In a shocking decision, Warner Bros. has decided not to fire actor Robert Knepper (Prison Break, Heroes, The Hunger Games) who had been accused of sexual misconduct and currently stars on the CW show iZombie, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed on Wednesday night.
Warner Bros. defended the polarizing choice in a statement to THR, which read: "We were deeply concerned about recent allegations regarding Robert Knepper. As a result, we conducted an internal inquiry with some of the cast and crew of iZOMBIE. We found no evidence of wrongdoing on the set of the show. We have taken and will continue to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved, which is our top priority."
Knepper, THR reports, has been accused by multiple women, including costume designer Susan Bertram, who told the outlet last month that Knepper had assaulted her in 1992. Bertram claimed Knepper forcefully grabbed her vulva, ripping her tights and drawing blood. He also reportedly said, "I'm going to fuck your brains out."
Thankfully, she was able to escape.
Knepper denied the allegations in a statement obtained by THR, saying he was "shocked and devastated to be falsely accused of violence against a woman."
Earlier this month four additional women told THR that Knepper had assaulted them, too. Robin Saex Garbose said he approached her in her office and "pushed me up against the wall and started kissing me." The other three women detailed similar encounters, in which Knepper forced himself on them and grabbed them without their consent.
Emma Julia Jacobs told THR he even said "I'm going to fuck you senseless" during an encounter in 2010, which was eerily similar to what he told Bertram nearly two decades prior. THR reports he went even further with Jacobs, however, and allegedly "forced her to perform oral sex."
These allegations are incredibly disturbing and seem to indicate a pattern of violent sexual behavior. As other major networks are firing men accused of sexual misconduct — Netflix severed ties with Kevin Spacey, CBS canceled Jeremy Piven's show, and NBC fired Matt Lauer — it's hard to understand the decision made by CW and parent company Warner Bros.