Here's what's new and interesting in entertainment and the arts:
L.A. book reading with 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner still planned amid harassment allegation
- C.B. Cebulski named new Marvel editor-in-chief
Meryl Streep reflects on history of violence: 'I do know something about real terror'
- U2 and Kendrick Lamar advocate for empathy on new song 'American Soul'
- 'Transparent' actress alleges inappropriate behavior by Jeffrey Tambor
- Seth Meyers knows just the thing to help sexual predators sleep at night: Pervatol
- Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian get married in the Big Easy
Every singing competition show needs an all-star panel of experts. “The Four: Battle for Stardom,” Fox’s retort to ABC’s revival of “American Idol,” has filled its musical chairs with Sean “Diddy” Combs, Meghan Trainor, DJ Khaled and music executive Charlie Walk.
The new reality competition fills the network’s void left by one-time stalwart "American Idol," which was pulled out of retirement and jumped ship to ABC.
“Diddy, DJ Khaled, Meghan and Charlie are giants in the music space,” said Rob Wade, Fox’s head of alternative programming “They understand what an artist needs to break through – from killer music and style to innovative marketing and social media. This is a show like no other and we can’t wait to get started.”
Combs, who is familiar with using the reality competition format to find music’s next big stars as seen on MTV’s “Making the Band,” was quick to declare the new Fox show would “disrupt the world of competition television” and would “revolutionize the format.”
“It took the right show and network to bring me back in the game,” Combs said in a statement. “We plan on being the best talent show out there, taking it to that next level and making history again. This series is about pure competition, fighting for your survival. Do you want to win? Do you want to be great? We’re giving fans a genuine look at what it takes to make it to the top and stay there – surrounding these up-and-coming artists with the best, turning them into the next generation of stars.”
Khaled, a hip-hop producer and DJ, also hyped the show’s subversiveness and his involvement.
“I’ve spent my career discovering amazing talent and working with the biggest icons from every corner of the globe, and now I’m bringing my one-of-a-kind approach to Fox,” he said in a statement. “I immediately jumped at the opportunity when I realized Fox shared the same vision as me, and that’s to be the best!!! … So be prepared for a new era of television.”
Trainor was equally enthusiastic about applying her knowledge about breaking out in the music industry to her new role.
“I know firsthand what it’s like to be thrown into the music industry head first, as an artist and a songwriter,” she said. “I also know what it takes to hang on for the ride. I’m so humbled to help discover new talent with this amazing panel of experts.”
As for Walk, he currently serves as the president of Republic Records Group. Over the span of his career, he has worked with John Mayer, John Legend, and Destiny’s Child.
“What lies at the heart of the music business is ‘talent,’” Walk said in a statement.. “Discovering and developing talent remains the most important, consistent driver of my home, Republic Records, and now Fox’s ‘The Four.’”
“The Four” will make its debut Jan. 4, ahead of the March debut of the “American Idol” reboot on ABC and the spring cycle of “The Voice.”
The AFI Fest announced its prize winners Friday afternoon, bringing this year’s edition to a close.
The audience award for world cinema went to Ziad Doueiri’s drama “The Insult,” which is Lebanon’s submission for the foreign-language Academy Award.
The New Auteurs audience award went to “What Would People Say,” a culture-clash, coming-of-age story set in Norway and Pakistan from writer-director Iram Haq.
The audience award for the American Independents section went to Joseph Kahn’s battle-rap satire “Bodied.” This makes the third audience award the film has picked up, following prizes at the Toronto International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest.
Juried short-film prizes went to Farnoosh Samadi’s “Gaze” for live-action short and Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s “The Burden” for animated short, with a special jury mention to Pia Borg’s “Silica.”
This year’s AFI Fest saw unexpected drama when the announced closing-night title, Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” was pulled from the festival in the fallout over sexual harassment allegations against star Kevin Spacey. (It subsequently was announced that Spacey’s scenes will be reshot with actor Christopher Plummer taking over his role as oil tycoon J. Paul Getty.)
