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SAG-AFTRA investigating Vincent Gallo’s alleged behavior during film auditions

Christi Carras
Los Angeles Times

Performers union SAG-AFTRA has launched an investigation after multiple women reported complaints about actor Vincent Gallo’s alleged behavior during auditions for an upcoming film.

The guild confirmed Thursday in a statement to The Times that it is aware of and investigating the complaints. Two women reported to the union that Gallo, who is attached to star as serial killer and rapist Joseph James DeAngelo (also known as the Golden State Killer) in the movie “The Policeman,” made sexual and explicit comments that upset them during their auditions, according to Rolling Stone.

A third woman also told Rolling Stone that she did not attend her callback audition after hearing about Gallo’s alleged conduct during the casting process.

“We extensively engaged with production regarding the complaints and, while shooting has wrapped, we continue to monitor and investigate,” a spokesperson for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists said in a statement provided to The Times.

“We also reaffirm our commitment to ensuring a safe and respectful environment on set. Because our inquiry is ongoing, we cannot respond to specifics of the complaint[s].”

One woman, in her complaint, alleged that Gallo said to her, “If I say to suck my d— or I will kill you, I want you, you the person, not you the character, not you the actor, but you, to truly believe you will die if you don’t do as I say. And just like you would in real life, if this were happening to you, I want you to do all of the actions necessary to do that. You won’t actually suck my d—, but you do not have the power, I have all the power. You have no control, I am in complete control,” according to Rolling Stone.

Gallo did not immediately respond Thursday to The Times’ request for comment.

The Times could not reach “The Policeman” writer-director Jordan Gertner for comment. A spokesperson for the filmmaker and Pacific Media Productions told Rolling Stone that a SAG-AFTRA intimacy coordinator was hired for production on the film, which was “carried out in a safe, protective and respectful environment.”

“We do take allegations of inappropriate comments made by anyone involved in the production very seriously,” the spokesperson said.

“The casting director told the actors prior to their callback meetings and auditions that a SAG-AFTRA intimacy coordinator was being hired for the picture and she would be involved with all scenes in which any nudity or sexuality was to occur. The coordinator that was hired worked closely with the director, Vincent, and other cast, and the cast involved felt that the environment was positive and respectful.”

The women, who auditioned to play a victim of DeAngelo, also reportedly alleged in their complaints that Gallo voiced a desire to cast actresses who would allow him to improvise scenes in which he might simulate physical and/or sexual violence without prior discussion or warning.

“I may ask you to get nude at any time, and I need an actress who is going to do it, because that’s what the victim would’ve done to stay alive,” Gallo allegedly told one woman, according to a complaint obtained by Rolling Stone.

The same woman reportedly said in her complaint that Gallo told her she would have no say in “what was being done” to her on set and would be expected to “give blanket consent” in order to keep her job. Another woman accused the casting director at Cast Iron Studios in her complaint of instructing her not to ask about an intimacy coordinator while she was waiting to be seen for the part, per Rolling Stone.

As part of the guild’s agreement with the alliance representing the major Hollywood studios, the new SAG-AFTRA contract states that producers “must use best efforts” to hire intimacy coordinators for scenes involving nudity or simulated sex and are prohibited from retaliating against actors who request the presence of an intimacy coordinator at any time.

A representative for Cast Iron Studios did not immediately respond Thursday to The Times’ request for comment but told Rolling Stone that “the casting team fought hard behind the scenes for the performers, and the results of these efforts can be attested to by the positive reports from set.”

“We thank the actresses for their courage to come forward, and express our deepest apologies for their experience, which was indeed a first for us, too,” the rep said.

©2024 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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