Veteran actor Frank Langella has claimed he’s a victim of ‘un-American’ cancel culture after he was fired from Netflix’s upcoming The Fall of the House of Usher series over claims he fondled a young co-star inappropriately during a love-scene.
‘I have been canceled. Just like that, ‘Langella, 84, wrote in an op-ed published to Deadline Thursday – the actor’s first public statement since the outlet reported he had been nixed from the series over’ unacceptable conduct ‘on its set on April 13.
‘Cancel culture is the antithesis of democracy,’ the Frost / Nixon star asserted in the scathing piece. ‘This is not fair. This is not just. This is not American. ‘
In the open letter, Langella recounted how he had been forced out of the lead role of Roderick Usher in the upcoming Edgar Allan Poe adaptation after performing the love scene with the female co-star who played his wife. She hasn’t been named.
‘Both of us were fully clothed. I was sitting on a couch, she was standing in front of me. The director called cut. “He touched my leg,” said the actress. “That was not in the blocking,” ‘Langella wrote.
‘She then turned and walked off the set, followed by the director and the intimacy coordinator. I attempted to follow, but was asked to “give her some space.” I waited for approximately one hour, and was then told she was not returning to set and we were wrapped, ‘the Tony Award winner said.
Langella revealed that roughly a week later, he was contacted by Netflix HR personnel, who proceeded to interrogate – and reprimand – him about the March 25 incident, revealing that the female actress had filed a complaint to producers.
Actresses in the planned production include Carla Gugino, 50; Mary McDonnell, 70 – tabbed to play Usher’s ailing, elderly sister, Madeleine – and Kate Siegel, 39, who last year starred in showrunner Mike Flanagan’s previous Netflix series, Midnight Mass.
He’s out: Tony Award-winning and Oscar-nominated actor Frank Langella has claimed he’s a victim of ‘un-American’ cancel culture after he was fired from the upcoming Netflix series over claims he fondled a young co-star inappropriately during a love- scene. Here the actor is seen in 2016 in NYC during the 70th Annual Tony Awards
‘”Before the love scene began on March 25,”‘ the HR staffer wrote to Langella, the actor recalled, ‘”our intimacy coordinator suggested where you both should put your hands”‘ – a suggestion the staffer noted Langella had disregarded as’ absurd, ‘which apparently had troubled the actress, who was not identified by Netflix or Langella.
‘”Yes,” I said,’ Langella recalled of his response to the staffer. ‘I did. And I still think so. ‘
‘It was a love scene on camera,’ continued Langella – who received an Oscar nod for his turn as Richard Nixon in 2008 and boasts acting credits spanning more than six decades – citing that such scenes demand a degree of improvisation.
‘Legislating the placement of hands, to my mind, is ludicrous. It undermines instinct and spontaneity. ‘
However, seemingly unconvinced by Langella’s version of the incident, the staffer went on to suggest Langella not speak to the female actress nor anyone else involved with the film, in an effort to not ‘risk retaliation.’
‘She suggested that I do not contact the young lady, the intimacy coordinator, or anyone else in the company,’ Langella recalled of the phone call. “We don’t want to risk retaliation,” she said.
The actor added that when he mentioned it was not his intention to make his younger co-star feel uncomfortable, the HR staffer ‘cut me off politely and said: “Intention is not our concern. Netflix deals only with impact.” ‘
Langella has been replaced in his role by Star Trek reboot star Bruce Greenwood, pictured
Langella went on to list the allegations leveled against him by the female co-star. ‘1. He told an off-color joke. ‘
‘2. “Sometimes he called me baby or honey.”
‘3. “He’d give me a hug or touch my shoulder.”
Langella was subsequently fired from the series without being ‘given a hearing with Netflix’ later that month, following an investigative probe into the allegations by the streaming service.
Producers have since tabbed Star Trek reboot star Bruce Greenwood to replace Langella in the role of Usher.
Representatives for Langella have not yet responded to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
The investigation determined that Langella’s conduct on set was unacceptable, and the Edgar Allan Poe series will reportedly recast his role.
Sources said the eight-episode mini series was about halfway through production, but all scenes that Langella had filmed will be reshot with his eventual replacement.
TMZ previously noted that the Oscar nominee didn’t have any films to shoot this week, though it’s unclear if the schedule was rearranged after the start of the investigation.
He had been starring as Usher, a man who fears his twin sister has been entombed alive after she succumbs to an illness.
Replaced: A sexual misconduct investigation determined that Langella’s conduct on set was unacceptable, and the Edgar Allan Poe series will reportedly recast his role; seen in 2016 in NYC
Moving on: The series will continue filming scenes that don’t involve the character for the rest of the week, and he hadn’t been on this week’s schedule; seen in 2012 in Park City, Utah
The series will continue filming scenes that do not involve the character for the rest of the week.
Stars of the show include Mark Hamill, Carla Gugino, Mary McDonnell, and Carl Lumbly, now joined by a much younger Greenwood, 65.
The show was created and executive produced by horror filmmaker Flanagan, who previously helmed the series The Haunting Of Hill House and Midnight Mass, among other projects.
Among the alleged incidents, a source told the TMZ, include a joke Langella told that he had sexual overtones, and an instance in which he touched the leg of a female actress (during a scripted performance) and joked, ‘Did you like that?’
Police told the outlet that no reports have been filed in connection with the veteran actor. A Netflix rep told the outlet the company doesn’t comment on ‘active employment matters.’
Too close for comfort: A source told the TMZ that Langella told a joke with sexual overtones, and he allegedly touched the leg of a female actress – during a scripted performance – and joked, ‘Did you like that?’; seen in April 2021 at the SAG Awards
Acclaimed: Langella garnered an Oscar nomination in 2009 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as late President Richard Nixon in the 2008 film Frost / Nixon
Langella is an accomplished actor with a prolific resume, having worked steadily in movies and films since 1965.
He garnered an Oscar nomination in 2009 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as late President Nixon in Frost / Nixon.
Among his notable films include the 1979 film Dracula, starring as Count Dracula; 1987’s Masters of the Universe, playing the role of the villain Skeletor; 2006’s Superman Returns, playing the role of Perry White; and 2012’s Robot & Frank, playing Frank.
Latter-day role: Langella portrayed the role of Judge Julius Hoffman in 2020’s The Trial of the Chicago 7
Langella appeared in 1987’s Masters of the Universe, playing the role of the villain Skeletor
In recent years, he’s been featured in projects including The Trial of the Chicago 7, in which he played Judge Julius Hoffman; the TV show Kidding, in which he portrayed Seb; and the TV show The Americans, playing Gabriel.
The Hollywood veteran opened up about his love life in his 2012 memoir Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them, according to the New York Post, as he was past linked to late actresses Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor.
He was romantically linked with Whoopi Goldberg for five years after they worked together on her 1994 movie Eddie, according to a 2000 report from Variety.
His firing comes as actor Bill Murray faced similar backlash for ‘inappropriate behavior’ on the set of his latest movie ‘Being Mortal’ that led to it being shelved in late April.
Murray told CNBC he had a ‘difference of opinion’ with a woman he was working with on the film, but did not name the woman or give any details about what happened.
The film, which was written and being directed by comedian Aziz Anzari, was set to star Seth Rogan and Keke Palmer, as well as Murray.
Bill Murray (pictured last month) has been accused of ‘inappropriate behavior’ and seen his latest movie shut down, reports say