Anyone care about the alleged abusive, predatory behavior of ‘Amsterdam’ director David O. Russell?

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don’t worry darlingwhich came out this weekend has been plagued by scandals for months, mostly over juicy claims by a Dispute between director Olivia Wilde and leading actress Florence Pugh from Wilde’s ongoing romance with co-star Harry Styles. The constant rumor mill surrounding the film has led some (including Wilde himself) to speculate that a hypothetical male director charged with sexual misconduct would pay even half the cost Backlash she faces. It turns out that this hypothesis is actually quite real! I give you Amsterdamis David O. Russell.

Amsterdam, due out October 7, has a cast that’s exploding with star power, including Margot Robbie, Christian Bale, Chris Rock, Rami Malek, Anya Taylor-Joy, Robert DeNiro, Zoe Saldaña and even Taylor Swift. All of these A-list stars were apparently not only ready, but like to work with Russell, despite claims that he sexually harassed his niece, as well as stories about his aggressive behavior from Amy Adams and George Clooney, both of whom have worked with Russell.

In 2012, the director’s niece, Nichole Peloqui, filed a police report accusing Russell of groping her breasts while they were at the gym shortly after Russell offered to help Peloqui with abdominal exercises. Peloqui underwent a gender reassignment surgery at this point. After filing the police report, Russell told officers that his niece had asked for it – in his words, according to the police report, “acting very provocatively towards him”. Back then he said The Wrap strongly denies any wrongdoing and has fully cooperated with the authorities.

In 2016 Adams said in an interview with GQ that Russell regularly made her cry while she was working American hustle. “He has [make me cry]”I was really devastated on set,” Adams said. This type of atrocity had reportedly been going on for years: in 1999, George Clooney reportedly got into a physical altercation with Russell on the set of three Kings about Russell’s treatment of crew members and extras – a rumor that Clooney all but confirmed in 2004 interview. “Honestly, if he comes near me, I’ll kick him right in the damn mouth,” Clooney told a magazine. In a separate interview, Russell claimed Clooney instigated the fight, and echoed Clooney’s hostility: ‘I never physically attacked him. If I ran into him, I’d say, ‘Shut up, you lying bitch.’”

Celebrity feud gossip – like that of don’t worry darling– is a fun distraction. But abusive behavior (particularly in the workplace) deserves intense media scrutiny — as do actors’ decisions to work with the director involved. The contrast between the (fun!) circus setting darling relatively harmless drama about its director and the allegations against it that have been swept under the carpet Amsterdam‘s director is a textbook case for the double standards women in power face – which is likely to be the case contributes why there are so few, especially when it comes to acclaimed film directors.

Amsterdam is out in less than two weeks, and I look forward, in a wish-fulfilment sort of way, to the media pressuring Russell the way Stephen Colbert grilled Olivia Wilde. Anyone care about the alleged abusive, predatory behavior of ‘Amsterdam’ director David O. Russell?

Andrew Schnitker

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