Amazon suspends exec amid harassment claim

October 13, 2017

Amazon Studio chief Roy Price has been put on an immediate leave of absence, the company has said.

Amazon has suspended top entertainment executive Roy Price and says it's reviewing its options for current projects with the Weinstein Company.

"Roy Price is on leave of absence effective immediately," an Amazon spokesperson told Reuters on Thursday. "We are reviewing our options for our projects we have with the Weinstein Company."

The Amazon Studios president's departure comes amid renewed sexual harassment allegations and multiple signs that Amazon and others in the industry had withdrawn their support from the embattled executive.

Insiders have speculated for months about Price's possible departure from his role as head of Amazon's original-video arm.

That speculation has driven by concerns over possible sexual harassment and a dramatic shift in Amazon's approach to original programming -- one that was mandated by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and which rejects the strategy employed for years by Price.

On Thursday, reports resurfaced of an alleged harassment incident involving Price and Isa Hackett, an executive producer on Amazon original series "The Man in the High Castle" and the daughter of science-fiction author Philip K. Dick. According to reports, Price allegedly made a lewd joke to Hackett playing off the title of the Amazon series "I Love Dick," pressured Hackett for sex, and made crude reference to anal intercourse.

Lisa Bloom, who had been Price's lawyer since the alleged harassment was reported on in August, dropped Price as a client on Thursday with a representative confirming this to Reuters.

Bloom similarly dropped Weinstein as a client earlier this week as multiple women began speaking out claiming that Weinstein had harassed or raped them.

One of Weinstein's accusers, actress Rose McGowan, tweeted at Bezos on Thursday, writing that a top-level Amazon Studios executive had rejected her claims that Weinstein had raped her. "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 wrote. She added that the executive had then killed a project she was developing at the studio.

Amazon is developing two series with the Weinstein Company, Matthew Weiner's "The Romanoffs" and an untitled drama with David O. Russell.

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