FILE - In this June 11, 2017, file photo, Kevin Spacey impersonates Johnny Carson at the 71st annual Tony Awards in New York. Spacey says he is “beyond horrified” by allegations that he made sexual advances on a teen boy in 1986. Spacey posted on Twitter that he does not remember the encounter but apologizes for the behavior. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP, File)

The Latest: 'Bachelor' producers sued for sex discrimination

October 30, 2017 - 5:42 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on sexual harassment allegations that have rocked the entertainment and media industries (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

A former worker on "The Bachelor" television series and its spinoffs has sued the show's producers, accusing them of sexual harassment and pervasive questioning of her sex life and retaliating against her after she complained.

Becky Steenhoek sued Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and NZK Productions, which produces the "Bachelor" series including "The Bachelorette" and "Bachelor in Paradise." Warner Bros. says in a statement that it investigated Steenhoek's accusations earlier this year and their findings did not support her account.

Her lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court seeks unspecified damages. Steenhoek's suit states she worked on the shows from October 2014 through April 2016. The suit states the harassment began in March 2016 after she became a segment producer and was subjected to persistent questioning about her sex life.

The lawsuit states Steenhoek was visibly uncomfortable with the questioning and complained. Within a week of complaining, the suit says Steenhoek was no longer allowed to meaningfully participate in the show, and an offer to work on a later "Bachelor" spinoff show was rescinded.

An attorney for NZK Productions declined comment.


4:05 p.m.

Netflix and the producer of "House of Cards" say they are "deeply troubled" by an allegation of sexual abuse leveled against series star Kevin Spacey.

In a joint statement, the streaming service and series' producer Media Rights Capital say executives from the companies met with the show's cast and crew on Monday to discuss the situation.

Spacey was not at work on the set as previously scheduled, according to the statement. The Oscar-winning Spacey was accused by a former child star of sexual assault in 1986.

Production is underway in Baltimore, Maryland, for the show's sixth season, which Netflix said Monday will be its last.

In the joint statement, the executives say they traveled to the set to ensure that the cast and crew feel "safe and supported."


3:45 p.m.

Netflix says its political drama "House of Cards" will end after its upcoming sixth season.

The announcement Monday came on the heels of a sexual abuse allegation against series star Kevin Spacey.

The decision to conclude "House of Cards" was made several months ago, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the decision.

Actor Anthony Rapp alleged that Spacey tried to seduce him in 1986, when Rapp was a young teenager. In a statement, Spacey apologized for any "drunken" misbehavior and also came out as gay.

The final season of "House of Cards" is in production. The Emmy winning-drama starring Spacey and Robin Wright as an Oval Office power couple kick-started Netflix's success in producing original shows.


1:50 p.m.

The president and publisher of The New Republic is facing allegations of harassing women employees and has been placed on a leave of absence

In a company memo shared Monday with The Associated Press, the magazine promised an "immediate, independent" investigation of Hamilton Fish. The memo was signed by New Republic owner Win McCormack.

Fish is a former publisher of The Nation who in 2016 became president and publisher of The New Republic. Last week, former New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier offered a "shaken apology" after numerous women alleged he had sexually harassed them. He was dropped from the masthead of The Atlantic, where he had been a contributing editor, and a planned journal he was to launch through the non-profit Emerson Collective was cancelled.

The investigation comes amid an avalanche of sexual harassment allegations against men in Hollywood, media and other industries.


1:45 p.m.

Many Hollywood figures have reacted with anger to Kevin Spacey's apology about being physical with former child actor Anthony Rapp at a party 31 years ago — and the older actor's sudden announcement that he is gay.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Spacey, but your application to join the gay community at this time has been denied," wrote "Savage Love" writer and "It Gets Better" creator Dan Savage on Twitter.

Rose McGowan, a leading voice against sexual harassment in Hollywood, said of Spacey: "It's your turn to cry." Actor Zachary Quinto called it a "calculated manipulation."

Former "House of Cards" showrunner Beau Willimon says he never saw inappropriate behavior by Spacey but called Rapp's allegation "deeply troubling."


12:45 p.m.

Kevin Spacey's statement of regret after being accused of trying to seduce former child actor Anthony Rapp has kicked up a backlash.

The two-time Oscar winner apologized for the 31-year-old assault at a party in New York but then chose to come out of the closet, prompting many to question the timing and accusing the actor of trying to change the subject.

The two-paragraph statement — an apology in the first and a self-outing in the second — struck many as an odd time for Spacey to address his sexual orientation. Some gay rights activists say he also seemed to make a connection between being gay and sexual abuse of minors.

Among those who questioned Spacey's timing is Kate Ellis, who is the president and CEO of GLAAD.


10:10 a.m.

NBC News says it has terminated its contract with Mark Halperin, the political journalist who was accused of sexual harassment by several women when he worked at ABC News more than a decade ago.

Since the charges came to light last week, publisher Penguin Press canceled a planned book by Halperin and John Heilemann about the 2016 election and HBO pulled the plug on a miniseries that would have been based on the book. Showtime also said Halperin would not be brought back with co-hosts Heilemann and Mark McKinnon should the political series "The Circus" be renewed.

At NBC News, Halperin was a contributor who was most visible as a regular panelist on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

The network, which had initially suspended Halperin last week, confirmed the firing on Monday.

Comments ()