“Molly’s Game,” starring Jessica Chastain and marking the feature directing debut of Oscar-winning writer Aaron Sorkin, was slotted in as a replacement for Thursday’s closing-night film.
The festival opened with the Los Angeles premiere of Dee Rees’ “Mudbound.” Other gala screenings included Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name,” James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist” and Scott Cooper’s “Hostiles.” Craig Gillespie’s “I, Tonya” and Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” were among the films shown as special screenings.
A reading at the Los Angeles bookstore Chevalier's Books with "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner will proceed as scheduled Friday night, despite an accusation of sexual harassment recently levied against him.
Weiner's promotional tour for his new novel, "Heather, the Totality," has been disrupted several times in recent weeks in the wake of the allegations, with events in Seattle and Washington, D.C., canceled altogether. When asked on tour about the allegation, Weiner has denied it.
The situation got more complicated Friday, when television writer-producer Marti Noxon, who worked as a consulting producer on "Mad Men," chimed in on Twitter in support of series writer Kater Gordon, who alleged last week that Weiner had harassed her when they worked together in 2008.
“I believe her,” Noxon wrote. “I was at work with her the day after what she described transpired. I remember clearly how shaken and subdued Kater was — and continued to be from that day on."
The alleged incident took place during a late-night writing session, where Gordon claimed that Weiner told her that she owed it to him to let him see her naked.
Gordon worked as Weiner's personal assistant before advancing to a role as writing assistant on "Mad Men." She won a writing Emmy in 2009 for the Season 2 finale of the series, "Meditations in an Emergency," an episode co-written with Weiner.
Gordon returned to the show as a staff writer but was let go at the conclusion of the third season. She has not worked on a television show since.
In a statement made to the Information after Gordon's allegations arose, a representative for Weiner said, [Weiner] does not remember saying this comment nor does it reflect a comment he would say to any colleague."
"Responding to [Gordon's] statement, Matt claimed he would never make that kind of comment to a colleague," Noxon wrote in a series of 12 tweets. "But anyone with an even cursory knowledge of the show Mad Men could imagine that very line coming from the mouth of Pete Campbell."
"Matt, Pete’s creator, is many things. He is devilishly clever and witty, but he is also, in the words of one of his colleagues, an ’emotional terrorist’ who will badger, seduce and even tantrum in an attempt to get his needs met," Noxon continued.
The "UnREAL" co-creator went on to describe an oppressive atmosphere behind the scenes of "Mad Men," which she attributed to Weiner.
As to why no one reported Weiner's alleged behavior before, Noxon attributed it both to an awe and respect for his talents, as well as the fear and uncertainty of potential repercussions.
"I believe Kater Gordon," Noxon concluded.
Weiner will appear at Chevalier's Books on Larchmont Boulevard at 7 p.m. Friday to discuss his novel with "Orange Is the New Black" creator Jenji Kohan.
Kohan and Weiner are longtime friends, and Weiner directed a Season 4 episode of "OITNB." In a further twist of fate, Kohan's husband is writer Christopher Noxon, brother of Marti.
Meryl Streep gave a stirring speech at the Committee to Protect Journalists' 2017 International Press Freedom Awards on Wednesday night in which she shared her own history with violence.
The Oscar-winning actress spoke at length about the bravery of female journalists amid a "poisonous" time for the press.
"I revere the people who do this because I am not a naturally brave person," Streep said. "I think standing up in front of 1,000 people that are smarter than me and presuming to tell them anything is nauseating and I would rather be home watching Rachel [Maddow], frankly."
But, Streep went on to point out, she also knew a little about real terror.
"The two times in my life when I was threatened and dealt with real, physical violence, I learned something about life that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I was lucky, because my instincts served me well," she said.
In the first instance, Streep recalled playing dead until the blows stopped, as if watching herself from 50 feet above.
In the other, Streep intervened in someone else's abuse, going after the perpetrator.
"I just went completely nuts," she said. "Ask Cher, she was there."
"But I was changed by these events on a cellular level," Streep said. "Because women do know something particular about coming to the danger place. We come to it disadvantaged through the many millennia preceding our present moment, and because of our vulnerability we anticipate danger, we expect it.
