November 1, 2017
by Colleen McGregor
Director/producer Brett Ratner is under fire after being accused by at least six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, of sexual misconduct, as detailed in a Los Angeles Times article. According to The Wrap: “Playboy Enterprises is putting all projects with Ratner’s production company, Ratpac Entertainment, on hold. This includes the biopic on Playboy founder Hugh Hefner that Ratner was attached to direct and produce … Jared Leto was attached to play Hefner in the film, which was a co-production between Ratpac and Playboy/Alta Loma Entertainment and had Hefner attached as executive producer prior to Hefner’s death on September 27. Ratner, who is 48, was also planning to develop a reboot of Hefner’s 1960s variety show ‘Playboy After Dark.'”
A Playboy spokesperson issued this statement to The Wrap: “We are deeply troubled to learn about the accusations against Brett Ratner. We find this kind of behavior completely unacceptable. We are putting all further development of our projects with RatPac Entertainment on hold until we are able to review the situation further.”
Warner Bros. Pictures, which has a co-financing deal with RatPac, issued a statement saying that it is reviewing its relationship with Ratner.
Munn claims that when she was visiting the set of Ratner’s 2004 film “After the Sunset,” she was asked to bring food to a trailer, where she found Ratner, who masturbated in front of her. She detailed the encounter in her 2010 book, “Suck It, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek,” but she did not name Ratner at the time. After the book was published, Ratner claimed that he had a brief consensual sexual relationship with Munn, but later he admitted it was a lie, and that he and Munn never had sex and never dated each other. In the Los Angeles Times article, Henstridge says that Ratner forced her to perform oral sex on her in the 1990s when they were hanging out and watching a movie together.
Ratner has denied these stories through his attorney, Marty Singer, who says that Ratner has never had any sexual misconduct claims against him that resulted in a lawsuit, settlement or arrest. Ratner got his start in the entertainment industry as a director of music videos; over the years, he has worked with artists such as Mariah Carey, Jodeci and Michael Jackson. Ratner has directed such films as the “Rush Hour” movies, “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Red Dragon,” “Tower Heist” and “Hercules.” As a producer, Ratner’s credits include “The Revenant,” “Horrible Bosses,” “Horrible Bosses 2” and “Mirror Mirror.”
This isn’t the first public scandal for Ratner. In 2011, Ratner was hired to produce the 84th Academy Awards in 2012 with Don Mischer, but Ratner resigned on November 8, 2011, after being quoted as saying “rehearsal is for fags.” Brian Grazer replaced Ratner on the production. Eddie Murphy, who was set to host the show, also exited the production, and he was replaced by Billy Crystal.