Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Meet seven women who say they were harassed at Paramount’s legendary Central Casting

These women came forward in the wake of the publication of the New York Times expose of systemic sexual harassment at Hollywood’s Century Studios.

(Email redacted for the sake of their privacy) — Six women who’ve worked at a longtime background agency based in the heart of Hollywood describe a toxic workplace where they were subjected to inappropriate comments, sexually inappropriate touching, and groping. They also report that members of the agency’s staff participated in, and were even witnesses to, assaults and other acts of sexual harassment by film and television extras, which for decades was protected by the company’s culture of deniability and encouragement of employee silence.

The six women, who’ve spoken anonymously for fear of retaliation, describe their years of being victims of harassment and assault by employees at Central Casting, a background agency that’s long served the film and television industries and for whom the six were working when they began to realize their work environments were spiraling out of control. The women describe being routinely placed in situations where they were the only person of color in a screening room, humiliated by a comedian they believed was essentially forced to perform a sexual act on them, threatened at gunpoint, or exposed in graphic detail to an older, male-dominated crew.

“There were nights I didn’t go home at all,” one former employee told the New York Times. “It was all about what men wanted. At the end of the day, my body was no longer my own.”

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