In the wake of sexual harassment allegations against staffers at Los Angeles independent theater Cinefamily, actress Brie Larson has commented on the dramatic events at the institution where she co-founded the Women of Cinefamily collective.
Larson and Tina Poppy co-founded the Women of Cinefamily group in 2014. After Poppy left Cinefamily, Alia Penner took the role of co-founder. A source close to both Larson and Penner said that they were planning to step back from involvement with the organization for the foreseeable future.
“The allegations at Cinefamily are upsetting to me personally, both as an advocate for sexual assault survivors and a member of the community,” Larson said, in a statement posted to her Twitter feed. “Firstly, I would like to thank the brave survivors who spoke up — I believe you. The responsibility of handling allegations of this nature should never fall on the assaulted. Cinefamily prides itself on being a space of safety and communion – it is time for further action to ensure that.”
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) August 23, 2017
The group is described on its social media pages as “a collective of women filmmakers and film lovers brought together to network, discuss and enjoy great movies and what they inspire.”
As IndieWire reported yesterday, the Cinefamily debacle became public this week when an email circulated alleging sexual harassment charges against co-founder Hadrian Belove and board Vice President Shadie Elnashai. Both men resigned from their positions. The email included excerpts from a 2014 lawsuit filed against Belove and Cinefamily by a former employee that cited sexual harassment as well as work-rule violations. That case was settled out of court.
Larson made headlines in February, when she presented the best actor Oscar to Casey Affleck and declined to applaud after announcing his name.