Time’s Up convicts filmmaker Brett Ratner, who faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault at the start of the #MeToo movement after plotting to return to Hollywood.
Warner Bros. and Ratner split in November 2017 after seven women accused Ratner of sexual misconduct.
Time’s Up, the foundation formed out of the #MeToo movement to combat inequality and injustice in the entertainment industry and beyond, released a statement Saturday in response to a report by Deadline that the independent film company Millennium Media Ratner as the director of a Milli Vanilli biography.
“Not only did Ratner never acknowledge or apologize for the damage he caused, but he also filed a lawsuit to silence the voices of the survivors – a tactic straight out of the predator’s playbook,” said Tina Tchen, president and CEO of Time’s Up Foundation, said in a statement.
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“You can’t go away for a few years and then come back and pretend nothing happened. We haven’t and won’t forget it. And neither should Millennium Media. There shouldn’t be a comeback. #Wewontforgetbrett.”
USA TODAY approached Ratner and Millennium Media representatives for comment.
On Friday, Deadline reported that the 51-year-old Ratner had signed up for his “directing comeback,” which was his first film directing project since “Hercules” in 2014.
“TIME’S UP grew out of the national accounting for sexual harassment in the workplace,” added Tchen. “Our movement is the result of countless brave acts by many survivors, including those who spoke about what they endured through Brett Ratner.”
In an explosive November 2017 report in the Los Angeles Times, Ratner was accused of varying degrees of sexual harassment by six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge. As a result, he was forced to retire from all projects in his production company at Warner Bros. In the meantime, Playboy Enterprises hired a Hugh Hefner biopic to direct and produce.
Weeks earlier, Melanie Kohler, who lives in Hawaii, posted on her Facebook account that Ratner had raped her 12 years earlier. Ratner was suing libel, and Kohler stood up and was prepared for litigation.
In the Facebook post, Kohler said she failed to tell anyone about the incident but was lifted by the tidal wave of stories about Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men in Hollywood.
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“Now I can at least look at myself in the mirror and not feel like a coward or a hypocrite,” wrote Kohler. “I get up and say this happened to me and it was wrong. Come on whatever, it’s the right thing.”
Although she said she wished she could “forget” that the incident ever happened, “if I do this – if we all do this – it keeps happening. We have to get in touch.”
Ratner’s longtime attorney Marty Singer confirmed Variety at the time that he told her the post was defamatory and that she could be sued if she doesn’t delete it.
On November 1 of this year, Ratner filed a defamation lawsuit in federal court. He claimed the post’s allegation was “false and malicious” and alleged that he suffered “emotional distress, worry, anger and fear” as a result.
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This article originally appeared in TODAY in the US: Brett Ratner: Time’s Up is slamming comeback after allegations of sexual misconduct