Andrew Duncan, the producer of the movie ‘The Florida Project’, which is considered to be one of the favourites for the Oscars, is stepping down from his indie production company amid allegations of sexual harassment.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Duncan, who has provided millions in financial backing for June, sexually harassed several people associated with the company and has also instructed a June employee to pay prostitutes.
Duncan has denied all of the claims of improper behaviour, blaming unspecified “rivals of mine” bent on taking “cynical advantage of the news climate involving sexual harassment to undermine [June’s] financial prospects.”
In a statement, CEO Alex Saks said she has solidified plans to buy out Duncan’s stake in the company.
“In light of allegations of misconduct against our investor Andrew Duncan, I am assuming sole ownership and leadership of June Pictures. June Pictures is committed to a respectful work environment dedicated to producing quality films. We will continue our projects already in production and development,” the statement read.
Rumors of Duncan’s alleged sexual misconduct had been circulating for the last couple of weeks.
This poses a potential problem for “The Florida Project,” a portrayal of children living in poverty from director Sean Baker.
The film, which features non-professional and first-time actors, has picked up regional critics awards and is considered a contender for an Academy Award nomination for best picture.
The movie’s star Willem Dafoe was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award and a Golden Globe for his supporting role.