WarnerMedia to Investigate Claims Involving a Top Executive

LOS ANGELES — WarnerMedia mentioned on Wednesday that it might conduct an “appropriate investigation” into allegations that Kevin Tsujihara, the chief government of Warner Bros., pushed for a lady with whom he had a sexual relationship to be thought of for roles in Warner movies and tv exhibits.

The claims surfaced Wednesday in a four,200-word article in The Hollywood Reporter, which outlined a sexual relationship between Mr. Tsujihara, 54, and Charlotte Kirk, an aspiring British actress in her 20s. The account, quoting from non-public textual content messages obtained by The Reporter, portrays a scenario through which Mr. Tsujihara — prompted by Ms. Kirk’s statements that he had promised to assist her profession throughout a assembly at a motel — reaches out to his lieutenants on her behalf.

“I just need to be careful,” Mr. Tsujihara, who’s married, mentioned in a 2014 textual content message, in accordance to the commerce journal. “Let’s look for a movie role.” In an alternate from 2015, Ms. Kirk wrote, “Are u going to help me like u said u would?” He responded, “Richard will be reaching out to u tonight,” a reference to Richard Brener, president of Warner’s New Line division.

The disclosure appeared two days after AT&T, which owns WarnerMedia, publicly praised Mr. Tsujihara and added kids’s tv, together with the Cartoon Network, to his portfolio.

“Whenever we receive new allegations, it is our standard practice to conduct an appropriate investigation,” WarnerMedia mentioned in its assertion on Wednesday. “And that is what we will do here.”

A lawyer for Mr. Tsujihara mentioned in an e-mail that his shopper “did not have a direct role in the actress being cast in any movie.”

Ms. Kirk’s résumé contains bit components in two Warner movies: “Ocean’s 8,” which was launched final 12 months, and “How to Be Single,” launched by New Line in 2016. In a assertion, Ms. Kirk mentioned, “Mr. Tsujihara never promised me anything.” She added, “I emphatically deny any inappropriate behavior” by Mr. Tsujihara.

Whispers about Mr. Tsujihara’s alleged conduct have circulated in Hollywood for over a 12 months, ever because the #MeToo motion gained momentum, ensnaring males like Brett Ratner, a producer and financier with whom Mr. Tsujihara was as soon as shut. The Reporter article, written by Tatiana Siegel and Kim Masters, additionally detailed textual content messages between Ms. Kirk and Mr. Ratner involving Mr. Tsujihara and appearing roles. Mr. Ratner has denied accusations of sexual misconduct made by multiple women.

In September, John Stankey, the chief executive of WarnerMedia, was sent an email from an anonymous account (reporters from 11 publications, including The New York Times, were copied) asking whether an actress had been offered speaking roles in films in exchange for silence about sex with a senior executive. At the time, Mr. Stankey enlisted the law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson to look into the claims.

On Wednesday, WarnerMedia said, “The actress has publicly denied any impropriety in her casting, and our prior investigation did not find otherwise.”

Mr. Tsujihara has been chief executive of Warner Bros. since 2013. One of his biggest achievements was persuading J. K. Rowling to expand the Harry Potter movie universe with a series of “Fantastic Beasts” spinoffs.

Warner Bros. is Hollywood’s leading producer of television shows, with a stable that includes “Young Sheldon,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “Westworld.” On the movie side, Warner racked up worldwide ticket sales of $5.6 billion last year, a record for the company that reflected hits like “Aquaman,” “A Star Is Born,” “The Meg” and “Crazy Rich Asians.”

Source link Nytimes.com

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