Leading Scandinavian production company Zentropa is sidelining co-founder and former CEO Peter Aalbæk Jensen following a report alleging sexual misconduct, harassment and bullying in the workplace.
Aalbæk Jensen, who founded the company with director Lars von Trier, has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women in a story published by the Danish newspaper Politiken. Nine women – including Meta Louise Foldager Sørensen, who worked at Zentropa from 2006 to 2010 and produced von Trier’s “Antichrist” and “Melancholia,” and Anna Mette Lundtofte, a writer and journalist – described a toxic and sexually charged work environment at the company. Labor inspectors are currently investigating the allegations.
In an internal memo sent out to employees Wednesday and first published in Deadline, Zentropa said Aalbæk Jensen would no longer have an “influence on the daily leadership of the company [and] will not partake in any management meetings.” Nor will he be allowed to speak on behalf of the company.
The memo, which was signed by senior Zentropa managers Anders Kjærhauge, Rikke Ennis, Sisse Graum Jørgensen and Louise Vesth, also said Aalbæk Jensen would no longer be involved in the company’s trainee program and would no longer be allowed to “have trainees under his administration.”
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A prominent figure in the Nordic film industry, Aalbæk Jensen was previously CEO of Zentropa and produced more than 70 films. He retired in 2016 but has maintained ties with Zentropa and even executive-produced Von Trier’s upcoming film, “The House That Jack Built.”