Playboy Enterprises is backing away from filmmaker Brett Ratner in response to sexual harassment allegations against the filmmaker from six women.
The company issued a statement Wednesday that did not specify any projects. Ratner had announced in April that he was re-launching development of a Hugh Hefner biopic with the Playboy founder giving the project his blessing.
“We are deeply troubled to learn about the accusations against Brett Ratner,” a Playboy Enterprises spokesperson said Wednesday in a statement. “We find this kind of behavior completely unacceptable. We are putting all further development of our projects with RatPac Entertainment on hold until we are able to review the situation further.”
Hefner died on Sept. 27 at the age of 91. Multiple reports on Oct. 3 said Jared Leto had joined the project — although Leto’s reps issued a statement saying that Leto had never been attached.
“Jared Leto is not and was not attached to a Brett Ratner directed Hugh Hefner film, nor will he be working with him in the future,” the statement said. “Earlier reports were incorrect and not confirmed by his representatives.”
Ratner’s announcement in April said he was re-launching development and that the project would be produced through his RatPac Entertainment, which optioned Hefner’s life rights, as a co-production between RatPac and Playboy/Alta Loma Entertainment. At that point, it was also announced that Ratner would produce with John Cheng and that Hefner would be an executive producer with Dick Rosenzweig and Peter Jaysen.
Hefner had given his blessing to the project at that point: “In recent years there has been plenty of interest and much conversation about doing a feature film based on my life. I have always believed that when the timing was truly right, the perfect creative partners would come together for this project. I believe we’ve found those partners in Brett Ratner and RatPac Entertainment. I’m very much looking forward to this collaboration.”