Amazon Studios chief suspended after sexual harassment claims; women of Hollywood speak out at Beverly Hills event

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The head of Amazon Studios was put on leave Thursday following sexual harassment allegations from a producer on the Amazon series "Man in the High Castle," adding to Hollywood's crisis over its mistreatment of women. (KABC)

The head of Amazon Studios was put on leave Thursday following sexual harassment allegations from a producer on the Amazon series "Man in the High Castle," adding to Hollywood's crisis over its mistreatment of women.

Studio executive Roy Price is on a leave of absence effective immediately, Amazon said in a statement.

The company also said it's reviewing its options for projects it has with The Weinstein Co., the embattled firm that fired co-founder Harvey Weinstein on Sunday over allegations of sexual misconduct and assault.

Dozens of women, including actresses Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, have gone public with accusations against Weinstein after a report by The New York Times on misconduct claims by others. Many are calling for sweeping changes in the industry, and urging more women to speak out about harassment and abuse.

The Amazon statement tied together the Weinstein scandal roiling Hollywood and rumored allegations against Price by producer Isa Hackett. Details of her claims were first reported by The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday.

Hackett, a producer on Amazon's " High Castle" drama based on the work of her late father, author Philip K. Dick, alleged that Price propositioned her with crudely suggestive language after a 2015 Comic-Con event in San Diego.

Hackett doesn't intend to pursue legal action against Amazon or Price, Tricarico said in an email Thursday, adding that she declined further comment.

According to Hackett's account in The Hollywood Reporter, she met Price for the first time at a post-convention dinner attended by the cast of "High Castle" and Amazon staff.

He invited her to a company party at a hotel and she joined Price and another then-Amazon executive in a cab ride there. According to Hackett, Price repeatedly propositioned her, saying, "You will love my (slang for penis)."

Price persisted at the party even after Hackett told him she was a lesbian with a wife and children, she told the trade paper. At one point, she said, Price drew close to her and loudly said, "anal sex!" even as others stood nearby.

She promptly told Amazon executives, Hackett said, and the company brought in an outside investigator. Hackett said she didn't receive word of the results but never again saw Price at events involving her Amazon shows, which include "High Castle" and the upcoming "Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams."

The Eastern branch of the Writers Guild of America noted the scope of the problem in a statement Thursday, writing "sexual harassment and assault have long been hallmarks of the entertainment industry."

Fittingly, in Beverly Hills, the Paley Center Thursday night was celebrating women in television. Like many women in the entertainment industry, Wendi McLendon-Covey of "The Goldbergs" said she isn't surprised about the secrets exposed.

"It's about damn time that all this comes out and comes crumbling down," she said.

Many women in Hollywood said they're hoping for change in an industry dominated by powerful men.

"If I got all of the women that I knew together in this room, all I would have to say is, "OK you guys, how old were you and when did it happen,' and everybody would raise their hand," said actress Pamela Adlon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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