The increased scrutiny that the Harvey Weinstein scandal brought to bear on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace also brought down Amazon Studios chief Roy Price, who was suspended from his role last week and put on leave of absence.
Rumors had been swirling for weeks about allegations regarding Price’s behavior, and last week, reports resurfaced of an alleged harassment incident involving Price and Isa Hackett, an executive producer on “The Man in the High Castle.”
Variety contacted other showrunners who’ve worked with Price, asking about their experiences.
Tig Notaro, the creator of “One Mississippi,” now in its second season, told Variety in an exclusive statement that she only met Price “once or twice briefly” during her years working with Amazon.
“With that said, ‘One Mississippi’s’ writing staff is comprised of all women, and every single one of us had a story of sexual harassment/assault from our lives to share,” Notaro said. “It compelled us to try and shed just a little light on this epidemic, amongst other very important social and political issues — in Season 2, one of our central female characters is manipulated into a ‘business’ meeting with an authoritative male executive, who then proceeds to masturbate while she is in the room. These episodes were written in January, February, and March of 2017 — it may seem prophetic of us in light of these explosive headlines, but unfortunately too many women have a sexual harassment/assault story and are probably, and very sadly, not surprised by recent events. I know how hard it is to learn that your hero, family member, boss, or friend has committed such crimes, but please support the victims and reject the abusers. I am hopeful women will continue to find the courage to come forward and/or speak their truths, because the more lights we shine, the greater chance actionable change and dialogue could be had around such a severe and prevalent issue.”
Jill Soloway, the creator of “Transparent,” now in its fourth season, offered support to the accusers who have come forward.
“We live in a country and world where the systems of power have operated in favor of men, and this is especially true in Hollywood,” Soloway said. “The egregious and heinous behavior of those who perform, perpetuate, or passively condone acts of harassment or assault is one of the worst manifestations of this patriarchal system. Our production company TOPPLE was founded on the belief that women, people of color, queer people, and their allies can use the power of story and voice to change the world. I strongly support the brave individuals who have found the strength to speak their truth to expose and condemn this immorality.”
Price was suspended from his role as Amazon’s top creative executive on Thursday. The move followed renewed allegations by Hackett that Price had harassed her. According to reports, Price made an obscene joke to Hackett, playing off the title of the Amazon series “I Love Dick,” pressured Hackett for sex, and whispered a crude reference to anal intercourse into her ear.
Allegations of inappropriate behavior by Price first surfaced in August with a report in the business website The Information. With Price suspended, Amazon Studios COO Albert Cheng has taken over as interim head of the division.