"We're hyper alert to it, we have the 360 on the whole room. We have measurably more acute hearing, we have a better sense of smell, we notice details — what people are wearing, their tics and peculiarities."
These skills, she said, serve journalists and actors well.
It was not the first time Streep has publicly lauded the press. During the Golden Globes ceremony in January, Streep memorably called for people to support CPJ, leading to a huge bump in donations for the organization.
Streep is also in journalism mode after the conclusion of filming on Steven Spielberg's "The Post," which depicts the story of Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and editor Ben Bradlee (played by Tom Hanks) as they attempt to publish the Pentagon Papers.
"The Post" will be released Dec. 22.
Similar to the reboots, remakes and retcons for which the superhero industry has become known, Marvel Entertainment has decided to reorganize its top brass.
The comic book publisher announced Friday that C.B. Cebulski will be replacing Axel Alonso as editor-in-chief.
“As our characters continue to reach unprecedented levels of global popularity, we need to ensure our core comic business sets the standard with fresh and compelling graphic storytelling that excites both our longtime fan base and new fans,” Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Entertainment, said in a statement.
The announcement characterizes Alonso’s departure after seven years as a mutual decision, and it comes on the heels of the recent loss of Marvel mainstay Brian Michael Bendis.
Cebulski, who has spent the last 18 months of his Marvel career in Asia developing publishing deals in foreign markets, will relocate to New York.
U2 and Kendrick Lamar’s new collaborative single, “American Soul,” might sound a little familiar.
Released Friday, the song is a riff and update on Lamar’s track “XXX,” which was previously released on his album “Damn” and featured U2.
But the gritty, surging revamp was substantial enough to warrant a fresh release by the Irish rockers. There’s less Lamar on this one, as he opens the tune with a short sermon: “Blessed are the bullies/ For one day they will have to stand up to themselves.../ Blessed are the liars/ For the truth can be awkward.”
This time, there are more earnest salvos about the power of rock 'n' roll — the hook is, indeed, Bono chanting, “You are rock 'n' roll.”
In the song’s long, discursive bridge, Bono pleads for connection and empathy: “Let it be community/ For refugees like you and me.../ Will you be our sanctuary?"
The song comes from U2’s forthcoming LP, “Songs of Experience,” which is due out Dec. 1. It’s not their first collaboration with Lamar -- he appeared on U2’s “Get Out of Your Own Way” -- but it does suggest that U2 is taking some chances on its follow-up to 2014’s “Songs of Innocence.”
Another woman working on Amazon's "Transparent" has come forward to accuse Jeffrey Tambor of sexual misconduct.
Transgender actress Trace Lysette, who plays yoga instructor Shea on the series, wrote a lengthy post on social media Thursday night outlining her own experiences with Tambor.
In Lysette's post, she alleges that Tambor made an over-the-top sexual comment to her when her costume was particularly revealing.
Later that same day, Lysette claims that Tambor approached her and “leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrusts back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas.”
Lysette is the second woman to come forward alleging improper behavior from Tambor.
Two weeks ago, Tambor's former assistant, Van Barnes — also a transgender woman — claimed that the “Arrested Development” actor behaved inappropriately around her, sparking an official Amazon investigation.
“I am aware that a former disgruntled assistant of mine has made a private post implying that I had acted in an improper manner toward her,” Tambor told Deadline after Barnes' claims became public.
“I adamantly and vehemently reject and deny any and all implication and allegation that I have ever engaged in any improper behavior toward this person or any other person I have ever worked with. I am appalled and distressed by this baseless allegation.”
In her Thursday post, Lysette urged Amazon to “remove the problem and let the show go on.”
“It's vital that the show's creator, show runner and its studio re-center the narrative of 'Transparent' on the experiences of the other trans characters and family members audiences have grown to love on the series,” Lysette wrote .
Representatives for Lysette, Tambor and Amazon did not immediately respond to The Times' request for comment Friday morning.
