Warner Bros. Reviews Sex-Related Claims Against Film Partner

  • Brett Ratner’s company co-financed ‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Dunkirk’
  • Six women level accusations against the ‘Rush Hour’ director

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Warner Bros. is reviewing sexual harassment and assault allegations against Brett Ratner, a director and producer whose company has co-financed many of the studio’s biggest hits over the past few years.

Six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, told the Los Angeles Times that Ratner had sexually harassed or assaulted them. He rose to prominence as director of the action-comedy franchise “Rush Hour,” and has long cultivated the image of the Hollywood playboy.

“We are aware of the allegations in the LA Times and are reviewing the situation,” Warner Bros., owned by Time Warner Inc., said Wednesday in a statement.

Ratner, the director of “Rush Hour,” used his clout in Hollywood to co-found RatPac Entertainment, which agreed in 2013 to co-finance 75 Warner Bros. movies with Dune Entertainment, led by current Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Titles backed by RatPac-Dune Entertainment include “Wonder Woman” and “Dunkirk.”

“Brett Ratner vehemently denies the outrageous derogatory allegations that have been reported about him, and we are confident that his name will be cleared once the current media frenzy dies down and people can objectively evaluate the nature of these claims,” his attorney, Martin Singer, said in an emailed statement. “He understands the seriousness of this issue and the importance of addressing the concerns of victims of sexual misconduct
both in the entertainment industry and beyond.”

Hollywood studios use outside financiers to reduce the risk of movie-making. In April, RatPac sold a stake to Access Industries, the conglomerate owned by Ukrainian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik.

Fresh revelations of sexual harassment are engulfing key figures and Hollywood companies on an almost daily basis. CBS said Tuesday it is looking into allegations against actor Jeremy Piven, while Netflix Inc. halted production of the series “House of Cards” over allegations against lead actor Kevin Spacey. Allegations of rape and assault against movie producer Harvey Weinstein initiated the cascade of claims.

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