday.

Playboy Enterprises quickly distanced itself from Ratner as his attorney denied the allegations.

The reverberations also reached back 32 years as Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman came forward to apologize for allegedly sexually harassing a 17-year-old intern in 1985.

Writer Anna Graham Hunter alleged in a Wednesday column in The Hollywood Reporter that the now 80-year-old actor groped her on the set of TV movie Death of a Salesman and “talked about sex to me and in front of me.”

Hoffman issued a statement Wednesday, apologizing for “anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”

Munn also complained about onset behavior, alleging that while visiting the set of Ratner’s After the Sunset in 2004, he masturbated in front of her in his trailer. Munn described the incident, without naming Ratner, in a 2010 collection of essays.

Ratner’s lawyer issued a statement Wednesday in which he said the director “vehemently denies the outrageous derogatory allegations” and is “confident that his name will be cleared once the current media frenzy dies down and people can objectively evaluate the nature of these claims.”

Ratner directed the Rush Hour film series, Red Dragon, X-Men: The Last Stand and Tower Heist. He has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. and his RatPac and Dune Entertainment has an extensive co-financing deal with the studio that has encompassed much of Warner Bros.’s output, including Wonder Woman, It and Justice League, It.

“We are aware of the allegations in the LA Times and are reviewing the situation,” Warner Bros. said in a statement.

But Playboy Enterprises shelved any of its projects that involved Ratner, including working on a biopic of Hugh Hefner, which was to star Jared Leto. “We are deeply troubled to learn about the accusations against Brett Ratner. We find this kind of behavior completely unacceptable,” according to a statement.

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, who presented Ratner an award at the Jewish National Fund dinner on Saturday, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that she was disturbed by the accusations. She added that had never witnessed or been aware of any misconduct by Ratner.

Ratner and Hoffman become the latest Hollywood figures to face allegations of misusing their power to harass actresses, a list that now includes producer Harvey Weinstein and writer-director James Toback. Harassment allegations have also been levied against actors Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Piven.

The crisis has widened to other areas of entertainment and media, including country music. Kirt Webster, a major country music publicist, had denied accusations that he sexually assaulted an aspiring country singer.

A former singer named Austin Rice says Webster groped his genitals, kissed him, made him strip naked and sexually assaulted him in 2008.

His firm, Webster Public Relations, on Wednesday changed its name to Westby Public Relations and is being run by senior vice president Jeremy Westby.