There is nothing funny about allegations of sexual misconduct. That might leave some late-night TV hosts in a bind, but Seth Meyers found a way to toe the fine line between scathing social commentary and comic entertainment Thursday night.
The deluge of sexual harassment allegations that have been making headlines for the last few weeks, including the recent accusations against Roy Moore and Sen. Al Franken, underscores how perpetrators are in all aspects of society.
To highlight this pervasiveness, Meyers debuted a commercial for a (fictional) new drug that promises to calm any man losing sleep over fears that “his past episodes of sexual assault and/or harassment will come to light.”
The name of this magical “sleep aid specifically designed for sexual predators”? Pervatol.
The commercial features various men who aren’t quite sure whether Pervatol is the right pharmaceutical for them. But as they share progressively problematic stories about their interactions with women, it’s clear that Pervatol is exactly what they need.
As the narrator of the commercial becomes increasingly frustrated with these men, she leaves them with a disclaimer and a warning.
“Pervatol is effective as a sleep aid only,” she says. “Pervatol in no way, shape or form can erase your history of sexual assault and harassment and cannot absolve you of your guilt and shame.
“In fact, those who take Pervatol should be aware that within our current climate, these accusations will come out sooner than later,” she continues. “Now that victims are no longer afraid to speak up, we are going to take down the patriarchy and make you watch as it burns.
“I swear to God, we’re coming for every last one of you,” the voice promises. “So you might as well get some sleep. With Pervatol.”
Watch the commercial above.
Tennis great Serena Williams and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian got married Thursday, not quite three months after welcoming their daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian.
Other famous faces showing up in arrival photos included Kelly Rowland, Anna Wintour and Colton Haynes, Just Jared reported. Per E! News, the bride's sister, Venus Williams, was of course on hand, as were Ciara and Russell Williams.
The bride wore a gown designed by Donatella Versace to the rehearsal dinner Wednesday night at Emeril Lagasse's new restaurant Meril, where the chef himself showed up to oversee event prep in the late afternoon, the Daily Mail said. She headed back to her rental mansion afterward, wearing white wedge-heeled Nikes with her fancy dress.
Serena, 36, and Alexis, 34, started dating in 2015. They got engaged in December 2016.
At a certain point, you can actually feel it go through your body. It's part of you. And sometimes, when it all comes together on the set, and especially when it comes together in the cutting room, it becomes part of you. It's like it just seeps out of your body. And ... you become the film you're making.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Martin Scorsese Eats, Sleeps, Breathes and Dreams Movies, Shot by Shot
A woman who previously accused actor Danny Masterson of rape — an allegation he has denied — has gone on the record to criticize Netflix for continuing with his show "The Ranch" even as it has severed ties with Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. after allegations of sexual misconduct.
“For me, what Netflix has done feels like a continuation of how the Church of Scientology made me feel when I reported my rape to them, as well as how Danny Masterson made me feel when I would beg him for an apology, an explanation, anything,” Chrissie Carnell Bixler told the Daily Beast. “I was made to feel unimportant. I was made to feel like I didn’t matter.”
The Masterson investigation into alleged assaults from the early 2000s went public in March. At that time, the actor's rep called the allegations false and framed them as a PR move to boost the Emmy-winning documentary TV series "Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath," which premiered in December 2016.
The rep noted that the accusations came only after Remini started speaking out against the church, which counts Masterson as a member. The "That ’70s Show" alumnus has not been charged with a crime.
Known as Chrissie Carnell in the early 2000s, when she and Masterson were a couple for six years, Bixler publicly thanked Remini in November 2016 for speaking out against the Church of Scientology, saying Remini had given her the "strength to leave" it.
Netflix announced in October that Part 4 of "The Ranch" would drop Dec. 15. Two weeks ago, multiple sources told the Huffington Post that an LAPD investigation into sexual assault allegations against Masterson had stalled.
“I will NOT shut my mouth when Netflix tries to make us feel like we don’t matter ...," Bixler told the Daily Beast. "Victims are taking back the power that was stolen from us, and things are going to change. Netflix should write that down.”
Netflix and a rep for Masterson did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment.
