Hollywood has been hit with yet another sexual abuse scandal, proving there may be more Harvey Weinstein-type predators in Tinsel Town than one can shake a stick at.
After the Los Angeles Times published an investigation Sunday detailing accusations of sexual harassment from 38 women against writer-director James Toback, a flood of complaints flowed in.
Toback, 72, was nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay for “Bugsy,” the 1991 film starring Warren Beatty. He has also directed “The Pick-Up Artist” and “Two Girls and Guy, both starring Robert Downey Jr.
And we’re talking a dam break, with more than 200 victims contacting The Times — it seems rather clear that women have had enough and are remaining silent no more.
The damn has broke. Women will no longer be silent. We have your back and will amplify. https://t.co/hXt7J2UzXR
— Debra Messing✍🏻 (@DebraMessing) October 22, 2017
More from The Times:
The Times’ story detailed a pattern of behavior, carried out over four decades, in which Toback approached women in New York and Los Angeles, boasting of his movie credits and relationships with stars such as Robert Downey Jr.Then, under the pretext of meetings framed as interviews or auditions, he asked explicit questions about the women’s sexual histories, often proposing that they remove their clothes.
The encounters often ended, according to many of the women interviewed, with Toback dry-humping them or masturbating in front of them, ejaculating into his pants or onto their bodies.
One victim speaking out is Veruca Salt’s Louise Post, who met the director in 1987.
“He told me he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes,” Post said.
“Going to his apartment has been the source of shame for the past 30 years, that I allowed myself to be so gullible,” she added. “Today, I cried for the first time since then about it. I was crying for the 20-year-old woman who lost something vital that day — her innocence.”
“Today Show” anchor Natalie Morales responded to a tweet from Times reporter Glenn Whipp about women contacting him about Toback.
“Glenn add one more. Exact same playbook by James Toback when I encountered him near Central Park,” Morales tweeted.
Glenn add one more. Exact same playbook by James Toback when I encountered him near Central Park.
— Natalie Morales (@NMoralesNBC) October 23, 2017
“In all honesty, I thought he was just a creep hitting on me with the oldest line in the book,” Morales told The Times. “Like I said on our show I was just lucky. I saw pretty quickly what he was up to.”
Turns out, much like Weinstein, Toback “has long had a bad reputation with women,” according to the newspaper.
Writer-director James Gunn took to Facebook to say he had been warning about Toback’s inappropriate behavior for some time.
“He has done this to three girls I’ve dated, two of my very best friends, and a family member… twice. Yes, he came up to her twice with the same stupid line, not realizing she was the same person,” Gunn wrote. “This is in addition to many other women I’ve talked to at parties or dinners about their interactions with Toback.”
He linked to the post on Twitter, along with the caption: “Why I’ve despised James Toback for over 20 years.”
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 22, 2017
Writer and directer Scott Derrickson didn’t mince words while reacting to the news.
“If there is a Hell, James Toback will be in it,” he tweeted.
Here’s a sampling of other responses from Twitter:
I had no idea James Toback objectified women until i watched like any of his movies from the past 20 years
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) October 22, 2017
— Gretchen Carlson (@GretchenCarlson) October 22, 2017
There seem to be a lot of similarities between James Toback & Harvey Weinstein.
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) October 22, 2017
— Jaime Lyn Beatty (@jaimelynbeatty) October 23, 2017
Here’s a post-it James Toback gave me on the street, by Times Square, September 25, 1986. He said he wanted to meet me at the Harvard Club and wrote down the address and time. I didn’t go. This was his third time accosting me on street in two years pic.twitter.com/rGr0tFwI0Z
— Victoria Balfour (@VickiBalfour) October 17, 2017
Actress Rose McGowan, who was victimized by the “monster” Weinstien, has been very outspoken about those who remain silent to the abuse.
She took to Twitter to have her say about Toback.
“James Toback damn you for stealing, damn you for traumatizing,” McGowan tweeted.
James Toback damn you for stealing, damn you for traumatizing. https://t.co/rLpboMcIMT
— Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan) October 22, 2017
Italian actress Asia Argento, who says Weinstein raped her in a hotel room at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in 1997, shared the story of a friend.
Argento manages to sum up well the latest sexual abuse scandal to hit Hollywood: “So proud of my sisters for bringing down yet another pig: James Toback.”
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