Harry Knowles, the movie blogger who founded Ain’t It Cool News, is taking a leave of absence from the popular fan site after being accused of sexually assaulting a number of women.
Knowles allegedly groped and harassed five women over the past few decades, according to multiple reports this week from IndieWire.
“Therapy, detox, and getting to a better place,” Knowles wrote of his departure on Facebook and Twitter late Tuesday. His sister will take over AICN in the interim.
Knowles, who launched the movie blog in 1996, is accused of groping several female members of the film community. One Austin-area movie writer, Britt Hayes, called Knowles a “sexual predator,” claiming he not only assaulted her, but sent her a lewd email asking her to “Show me your tits.”
Knowles steps away just 24 hours after fellow Ain’t It Cool writers Eric “Quint” Vespe, Steve “Capone” Prokopy and “Horrorella” exited the company after another Austin-area woman, Jasmine Baker, shared her story.
“Given the recent allegations against Harry Knowles of behavior impossible to defend, I can not, in good conscience, continue to contribute to the brand I helped build over the last 20 years,” Vespe said in a statement posted Monday. “Effective immediately, I am leaving Ain’t It Cool News.”
The Knowles allegations come as Alamo Drafthouse continues to deal with the fallout from employing controversial writer Devin Faraci, who stepped down last year as editor-in-chief of Birth.Movies.Death after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman nearly a decade ago.
Alamo founder Tim League, after announcing that he would be skipping Fantastic Fest this year, an event that recently severed ties with Knowles and sponsor AICN news, said that the company is “striving to better respond to allegations of sexual assault and harassment, and will take actions so those who work at the theater or attend as a guest are not made to feel unsafe.”