A Star Is Born won't hit theaters until October, but it's already gathered enthusiastic press following its Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival screenings. However, there's always a "however," and Jezebel discovered it when they reported on Tuesday that one of the producers of the film, Jon Peters, has been sued at least five times by former employees for sexual misconduct. Most were settled out of court, with one case going to trial, resulting in a jury ordering Peters to pay his accuser $3 million in damages.
Peters participation in the film isn't as cut-and-dry as it initially seems — according to Vanity Fair, the Producers Guild of America said Peters was not a P.G.A.-certified producer on the film, and Warner Bros. says they were legally obligated to credit him due to his long-running history with the story. Director and star Bradley Cooper was asked about the issue during an interview with NPR's Morning Edition on Friday.
"With this property, there are many writers that come before—if you see the end credits, it’s like, there’s 10 writers," Cooper explained. "And [Jon Peters] was part of the, I guess, the grandfather clause of the movie, and we had to get his consent in order to make the movie. When you’re at the helm, it’s a huge responsibility. And I guess—I mean, first of all, on the set...you have to create an environment where everybody feels safe. Everybody. And there’s no room for disrespect, nothing. And that’s something that you’d have to ask everybody who was involved, but I feel like that’s the environment I created. Luckily, Jon wasn’t there. And if I had known all those things, I would have done it differently. And I guess it’s...I wanted to make the movie, I knew I had to get consent from him, otherwise, there’s no film. But I should have checked. I guess that’s the thing." Refinery29 has reached out to Peters for comment.
A Star Is Born hits theaters on October 5.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).