The Guardian has brought to light allegations of inappropriate, sexualized behavior against prominent British theatre director Max Stafford-Clark.
When the former artistic director of London’s Royal Court stepped down from his theatre company Out of Joint last month, it was announced that he was doing so to pursue an international freelance career; according to The Guardian’s report, however, Stafford-Clark was forced out of the organization due to a formal complaint made by a female staff member.
The woman, who has run the education program at Out of Joint for over a year, says that the veteran theatre director made lewd comments to her on several occasions, causing her to feel objectified and bullied.
After making the formal complaint, Stafford-Clark was reportedly suspended. Other women have since come forth with details of similar inappropriate and sexualized behavior, The Guardian reports.
The director, 76, founded Out of Joint after departing the Royal Court in 1993.
A statement by a spokesperson for Stafford-Clark told The Guardian that he “wholeheartedly” apologized for “any inappropriate behaviour that made some former colleagues feel uncomfortable.”
The news arrives during a week of high-profile allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein, and points to the presence of a larger, more complex issue of harassment and sexism in the entertainment industry.
A spokesperson for Out of Joint issued the following statement to Playbill: “Out of Joint is a responsible employer taking our duty of care, and that of maintaining confidence, extremely seriously. This applies to existing and former employees, and to people engaged by our organization. In any environment, providing a forum for calling out inappropriate conduct is key, or it risks going undetected. We admire, support and act swiftly, and effectively, to protect those who bravely use their voice to report wrongdoing concerns.”
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