Jared Goetz, Lionsgate’s president of North American TV distribution, is stepping down from his post after an incident involving a firearm during work hours.
Sources tell Variety that in September, the longtime executive drove a colleague to lunch, during which he confided that he had taken to carrying a firearm during the pandemic after his house had been broken into in recent months. While Goetz did not show his colleague the gun, it was kept in a bag in Goetz’s car — and the outline of the gun was clearly visible to Goetz’s colleague. Goetz then placed the firearm inside a different bag when they entered the restaurant, out of concern that his car would be broken into.
The gun was said to not be loaded, and a source familiar with the situation said Goetz never brought the firearm into the office, as he typically parked his car in a secured parking structure.
The incident marks a breach of Lionsgate policy, which forbids firearms on company property, including inside the parking structure. As a result, Friday is Goetz’s last day with Lionsgate. The studio declined to comment.
Bryan Freedman, Goetz’s attorney, linked his client’s carrying of a firearm to having recently been a victim of two crimes.
“Jared had his home burglarized and during the pandemic was attacked in his car at while at a stop light on Reseda Boulevard,” Freedman said. “He owned a hand gun that was properly licensed. Consistent with past actions, he had plans to go to the shooting range after work and train with Officer Daryl Scoggins of the West Valley police department. As Lionsgate confirmed, this was a one time incident, wherein he never took the gun into the office nor did he remove it from the lock box in the car while he was at work. He never showed it to anyone nor did he threaten or let anyone even see it. It was properly and legally secured and there was no one else who had ever seen it- Jared has alway been a model employee. He has never been involved in anything even close to disciplinary action in more than 25 years of working for companies He is well liked and an honorable person. He never intended in any way to make anyone uncomfortable nor did he do anything illegal- In fact, there are no allegations that he attempted to scare or threaten anyone. While he has reasons for self protection, he is terribly sorry for this matter and realizes while the gun was properly secured in his vehicle, leaving it in his car in the parking lot was against company policy.
“He has had tremendous success while at Lionsgate which has led to him being approached with other incredible opportunities. He is focusing on those opportunities and wishes that this was not such a difficult and unsafe time for everyone”
Goetz joined Lionsgate in 2017 after spending over two decades at Disney in pay TV and digital sales, overseeing sales of first-run syndication series such as “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” and off-network series such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Lost.”