Group establishes Hollywood harassment help line

NEW YORK — The Latest on sexual harassment and abuse allegations against men in the entertainment and media industries (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

The nonprofit advocacy group Women in Film is launching a help line for sexual harassment victims in the entertainment industry. The group said Thursday that the help line will serve as a crisis center and centralized information source for anyone seeking help.

It is expected to be operational by Dec. 1.

There will also be a pro-bono legal aid panel of specialized attorneys to help advise victims.

Women in Film Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer says their phones have been ringing off the hook since the sexual harassment stories began to break. Schaffer says victims who call express feelings of isolation and fear of retaliation and potential legal costs of coming forward.


8:05 p.m.

A former writer on "Mad Men" tells the website The Information that series creator Matthew Weiner harassed her at work.

The allegation by Kater Gordon was reported Thursday, and denied in a statement released by Weiner's publicist.

The statement says Weiner does not remember making the comment to Gordon and it does not reflect a comment he would say to a colleague.

Gordon couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

She told The Information that the alleged incident occurred when she and Weiner were working late one night at the office. She claimed that he told her she "owed it to him to let him see me naked," the website reported.

Gordon said she "froze," tried to brush it off and continued working.

She started as a staff writer on the AMC drama before becoming a writers' assistant, and then shared a writing Emmy in 2009 with Weiner for an episode of the show.

Gordon said she was let go from the series a year after the alleged incident and lost her passion for writing.


7:45 p.m.

FX Networks, which airs several shows created or starring Louis C.K., says it has received no complaints of harassment about the comedian but is reviewing its relationship with him.

The statement issued Thursday evening says the network is troubled by allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against the comedian in a New York Times story. The statement says FX will take all appropriate measures to protect its employees.

The network has produced five shows over the last eight years with C.K., including his comedy "Louie" and the current series "Baskets" and "Better Things."

He is also developing another series for FX called "The Cops" in which he's set to star opposite Albert Brooks.


7:15 p.m.

HBO says Louis C.K. will not appear on its upcoming autism benefit show "Night of Too Many Stars."

The cable network also says it is removing all of C.K.'s past projects from its on demand services.

The move came hours after The New York Times detailed five women's allegations of sexual misconduct by the comedian. A representative for C.K. had no immediate comment on the allegations.

The small distribution company that is handling the release of Louis C.K.'s film "I Love You, Daddy" said Thursday that it is reviewing the situation and giving careful consideration to the timing and release of the film.


6:55 p.m.

Los Angeles prosecutors say they've launched a task force to evaluate allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey says in a statement Thursday that the task force will include specially trained prosecutors who will evaluate cases once they are referred to the district attorney's office for prosecution.

She says the task force is comprised of veteran sex crimes prosecutors who will review cases as they come in.

But Lacey says so far there have been no cases sent to the DA's office for criminal charges.

Lacey said earlier Thursday that her office was in touch with Los Angeles police and police in Beverly Hills as they investigate allegations of criminal wrongdoing against Harvey Weinstein. She declined to comment further on the status of the investigations.


6 p.m.

The Television Academy says it stands by women making allegations of sexual misconduct, though it is not commenting specifically about allegations against Louis C.K.

In a statement Thursday after a New York Times report in which several women accuse the comedian of sexual misconduct, the academy says that all television professionals deserve to be "treated with dignity and respect, free of predatory harassment."

C.K., the Emmy-winning star of FX's "Louie," is among the latest Hollywood figures to be accused of misconduct in a wave that began when dozens of sexual harassment allegations were reported last month against film mogul Harvey Weinstein.


4:15 p.m.

The small distribution company that is handling the release of Louis C.K.'s film "I Love You Daddy" says that it is reviewing the situation and giving careful consideration to the timing and release of the film.

The Orchard released a statement Thursday after a New York Times story reported the accounts of five women alleging sexual misconduct from C.K. The film had been set for a limited theatrical release on Nov. 17.

The statement also said there is never a place for the behavior detailed in the allegations.

Earlier in the day, the company canceled the New York premiere of the film. The Orchard acquired C.K.'s film at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year for $5 million.

In the film, C.K. plays a successful TV producer whose 17-year-old daughter begins a relationship with an older director. It spawns a kind of crisis for C.K.'s character, who has his own issues with how he treats women.


3:00 p.m.

The New York Times has published a story about Louis C.K. in which several women accuse the comedian of sexual misconduct, including masturbating in front of them.

A publicist for C.K. did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press. Another publicist told the Times the comedian would not respond to their reporting.

Five women — including comedians Dana Min Goodman, Abby Schachner, Julia Wolov and Rebecca Corry — allege C.K. either masturbated in front of them, asked to do so or did so over the phone.

The Emmy-winning star of FX's "Louie" is known for his candid, warts-and-all personal humor, which also involves bodily fluids and sex.


1:15 p.m.

The New York premiere of Louis C.K.'s controversial new film "I Love You, Daddy" has been canceled amid swirling controversy over the film and the comedian.

The distribution company The Orchard said in a statement that the Thursday cancellation was "due to unexpected circumstances." C.K.'s scheduled Friday appearance on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" also has been scrapped.

The Woody Allen-esque film tells the story of a successful TV writer-producer that attempts to stop his 17-year-old daughter's growing admiration and relationship with a 68-year-old filmmaker.

Allegations of questionable sexual behavior have long dogged C.K and he said this summer that he and co-writer Vernon Chatman wanted to make a movie about beloved artists who are trailed by murmurs of scandal.


10:15 a.m.

Director Alfonso Arau is dismissing Debra Messing's charge that he demeaned her on the set of her first film, "A Walk in the Clouds."

He accused the "Will & Grace" star of "following fashion" with her accusation but that it had "nothing to do with reality." He added that she owed him her career because he picked her from "many, many" actresses.

Messing spoke up in February about her experience on the movie, a romance released in 1995 co-starring Keanu Reeves.

She had said that Arau and producers had surprised her with a nude scene that she hadn't agreed to in advance. When she complained, she says he told her, "Your job is to get naked and to say the lines. That's it."

Arau spoke Wednesday at the premiere of Disney-Pixar's "Coco." The 85-year-old actor and director voices the character of Papa Julio in the film.


7:30 a.m.

"Prison Break" star Robert Knepper is denying allegations that he forced himself on a costume designer in 1992.

Designer Susan Bertram told The Hollywood Reporter that Knepper sexually assaulted her while filming "Gas Food Lodging." She alleges he grabbed her and pushed her against a wall in the actor's trailer. She says she managed to escape.

Knepper responded to Bertram's allegations on Instagram, saying "I am shocked and devastated to be falsely accused of violence against a woman. That's just not who I am."

Knepper is the among the latest Hollywood figures to be accused of misconduct in a wave that began when dozens of sexual harassment allegations were reported last month against film mogul Harvey Weinstein.


2:30 a.m.

Kevin Spacey is getting cut out of Ridley Scott's finished film "All the Money in the World" and replaced by Christopher Plummer just over one month before it's supposed to hit theaters.

People close to the production who were not authorized to speak publicly say Plummer is commencing reshoots immediately in the role of J. Paul Getty. According to the report, all of Spacey scenes will be reshot. Co-stars Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams are expected to participate.

Scott is intending to keep the film's Dec. 22 release date.

The film was originally set to have its world premiere at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles on Nov. 16 but was pulled earlier this week amid the sexual harassment reports surrounding Spacey.

Spacey has also been fired from "House of Cards."