Time's Up condemns return of Brett Ratner after sexual misconduct allegations: 'There should be no comeback'

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Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY
·3 min read
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Time's Up is denouncing filmmaker Brett Ratner, who faced several accusations of sexual harassment and assault at the onset of the #MeToo movement, after reports that he plans a return to Hollywood.

Warner Bros. and Ratner parted ways in November 2017 after seven women accused Ratner of sexual misconduct.

Time's Up, the foundation created out of the #MeToo movement that works to address inequality and injustice in the entertainment industry and beyond, released a statement Saturday in response to a report by Deadline that independent film company Millennium Media had brought Ratner on to direct a Milli Vanilli biopic.

“Not only did Ratner never acknowledge or apologize for the harm he caused, but he also filed lawsuits in an attempt to silence the voices of survivors who came forward – a tactic right out of the predator’s playbook," Tina Tchen, president and CEO of Time's Up Foundation, said in a statement.

"You don't get to go away for a couple years and then resurface and act like nothing happened. We have not – and will not – forget. And Millennium Media shouldn’t either. There should be no comeback. #wewontforgetbrett.”

USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Ratner and Millennium Media for comment.

On Friday, Deadline reported that Ratner, 51, had signed on to make his "directing comeback," marking his first film directing project since "Hercules" in 2014.

Brett Ratner, seen here in April 2017, has removed himself from any of his company's Warner Bros. projects and sued a woman over a Facebook post claiming he raped her.
Brett Ratner, seen here in April 2017, has removed himself from any of his company's Warner Bros. projects and sued a woman over a Facebook post claiming he raped her.

“TIME’S UP was born out of the national reckoning on workplace sexual harassment," Tchen added. "Our movement is a product of countless courageous acts by many survivors, including those who spoke out about what they endured at the hands of Brett Ratner."

In an explosive report in November 2017 by the Los Angeles Times, Ratner was accused of varying degrees of sexual harassment by six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge. As a result, he was forced to withdraw from all of his production company's projects at Warner Bros. Meanwhile, Playboy Enterprises shelved a Hugh Hefner biopic he was set to direct and produce.

Weeks before, Hawaii resident Melanie Kohler had posted on her Facebook account that Ratner raped her 12 years earlier. Ratner sued for defamation, and Kohler stood her ground and said she was prepared for a legal battle.

In the Facebook post, Kohler said she had refrained from telling anyone about the incident but was spurred on by the tidal wave of stories about Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men in Hollywood.

Brett Ratner allegations: Who is his accuser, Melanie Kohler?

"Now at least I can look at myself in the mirror and not feel like part of me is a coward or a hypocrite," Kohler wrote. "I’m standing up and saying this happened to me and it was not ok. Come what may, it is the right thing to do.”

Although she said she wishes she could "go back to forgetting" the incident ever took place, "if I do that – if we all do that – it keeps happening. We have to come forward."

Ratner's longtime attorney Marty Singer confirmed to Variety at the time that he told her the post was defamatory and she could be sued if she didn't delete it.

On Nov. 1 of that year, Ratner filed a lawsuit in federal court for libel, asserting the post's accusation was "false and malicious" and claiming he has suffered "emotional distress, worry, anger and anxiety" as a result.

Contributing: Jayme Deerwester and Maeve McDermott

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brett Ratner: Time's Up slams comeback after sexual misconduct claims