**Warning: This article contains discussion of abuse and sexual violence.**
The Daily Beast released an article today detailing allegations from multiple women who say that screenwriter Max Landis sexually and emotionally abused them while in relationships with them. This is not the first time that allegations against Landis have surfaced; as recently as last week, Whitney Moore commented on the horrors she says she suffered during her relationship with Landis. It is a sobering reminder of the power men have in Hollywood, and how they can use it not only to abuse women, but to keep their careers afloat.
The article is difficult to read in places where it details what these women went through. Landis’s alleged behavior is vile and cruel, and what he has apparently said to these women shows that he knows what he’s doing is wrong. And yet, he gets a free pass to continue to do so.
Ani Baker, who dated Landis as well, shared a story of a time when she says that Landis sexually assaulted her, as well as a time when she says he threatened to kill her. Baker also details how Landis showed her a list ranking all his sexual experiences to humiliate her. Another woman, using the pseudonym “Veronica,” details a time she says Landis took her on a trip to Disneyland and molested her at the park before sexually assaulting her back in their hotel room. The Daily Beast also found a 2008 case where Landis was accused of raping a woman named Callie Ray; the alleged assault was reportedly interrupted by one of Ray’s friends coming into the room, who was able to scare Landis away.
“He trusted that we wouldn’t ever say anything, worked actively to discredit people who were saying things, and was just as consistent in the abuse as he was with covering it up and manipulating us afterwards,” said “Julie,” another woman who chose not to use her real name in the article.
Baker, who last week posted a warning to social media about Landis, shared that she did so to protect other women: “It gets worse every day. Every story I hear, I’m like, how did I think I knew this person? It’s horrifying. But I just feel like I need to be as honest as possible, since my goal in this is to help other people to not be in the same position.”
Landis is currently working on two projects, Shadow in the Cloud and Deeper. A representative for Shadow in the Cloud told The Daily Beast that “after the allegations surfaced and some time went by, the producers renegotiated with Landis to have him removed as a producer, and to allow for extensive re-writes by Roseanne Liang at the time she was hired. He has not been on set and will not be involved in the film in any way.”
At this point, though, Hollywood has to say enough is enough. Landis’s abuse allegations have been openly discussed for years. Hollywood cannot say catchphrases like “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” and not actively remove unsafe people from the workplace. Landis is a terrible writer and, judging by these accounts, a worse person. He will not be missed if he never writes another film.
These women are incredibly brave for coming forward, and we stand by them. Hollywood, it’s time to actually do something, put your money where your mouth is, and stop shielding Landis from consequences for his actions.
(via The Daily Beast, image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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