As the Fantastic Fest company parts ways with Harry Knowles, female accusers come forward to say their warnings fell on deaf ears for years.
Troubling allegations continue to surface regarding Alamo Drafthouse, the Austin, Texas-based movie empire currently embroiled in a sex assault and sexual harassment scandal involving several employees and business partners.
On Saturday, IndieWire first reported on Jasmine Baker, a former Drafthouse employee who says Ain't It Cool News founder Harry Knowles — who co-founded Fantastic Fest with Drafthouse's married owners Tim and Karrie League in 2005 — "groped" her "opportunistically on more than one occasion" in 2000.
That news comes on the heels of a scandal involving Devin Faraci, a Drafthouse-employed film writer who stepped down in October 2016 after being accused of sexual assault, whom League then quietly rehired to pen promotional material for this year's Fantastic Fest. It also comes less than a month after Los Angeles' own nexus of movie nerddom, Cinefamily, ceased operations amid its own sexual harassment scandal.
Since that report, multiple women have come forward to allege that Knowles has subjected them to various forms of sexual harassment and assault over the years. Several, including Baker, say they informed the Leagues about Knowles' actions and were consistently greeted with words of concern but ultimately inaction. Knowles, for his part, had denied any wrongdoing.
On Monday, League announced that Knowles, 45, is "no longer affiliated with the company in any capacity." The CEO went on to say that he had skipped Fantastic Fest this year, currently underway in Austin, to instead go on a "listening tour" of the 22 Alamo Drafthouse locations around the country. (Some, like the Austin, San Francisco and Brooklyn locations, are owned by League; others are franchises.)
One day after IndieWire's report, a Drafthouse customer named Gloria Walker accused Knowles on Twitter of having "on more than one occasion grabbed my ass and other parts of me." Walker cited another incident in which she tried to enter the cinema to watch Captain America; Knowles allegedly stood in the doorway and told her "I had to kiss him to get in."
The Daily Beast, meanwhile, on Tuesday published screenshots of a text conversation between Knowles and an anonymous film blogger, in which he allegedly told her, "Come hither to Austin. Your eyeliner makes you look good enough to eat. Obviously I'm talking about cannibalism, baby. You have can have my Vienna sausage anytime."
Andy Signore, creator of Screen Junkies and the “Honest Trailers” series, has been fired effective immediately, Defy Media announced Sunday evening. Signore has been accused by several women of sexual harassment, and at least one said he tried to sexually assault her