Sarah Silverman broke her silence on the actions of longtime friend Louis C.K. on Thursday, in a moving monologue before the latest episode of her Hulu talk show, "I Love You, America."
"This recent calling out of sexual assault has been a long time coming. It’s good. It’s like cutting out tumors — it’s messy and it’s complicated and it is going to hurt, but it’s necessary and we’ll all be healthier for it," Silverman said of the recent spate of women coming forward to share their stories.
"And it sucks and some of our heroes will be taken down, and we will discover bad things about people we like, or in some cases, people we love," Silverman continued.
"Let's just say it: I'm talking about Louis."
C.K. and Silverman's friendship has spanned more than 25 years, with the latter playing a fictionalized version of herself on the former's FX series, "Louie."
Silverman admitted that she wished she could not comment on the matter, that she could sit this round out.
But Silverman buoyed herself with a Mr. Rogers quote that has become something of a mantra for the comedian: "If it's mentionable, it's manageable."
"I'm going to address the elephant masturbating in the room," Silverman said.
She started with the facts. One of her best friends had masturbated in front of women and wielded his power in messed-up ways, "sometimes to the point where they left comedy entirely."
There was a heavy pause after Silverman said this, as if to allow the painful reality of her words room to breathe.
Silverman said she could talk about the good times she and C.K. have had together or that he's a great father, but that none of that is relevant to the conversation at hand. What matters right now, Silverman emphasized, are the victims.
"I hope it’s OK if I am, at once, very angry for the women he wronged and the culture that enabled it, and also sad, because he’s my friend," Silverman said.
"I believe with all my heart that this moment in time is essential," Silverman concluded. "It's vital that people are held accountable for their actions, no matter who they are. We need to be better. We will be better. I can't ... wait to be better."
After Silverman's three-minute monologue, the episode continued as scheduled, with a focus on hate speech in America and reversing radicalism.
This week's episode of "I Love You, America" will be available to stream on Hulu at 3 p.m. Pacific time Thursday.
Samantha Bee had a few things to say to both Alabama and the entertainment industry Wednesday night.
Bee opened "Full Frontal" with an extended examination of recent accusations levied against Alabama "senatorial candidate and sophomore enthusiast" Roy Moore.
The host primarily focused on the reaction to the allegations, particularly in Moore's home state of Alabama, quoting a recent survey in which nearly 40% of Alabama Christians said that the accusations only make them more likely to vote for Moore.
"What is wrong with Alabama?" Bee asked, with a photo of Moore behind her. "OK, and also New York," she added, as the photo changed to Woody Allen. "All right, and California," with a photo of Michael Jackson. "Oh, and all the Thanksgiving tables where creepy uncles are still allowed," Bee concluded over a photo of photographer Terry Richardson.
"You know what, this isn’t just an Alabama problem. It’s a human problem," Bee said. "It’s easy to condemn someone else’s predator, but it’s harder when it’s your own critically acclaimed pervert.
"I can scream about Roy Moore all day – and I have – but it won’t matter if his own neighbors keep making excuses for him," said Bee. "Each community has to kick out its own creeps. That applies whether it's in politics or entertainment or whatever the ... you call Steven Seagal’s profession."
"We’ve made some important progress in the entertainment industry, but it’s not enough," Bee said, picking up steam.
"Everyone in Hollywood is patting themselves on the back for exiling Harvey Weinstein, but this week, the Hollywood Reporter raved about 'Daddy’s Home 2' -- proclaiming ‘Mel Gibson is once again family-friendly,’ because nothing says family-friendly like a racist, domestic abuser with a drinking problem and the words 'daddy's home.'"
Bee summed up her disgust with a call of action to Alabama voters, telling them to prove that they're better than "liberal, sex-crazed Hollywood" and vote.
The latest episode of "Full Frontal" can be seen here.
I am not very trusting of directors. I go in with my fists up -- or at least my cards really close to my chest, because I have been burned before. I find that directors have a hard time believing that a young actress is going to have an artistic opinion that is worth something.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Pushing boundaries
Production on the seventh and final season of HBO's "Veep" has been postponed while its star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, undergoes treatment for breast cancer.
