The actor was axed after a misconduct investigation that explored certain actions of his on set. Now the Oscar-nominated actor is addressing the matter and clarifying some of the details as he sees them. “I have been canceled,” he writes in a guest column for Deadline. “Just like that.
“In the increasing madness that currently pervades our industry, I could not have imagined that the words ‘collateral damage’ would fall upon my shoulders.”
The actor went on to explain that on April 14 he was fired by Netflix “for what they determined to be unacceptable behavior on set.”
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Cast in the leading role of Roderick Usher in the Edgar Allan Poe adaptation, Langella was eager to take on the part. “It is a glorious role, and I had come to regard it as, most likely, my last hurrah. Bizarrely prophetic under the current circumstances,” he wrote.
Regarding the incident that led to the misconduct investigation and firing, Langella stated, “On March 25 of this year, I was performing a love scene with the actress playing my young wife. Both of us were fully clothed. I was sitting on a couch, she was standing in front of me. The director called ‘cut.’ ‘He touched my leg,’ said the actress. ‘That was not in the blocking.’ She then turned and walked off the set, followed by the director and the intimacy coordinator.
“I attempted to follow but was asked to ‘give her some space.’ I waited for approximately one hour, and was then told she was not returning to set and we were wrapped.”
As Langella went on to further detail the event, he shared that Human Resources reached out to him a week later via phone.
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During the call, Langella said he was told, “‘Our intimacy coordinator suggested where you both should put your hands. It has been brought to our attention that you said, ‘This is absurd!’” Langella confirmed he had said it was absurd and proceeded to say to HR, “And I still think so.”
He added: “It was a love scene on camera. Legislating the placement of hands, to my mind, is ludicrous. It undermines instinct and spontaneity. Toward the end of our conversation, she suggested that I not contact the young lady, the intimacy coordinator, or anyone else in the company.”
Along with the misconduct allegation regarding the love scene, Langella further detailed three other allegations charged against him. One was regarding an off-color joke, another allegation claimed he called someone “baby” or “honey, and lastly, he was accused of giving a hug or touch on someone’s shoulder.
“‘You cannot do that, Frank,’ said our producer. ‘You can’t joke. You can’t compliment. You can’t touch. It’s a new order.’,” Langella recalled. After he was fired from the show, Langella shared that he wasn’t given a hearing with Netflix or a chance to talk with the actress who made allegations against him. “The directors and the producer stopped answering my emails and phone calls. Within 30 minutes of my firing, a letter went out to cast and crew and a full press release was sent immediately. My representatives and I were given no opportunity to comment or collaborate on the narrative.”
While Langella wouldn’t speak on the intentions of his accuser, he shared that “the impact on me has been incalculable. I lost a thrilling part, the chance at future earnings and perhaps face a stretch of unemployment.” Apart from having been so close to finishing filming, Langella said that the biggest thing to come out of this situation is that “my reputation has been tarnished.”
“These indignities are, to my mind, the real definition of unacceptable behavior,” he stated. “Cancel culture is the antithesis of democracy.” Since his firing, Langella’s been replaced by actor Bruce Greenwood who has previously collaborated with Flanagan in the past on movies like Gerald‘s Game.