Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Times reported that Hollywood director Brett Ratner has become the latest film industry power player to be hit with a slate of disturbing sexual harassment allegations. Six women have now leveled accusations at Ratner, including actresses Natasha Henstridge and Jaime Ray Newman. It’s possible, though, that Ratner’s most famous accuser is actress Olivia Munn, known for her work on The Newsroom TV series and as Psylocke in the most recent X-Men film. Munn claims that, on the set of Ratner’s film After the Sunset in 2004, the director masturbated in front of her when she brought food to his trailer. Later in the day, Hollywood A-listers such as Jessica Chastain and Ashley Judd began tweeting their support for Munn.
Ratner is a well-known director of films and music videos, and a producer with 71 credits to his name. He has been known for cultivating a playboy persona, being linked romantically with Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Mariah Carey. He has also been photographed with fellow accused sexual predators Roman Polanski and James Toback, referring to them as some of his “closest friends.”
The story told by Munn, according to an article in Rolling Stone, was that she was asked to deliver food to Ratner’s trailer and told that the director would not be there. Unfortunately for her, Ratner proved to be in the trailer after all.
“He walked out … with his belly sticking out, no pants on, shrimp cocktail in one hand and he was furiously masturbating in the other, and before I literally could even figure out where to escape or where to look, he ejaculated.”
Munn wrote about the incident in a 2010 book of essays, without naming the perpetrator at the time. Ratner, however, went on the television program Attack of the Show the following year and volunteered the information that he had been the director in Munn’s essay, while claiming that he had “banged” her. Also in 2011, Ratner told Munn that he enjoyed ejaculating on magazine covers featuring her photo when he ran into her at a Creative Artists Agency party.
On Twitter, Asia Argento, one of the primary accusers of Harvey Weinstein, who has become a feminist icon and figurehead of the #MeToo movement in the wake of her coming forward with allegations of rape by Weinstein, was the first to tweet in solidarity with both Munn and Natasha Henstridge, saying “I’ve got your back forever.” She then proceeded to launch a series of attacks directed at Ratner, calling him “the king of the pigs.”
Hollywood superstars were quick to follow Argento with support for Munn. Actress Jessica Chastain tweeted “YEP” and Ashley Judd added her voice, as well.
Day after day, women in Hollywood are becoming more and more emboldened to take on the powerful sexual predators who, prior to just recently, seemed absolutely untouchable. Wednesday alone saw allegations against not only Ratner, but also actors Jeremy Piven and Dustin Hoffman, as well as new charges leveled at Kevin Spacey. Much of the public at large has no problem believing that the surface has only been scratched on revealing depraved and predatory behavior in the film and television industry. Tomorrow is likely to bring yet another fish to be caught in the #MeToo net.
[Featured Image by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images]