Speed Reads

Sexual Harassment

More than 238 women have now accused director James Toback of sexual harassment

The public revelations about film mogul Harvey Weinstein earlier this month spurred a national conversation about the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and assault, both in the entertainment industry as well as in countless other workplaces. It also offered women an opportunity to step forward, both by way of the #MeToo social media movement and in the form of a steady stream of similar reports that have since been published, including accusations by 38 women against The Pick-up Artist director James Toback in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday. After the report was made public, the Times said more than 200 additional women contacted the newsroom via email and phone with similar stories.

"I wish I had never met him and, from the looks of it, I don't appear to be the only one," publisher Judith Regan told the Times.

Women claim Toback, 72, would initially approach them with the promise of interviews or auditions, touting his credits and connections to stars. "Those auditions involved humiliating personal questions, boasts of sexual conquests, and Toback forcing them to watch him masturbate," Vanity Fair writes. Toback has denied the accusations, claiming in part that it has been "biologically impossible" for him to do what accusers describe.

"I've been hoping the Weinstein/O'Reilly stuff would bring this vampire into the light (him and a couple others, frankly)," wrote Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn in a Facebook post. "I told the women who would come forward I had their back. This is me doing my best to fulfill that promise."