During a Produced By Conference conversation with Danny DeVito on Saturday, actor Michael Douglas, who faced allegations of sexual harassment in 2018, underlined his support for the #MeToo movement, adding that he believes it has indeed led to real change in Hollywood. “This Me Too movement has been phenomenal in bringing women into our industry more than ever before,” Douglas said. “I think it’s also time to be kind to each other. We know there have been some mistakes by a lot of people or some people but I don’t think it’s a large population. I do feel that it’s important to remember we all mutually love this process and to be kind to each other.”
In January 2018, before journalist and author Susan Braudy, who was employed by Michael Douglas, came forward to allege that he harassed her and masturbated in her presence, the star chose to go public with the claims, in an effort to control the narrative.
A week later, Braudy did indeed come forward, during an appearance on “The Today Show” on January 19, during which she revealed that the “Kominsky Method” actor repeatedly harassed her while she was employed by his company, Stone Bridge Productions, and she did not go to police at the time because friends warned her not to speak out against Douglas, who was one of Hollywood’s most powerful.
Douglas vehemently denied the woman’s claims.
During the Saturday Produced By conversation with DeVito, Douglas did briefly revisited the allegations against him, saying that “being open” with the people he worked with was important, and referring to what he described as “atrocious” behavior by executives during pitch meetings and auditions, although he did not elaborate or give specifics in either case.
His comments on Saturday are mostly in line with those he made in January 2018, after the allegations became public. At the time, the 74-year-old actor said: ”I support the #metoo movement with all my heart. I have always supported women, along the way.”
Although he called the allegations a “step that can set that movement back,” he argued for due process. “Being accused, without a chance in court, to not even really have the information in front of you, to be able to argue or defend yourself,” he said.
According to an October 2018 New York Times report, the #MeToo movement helped lead to the firing of at least 200 prominent men, and nearly half of them have been replaced by women.
“We’ve never seen something like this before,” Joan Williams, law professor at the University of California, Hastings, said in the report. “Women have always been seen as risky, because they might do something like have a baby. But men are now being seen as more risky hires.”
Douglas currently stars on the Netflix series “The Kominsky Method,” for which he won the 2019 Golden Globe for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy.