Bright writer Max Landis is the latest figure in Hollywood against which sexual assault allegations are levied, with the claims coming from multiple sources on Twitter. In early October, The New York Times published an explosive piece about movie producer Harvey Weinstein and allegations of decades of sexual misconduct and sexual violence against him. In the months since that piece was published, many more women have come forward with their own allegations against Weinstein – but many others have also come forward with allegations of sexual violence against a number of other prominent figures in Hollywood, including Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Louis C.K., James Toback, Bryan Singer, T.J. Miller, and more.
Now in recent days, as Netflix prepared to debut Bright, their first major attempt at rivaling Hollywood studio blockbusters, the film’s writer Max Landis has been the focus of sexual assault allegations – all arriving via Twitter. Landis has been a controversial figure in the past, drawing criticism when he accused Star Wars: The Force Awakens protagonist Rey of being a Mary Sue; he’s also been accused of harassing women online, including director Lexi Alexander. Most recently, in the days leading up to and following Bright’s official premiere on Netflix, Landis has been accused on Twitter of sexual assault.
Related: What Happens to The Weinstein Company’s Movies?
Actress Anna Akana, who worked with Landis on his YouTube short film Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling, responded to one of Netflix’s tweets promoting Bright by writing, “Written by a psychopath who sexually abused and assaults women, right? Cool”. Zoë Quinn, the video game developer who was at the center of the online harassment campaign known as GamerGate, tweeted her own thread on Landis, saying his predatory behavior has been an “open secret for so long,” but survivors are “freaked out” by the influence of him and his father, director John Landis. Writer Lindsey Romain also tweeted saying “Lax Mandis” – an obvious codename for Landis – is a “ritual sex abuser” and that “evidence of his predatory behavior” can easily be found.
BTW, multiple publications interviewed me about this tweet and I gave on-the-record comments to all of them. I don’t know if they’ll ever come out but from what I can tell, each place is taking the story very seriously.
— Allie Goertz (@AllieGoertz) December 21, 2017
Further tweets surfaced that didn’t directly name Landis in any way, but have clues that point to him being the focus. Writer/musician Allie Goertz tweeted in November, “I can’t imagine who is more scared in a post-Weinstein world than a famous director’s son.” She followed that tweet up this week with an update that she’s been contacted by “multiple publications” and she’s gone on the record with her story. Additional vague allegations come from Jake Weisman, writer on Comedy Central’s Corporate; writer Mike Drucker; and actress/writer Siobhan Thompson.
Definitely watch that big Netflix movie coming out, written by that fucking psychopath who is one of the worst people alive
— Jake Weisman (@weismanjake) December 18, 2017
I don’t know who you mean but if that’s true I bet I have SEVERAL friends who have been sexually assaulted by him
— Siobhan Thompson (@vornietom) December 19, 2017
Most recently, Alexander took to Twitter in the wake of these allegations against Landis to write a thread regarding why she had blocked him on the social media website. According to Alexander, she blocked Landis after receiving a private message from an actress who claimed he’d harassed her. In followup tweets, Alexander revealed she cut ties with a woman who knew Landis had harassed the actress, but still invited him on her podcast.
Max Landis still thinks I blocked him because I didn’t like what he said about a movie. I had him blocked for months before then because of a DM I received from a young actress who was harassed by him. I gave her my word that I would keep it confidential, which was…challenging.
— Lexi Alexander (@Lexialex) December 23, 2017
To be clear, because these allegations against Landis arrive via Twitter, they haven’t gone through the same fact-checking and vetting process as the Times‘ Weinstein piece – or any of the other published pieces regarding allegations of sexual violence against Hollywood figures. With that said, Goertz’s tweet indicates more than one publication may be currently in the process of working on a story that includes allegations against Landis.
In fact, some have wondered whether the recent cancellation of Landis’ show, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, is in preparation of a forthcoming story about the writer. (Journalists working on a potential story would likely contact the network either for fact-checking/vetting reasons, or for a comment, so the network would know about a forthcoming piece before it’s published.)
It remains to be seen whether a story concerning Landis will be published in the coming weeks or months, but either way, it’s likely many will continue to shed light on this “open secret” – and others – via Twitter. In a post-Weinstein era, if nothing else, it seems at least the industry at large feels safer to come forward with allegations of sexual violence.
Next: Hollywood’s Sexual Assault Scandals Create an Oscars Dilemma
Source Various (see above)