"We're obviously postponing production of the show. We were supposed to have started now, while she's in treatment," journalist Frank Rich, who is an executive producer on the Emmy-winning HBO series, said on SiriusXM's "Press Pool" on Wednesday. "But the expectation is that we will shoot again. We have one more season we're doing, which we're incredibly excited about."
In September, the iconic "Seinfeld" alum found out she had breast cancer the day after winning her sixth consecutive Emmy Award for playing career politician Selina Meyer. She went public with her diagnosis days later. HBO, which had already announced plans to end the series in 2018, said Louis-Dreyfus' diagnosis had no bearing on the decision. The premium cable network also said that it would adjust production as needed.
"Rather impressively, while we wait for her to gather her full strength around her treatment, we've been having — with the cast in Los Angeles — table reads of scripts for the final season as they're ready," Rich said. "It's been quite something because she's fighting a serious, what is for anybody, a real illness. And yet, [she] wants to keep working as much as circumstances allow without being crazy about it."
The 56-year-old star has been documenting her treatment on social media, sharing chemotherapy updates and silly inspirational videos made by her costars.
Rich said that the actress participated in a table read 10 days ago and was hilarious as her character.
"She's a very strong person and we can’t wait to welcome her back at full speed," he said.
There has been no word yet on how the postponement will affect the show's slated 2018 premiere.
Simone Garcia Johnson, daughter of Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia, has been selected as Golden Globe Ambassador as the awards ceremony heads into its 75th year.
Much like her father used to be called the Rock, Garcia Johnson's new gig used to be called Miss Golden Globe — or, occasionally, Mr. Golden Globe. This year the title changed, along with the job description.
Historically, the Hollywood scion awarded the gig has helped get the trophies onstage and the winners off it when each speech is done. For the 2017 ceremony, it took all three of Sylvester Stallone's daughters to pull it off.
This year, instead of an awards-season one-off, the role has been expanded to "embody the HFPA’s philanthropic efforts year round,” said Meher Tatna, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which presents the Globes and plans this year to distribute $2.8 million in charitable grants to entertainment-industry organizations.
“I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a household with strong role models," Garcia Johnson said in a statement released by the HFPA. "I hope to serve as a role model to young people everywhere and empower them to speak out on issues they are passionate about.”
The association celebrated the unveiling at Catch LA in West Hollywood on Wednesday night with a party attended by Jake Gyllenhaal, Saoirse Ronan, Issa Rae, Nina Dobrev, Kate Bosworth, Kumail Nanjani, Alison Brie, Salma Hayek and others.
The 75th anniversary Golden Globe Awards will be held Jan. 7.
It's been 20 years since Rose promised Jack that she'd never let go. It's also been 20 years since she broke that promise and left him to drown in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
What better way to commemorate such a momentous cinematic occasion than to sob into your popcorn all over again? You're in luck: "Titanic" is returning to theaters next month.
Dolby Laboratories Inc., Paramount Pictures and AMC Theatres announced Wednesday a one-week return engagement for the second-highest grossing film of all time.
Starring Kate Winslet and Leonard DiCaprio as doomed lovers, James Cameron's film has been remastered in Dolby Vision 2D and 3D.
"Titanic" took home 11 Academy Awards and has grossed more than $2 billion worldwide.
It will exclusively screen at AMC theaters equipped with Dolby Cinema, including 20 3D locations, beginning Dec. 1.
Tickets for the "Titanic" rerelease went on sale Wednesday.
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" star Terry Crews has named the high-level Hollywood executive he accused of groping him at an industry function last year.
During a "Good Morning America" interview that aired Wednesday, the actor confirmed weeks of speculation by identifying William Morris Endeavor's Adam Venit as the assailant who allegedly groped his privates. Crews filed a police report about the encounter last week.
"Back in February 2016, I was assaulted by Adam Venit, who is head of the Motion Picture Department at William Morris Endeavor, one of the biggest agencies in the world, period," the 49-year-old former NFL star told Michael Strahan.
