Amazon Studio Chief Suspended After Harassment Charges
Amazon Studios head Roy Price took a leave of absence after the producer of one of Amazon Prime's best-known shows accused him of sexually harassing her.
Amazon Studio's COO, Albert Cheng, was named interim chief.
Isa Hackett, executive producer of Man in the High Castle, based on her father Philip K. Dick’s book, said Amazon Studios chief Roy Price asked her to attend an Amazon staff party and repeatedly and insistently propositioned her, according to an interview in The Hollywood Reporter.
The allegations come after Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was fired because of his sexual harassment of many actresses and other women over the years. Those activities had been largely hushed up until stories broke last week in The New York Times and The New Yorker.
Related: Weinstein TV Production Business Shaken Amid Harassment Scandal
Hackett told THR she went public partly because she was inspired by the women who had the courage to come forward to accuse Weinstein, a powerful show business executive who threatened to ruin people’s careers.
Related: WGAE: Sexual Harassment Is 'Hallmark' of Industry
Hackett said she reported Price’s behavior to Amazon executives immediately, and an outside investigator was brought in to talk to her and Amazon executives. After that, she didn’t see Price at any events involving Man in the High Castle and another show she’s producing for Amazon, anthology series Electric Dreams.
When the accusations first arose, Amazon told TheHollywood Reporter in a statement: “We take seriously any questions about the conduct of our employees. We expect people to set high standards for themselves; we encourage people to raise any concerns, and we make it a priority to investigate and address them. Accordingly, we looked closely at this specific concern and addressed it directly with those involved."
Price declined to comment, according to the paper.
Under Price, Amazon has been building up the video content available to Amazon Prime members, becoming a stronger competitor to Netflix and Hulu.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.