Frank Langella responds to misconduct allegations after Netflix firing
Actor Frank Langella has issued a lengthy response to claims of workplace misconduct after being dropped from forthcoming Netflix series The Fall of the House of Usher.
Langella was fired from the limited series following an investigation into alleged misconduct, after he was accused of making inappropriate comments to a female co-star.
He was replaced by Bruce Greenwood as the lead of the miniseries, which is based on the story by Edgar Allen Poe. None of the footage featuring Langella in the role will be used in the final series.
In a full statement, published as a guest collumn by Deadline, Langella denied the claims that he had groped a female co-star while filming a fully clothed intimate scene on 25 March.
Langella claimed that he has been “cancelled”, and that he had “touched” the other actor’s leg without the prior agreement of the show’s intimacy coordinator.
In the piece, Langella also alleged that he had been removed from the series for telling a risque joke, addressing his female co-star as “baby” and “honey”, and for giving her a “hug or touch” on the shoulder.
In his Deadline statement, Langella characterised his treatment as “not just” and “not American”.
“I cannot speak to the intentions of my accuser or Netflix, but the impact on me has been incalculable. I lost a thrilling part, the chance at future earnings, and perhaps face a stretch of unemployment,” he wrote.
“Netflix terminated me after three months of work with only three weeks left to shoot, and I have as yet to be fully remunerated for my services. Most importantly, my reputation has been tarnished.”
According to Langella, he had touched his co-star’s leg while filming a romantic scene on a sofa, which was not in the pre-agreed blocking. At that point, she walked off set, along with the director and intimacy coordinator.
“It was a love scene on camera. Legislating the placement of hands, to my mind, is ludicrous. It undermines instinct and spontaneity,” the actor wrote.
An investigation was subsequently opened. Langella claimed he was approached by Netflix’s HR department a week later to discuss the incident. A producer on the series allegedly told him: “You can’t joke. You can’t compliment. You can’t touch. It’s a new order.”
Langella also claims he did not receive a hearing with Netflix or the accusor.
“My representatives and I were given no opportunity to comment or collaborate on the narrative,” he alleged.
The Independent has contacted Netflix for comment.
A prolific film, television and theatre actor with four Tony Awards to his name, Langella is best known for playing Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon, as well as roles in Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and The Americans.