Actor Alec Baldwin has spoken about the sexual harassment allegations regarding director James Toback. Baldwin worked with Toback twice: The Private Life of a Modern Woman, which premiered last month and stars Sienna Miller, and Seduced and Abandoned, a documentary in 2013.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Baldwin spoke with journalist Glenn Whipp. Whipp broke the initial story about James Toback and claims to have been contacted by over 300 women with harassment and assault stories. Victims include Rachel McAdams, Selma Blair, Julianne Moore, and Caterina Scorsone.
Baldwin tells Whipp that he never spoke with James Toback about his sex life. "In all the time I’ve known Jimmy, I never had one conversation about his sex life," Baldwin says, "which is not unusual for me because I’m not sitting down with some guy and he’s saying to me, “Man, you should have seen what I did last night with this girl in this hotel.” I don’t go there." He does note that he'd heard that Toback was "peculiar" and had a "reputation of saying provocative things to [women]."
Mostly, Baldwin insists absolute denial of Toback's alleged sexual misconduct, while admitting that he believed Toback just serially pursued women, and that he's "heard stories." "I never knew of anything where Jimmy assaulted or bullied or pressured," he contends. "I never knew any details of what he did that was assault in nature or rape in nature or criminally actionable. Never, never, never."
Baldwin is asked if the 300+ number of alleged victims is disturbing. He replies, "I guess for me, knowing Jimmy as I do … I was told years ago …"Jimmy is one of these guys whose attitude is, “If I bed 10 of every 100 women I approach, then if I want to sleep with a 100 women, I’ve got to ask 1,000 women.” It’s all very much like that. A quantitative thing."
When asked what needs to change in the industry to prevent sexual misconduct, Baldwin trots out the line about making sure men are not alone with women. "...At the insistence of the actress and [also] the insistence of the artist who’s going to meet with people for a job, at the insistence of the employer themselves, there will be people in the room at all times." We'd like to point out that men still harass and assault women in public and around other people. Men should also be taught consent training and not to harass women — a common-sense solution that we find easy to implement.
Refinery29 reached to Baldwin's representative, who declined to comment to further.
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