Amazon Studios exec resigns following lesbian producer's sexual harassment accusations

Friday, 20 Oct, 2017

Price's departure from Amazon Studios comes as Hollywood reckons with the Harvey Weinstein scandal. She reported it to the company and they brought in an investigator.

The actress Rose McGowan last week accused Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos of "funding rapists, alleged pedos and sexual harassers" in a furious stream of tweets, claiming that she told Roy Price that she had been raped by Weinstein multiple times.

In a message to employees on Friday, Amazon's Vice President of business development Jeff Blackburn said that "Amazon does not tolerate harassment or abuse of our employees or our business partners".

Speaking about coming forward, Hackett said she felt "inspired" by the other women who spoke out against Weinstein over the past week. Per sources, the company had already spent $40 million for the Russell drama while the Weiner show was already halfway through production.

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Just before the Primetime Emmy Awards, where Amazon was left empty-handed while SVOD rivals Hulu and Netflix picked up trophies, Amazon Studios got new directives from Seattle to overhaul its programming strategy, pulling away from niche shows to focus on big broad (largely genre) hits of the size of HBO's Game Of Thrones. He said it hadn't been proven.

Rumors were flying in the spring, when information about the incident started to surface, that Price could be leaving, with Paramount TV president Amy Powell as a name tipped as a potential replacement.

Even before Price's exit, Amazon Studios already has been in transition. Amazon's foray into scripted series has yielded mixed results, with a string of high-profile producers recently going public with their frustrations about working with the streamer.

Soon after Hackett's interview with THR published, Amazon announced that the executive was on a leave of absence. Among them: Goliath creator David E. Kelley, who described Price's entertainment division as "a bit of a gong show" in a scathing Wall Street Journal piece about the company's latest struggles in Hollywood. Looking ahead, Amazon will turn its focus to more global event series a la Game of Thrones. It follows his suspension by the company last week.