Amazon Studios chief suspended over claim he ignored Weinstein allegation

Lenny Abrahamson has warned powerful abusers in Ireland are "relying on the silence of their colleagues"

Amazon Studios chief suspended over claim he ignored Weinstein allegation

Amazon Studios chief Roy Price (left) and Harvey Weinstein (right)

Amazon Studios chief Roy Price has been suspended amid claims he "ignored" allegations Harvey Weinstein raped actress Rose McGowan.

In a series of posts on Twitter, McGowan claimed she warned Price about the Hollywood producer, who has been accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape by a string of stars.

In messages directed to Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, she said: "I told the head of your studio that HW raped me.

"Over & over I said it. He said it hadn't been proven. I said I was the proof."

McGowan added that Amazon Studios "called to say my show was dead" after she asked it "to do the right thing" over a tie-up with The Weinstein Company.

"I am calling on you to stop funding rapists, alleged pedos and sexual harassers," she told Mr Bezos. "I love @amazon but there is rot in Hollywood."

It comes as Price faces a separate allegation from producer Isa Hackett, who claims the Amazon Studio chief inappropriately propositioned her in the back of taxi in 2015.

In a statement, Amazon said it had placed Price on a leave of absence effective immediately.

It added: "We are reviewing our options for the projects we have with The Weinstein Co."

Lenny Abrahamson

In Ireland, Oscar nominated director Lenny Abrahamson has warned that the level of harassment perpetrated by Weinstein’s is only possible “if people in a position to challenge abuse choose to look the other way.”

“Right now, here in Ireland, there will be powerful abusers relying on the silence of colleagues,” he wrote in a series of tweets.

“Let’s hope their time is up.”

Irish director Lenny Abrahamson

“Weinstein and monsters like him are only possible if people in a position to challenge abuse choose to look the other way,” he said.

“All of us have a duty to expose the harassers and resist the culture of accommodation that grows around powerful men.

“The closer we are to power ourselves, like the senior executives in Weinstein’s company, the greater our responsibility.

“What’s for sure is that Weinstein will be the first of many who will now be exposed. I hope they are quaking in their boots.

“Right now, here in Ireland, there will be powerful abusers relying on the silence of colleagues. Let’s hope their time is up.”

UK investigation

Police in the UK and US are investigating claims of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein, who has denied allegations of non-consensual sex.

Metropolitan Police's child abuse and sexual offences unit is assessing an alleged sexual assault said to have taken place in London in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, detectives in New York have reopened a 2004 case in which former aspiring actress Lucia Evans claims Weinstein forced her to perform a sex act on him at his Miramax offices.

Broken system

On Thursday, British actress Kate Beckinsale became the latest star to speak out against the Hollywood mogul, who she described as "an emblem of a system that is sick."

Beckinsale claimed she was 17 years old when she was called to Weinstein's hotel room, where the producer opened the door in his bathrobe and offered her alcohol.

Weinstein was sacked by his company after the claims against him first surfaced and has been left by his wife, British designer Georgina Chapman.

When approached outside his daughter's home in Los Angeles, the 65-year-old told photographers: "I'm not doing OK, I'm trying - gotta get help. You know what? We all make mistakes."

He is now understood to be undergoing rehabilitation in Arizona for sex addiction.