Amazon’s Roy Price allegedly passed on Big Little Lies for a grossly sexist reason

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Amy Swales
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With the headlines around Harvey Weinstein’s reported decades of sexual misconduct refusing to slow, allegations against other high-level players in the TV and film industry have surfaced – among them director James Toback and Amazon Studio’s programming chief Roy Price.

Price was suspended, then resigned from his role at the retail and streaming giant following public claims from TV producer Isa Hackett that he sexually harassed her.

Now a follow-up report by The Hollywood Reporter alleges more are coming forward to anonymously recount experiences with the Amazon boss – including the claim that Price passed up TV hit Big Little Lies because there might not be enough female nudity.

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Big Little Lies won eight Emmys in 2017

Starring and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies was a huge win for HBO, taking eight Emmys for its portrayal of the dark complexities of domestic violence, manipulation and rape.

But The Hollywood Reporter cites “company insiders” who claim that Price was reluctant to make a straight-to-series offer for the already-hyped programme – and opted to put forward a development deal instead.

Furthermore, it states that his alleged reaction to the show was to ask “a group of staffers” at a staff party “if the two stars would ‘show their tits’ and mused aloud why he would greenlight the show if they didn’t.”

If true, while shocking in some ways, the report is not entirely unexpected in others; the flood of stories coming out of Hollywood are starkly illustrating the industry’s attitude to women as dismissive and sexist at best, and destructive at worst.

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Roy Price has since resigned from Amazon Studios

The Man in the High Castle producer Hackett claimed that a 2015 taxi ride to an Amazon party with Price saw the executive repeatedly proposition her, allegedly telling her, “You will love my dick”.

She says he continued to harass her upon arrival at the party, and after reporting the incident to other Amazon executives, was told there was an inquiry but was never informed of the outcome. Hackett says she didn’t see Price at any events involving her shows following the inquiry, and told The Hollywood Reporter that she was prompted to speak out following the Weinstein story.

“I think women inspire each other. I feel inspired by the other women who have been far braver than I am, who have come forward. I hope we all continue to inspire each other and ultimately create change.”

Images: HBO / Rex Features