Armie Hammer withdraws from Broadway play The Minutes in wake of rape allegation

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·2 min read
Armie Hammer withdraws from Broadway play The Minutes in wake of rape allegation
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Armie Hammer has dropped out of the Broadway production of The Minutes, another entry in the growing list of projects he has departed amid controversy and allegations of sexual assault. The play, by Pulitzer-winning playwright and actor Tracy Letts, is currently set to open on Broadway in March 2022 after premiering at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater in 2017.

"I have loved every single second of working on The Minutes with the family I made from Steppenwolf," Hammer said in a statement. "But right now I need to focus on myself and my health for the sake of my family. Consequently, I will not be returning to Broadway with the production."

"Armie remains a valued colleague to all of us who have worked with him onstage and offstage on The Minutes. We wish only the best for him and respect his decision," the play's production team added in a statement.

Michael Brosilow Armie Hammer, left, and Tracy Letts in 'The Minutes.'

Last month, a woman accused Hammer of rape and "other acts of violence" in 2017 and alleged that the actor abused her "mentally, emotionally, and sexually" during a four-year on-and-off relationship. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to EW that it opened an investigation into the allegations in February. Hammer has denied the accusations.

Controversy first erupted around the actor in January, when allegations surfaced on social media that he had sent disturbing messages to various women, who said they had been in sexual relationships with him. Hammer called the allegations "bulls---" and decried "vicious and spurious online attacks" in a statement at the time.

Since the initial allegations emerged, Hammer has dropped out of the action-comedy film Shotgun Wedding; departed the Paramount+ series The Offer, about the making of The Godfather; and exited the Cold War thriller Billion Dollar Spy.

The Minutes explores the inner workings of a city council meeting, and the hypocrisy, greed, and ambition that surface when a newcomer to the small town of Big Cherry starts to ask the wrong questions. In an interview with The New York Times, Letts said the play is "not about Trump or Trumpism," but "is about this contentious moment we're having in American politics in the last few years."

The play began previews at New York's Cort Theatre in February 2020, and was set to open on March 15 before the pandemic forced Broadway to shut down. It's now scheduled to open on March 15, 2022, pending cast and theatre availability. The Broadway cast also includes Letts, Ian Barford, Blair Brown, Cliff Chamberlain, K. Todd Freeman, Danny McCarthy, Jessie Mueller, Sally Murphy, Austin Pendleton, and Jeff Still.

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