"He's connected to probably everyone I know in the business. Here's the thing, I did not know this man. I have never had a conversation with him, ever. I knew of him ... but the first time I ever had an interaction with him is at this event," Crews recalled.
Crews detailed his account of the incident in a series of tweets in October, emboldened by the stories women shared when the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke. On Monday, he revisited the "bizarre" encounter on-air, alleging that Venit made "overtly sexual tongue moves" at him while he was attending a party with his wife, Rebecca King-Crews, in 2016.
"He comes over to me. I stick my hand out and he literally takes his hand and puts it and squeezes my genitals. I jump back like, 'Hey, hey.' And he's still licking his tongue out and all this stuff and I go, 'Dude, what are you doing? What are you doing?' and then he comes back again. He just won't stop," Crews recalled.
The enraged star said that he then pushed the agent away, causing Venit to bump into other attendees. He also said that he went over to actor Adam Sandler, one of Venit's other clients at the party, to tell him what happened. (Sandler's rep did not immediately respond to The Times' request for confirmation.)
"I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified," Crews said. "It's so bizarre. I wake up every morning wondering, 'Did this really happen?'"
Crews dropped WME as his talent agency after filing his police report. The actor previously said that he plans to pursue a civil lawsuit in addition to criminal charges.
"People need to be held accountable," Crews said. "This is the deal about Hollywood. It is an abuse of power. This guy, again, he's one of the most powerful men in Hollywood and he looked at me at the end as if, 'Who is going to believe you?'"
Venit, who has a star-studded client list at WME, was suspended by his agency following an investigation into the matter, WME confirmed to ABC News. WME did not immediately respond to The Times' request for comment.
Rose McGowan surrendered Tuesday to law enforcement in Virginia in response to a warrant for her arrest on a drug-possession charge stemming from a January incident at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.
The actress, who's been vocal in her rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein, says two small bags of cocaine found in a wallet she left on a late Jan. 20 LAX-to-Dulles flight were planted.
"I will clearly plead not guilty," the 44-year-old "Charmed" alum told the New Yorker on Sunday in an interview that was published Tuesday after her arrest.
"Are they trying to silence me? There is a warrant out for my arrest in Virginia," McGowan tweeted on Oct. 30.
McGowan, who posted $5,000 bail after her arrest, is set to be arraigned Thursday. At that hearing, she will enter her plea.
McGowan noticed the wallet missing when she was trying to hail a ride service from the airport ahead of the Jan. 21 Women's March on Washington, she told the magazine. She said she filed a lost-luggage claim with the airport and hours later was contacted by a detective who asked her to come get it.
Nervous that she was being followed by private investigators hired by Weinstein and uncertain whether she was talking to a real detective, she didn't go to the airport, choosing instead to board a bus for the march, she told the New Yorker.
The next day, she said, she got an anonymous message on social media saying cocaine had been found in her wallet. A warrant for her arrest was issued Feb. 1.
McGowan's attorney has asked the Loudoun County Commonwealth's attorney to drop the charges because the drugs could have been planted either when the actress got up to use the bathroom during the flight or during the hours the wallet was not in her possession, according to a court filing obtained by the New Yorker.
According to a previous New Yorker report, Weinstein operatives using false identities met with McGowan in fall 2016 to try to get information from her after she had tweeted about being raped by a studio head, and again in 2017.
Though a former attorney for the producer verified that investigators had been employed, a Weinstein rep told the magazine it was "a fiction to suggest that any individuals were targeted or suppressed at any time."
McGowan reached a $100,000 settlement with Weinstein in 1997 over the alleged rape, according to the New York Times, but learned this summer that it didn't include a confidentiality clause. She joined the chorus of voices that followed an NYT investigation that included stories about Weinstein from Ashley Judd and other women.
After surrendering Tuesday, the actress tweeted images reflecting her mood.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The most frightening moments of violence are those which have been implied, rather than, for example, seeing the bullet enter the middle of the forehead and leave the backside. It has nothing to do with freedom of expression; it's a matter of taste.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Getting at 'The Naked Truth'