Frank Langella is telling his side of the story following his firing from the Netflix limited series “The Fall of the House of Usher” — and he’s blaming “cancel culture” following reports last month he was fired from the series after sexual harassment allegations.
Langella pushed back against the sexual misconduct allegations against him in a guest column for Deadline published Thursday, writing that his ousting came after the actress playing his wife accused him of touching her leg in an unscripted moment while filming a love scene.
“She then turned and walked off the set, followed by the director and the intimacy coordinator,” Langella wrote of the March 25 incident. “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.”
The Oscar-nominated actor was fired in April from his lead role in the Netflix’s limited series following an investigation of sexual harassment allegations against him. The investigation found that Langella, 84, was involved in “unacceptable conduct on set,” according to a Deadline report at the time, which led to his firing.
Accusations of improper conduct, including “making inappropriate comments to a female co-star,” prompted the investigation. Netflix declined to comment, but a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed Deadline’s report.
Original report on Frank Langella:Actor ousted from ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ after sexual harassment allegations
“It was a love scene on camera,” Langella wrote. “Legislating the placement of hands, to my mind, is ludicrous. It undermines instinct and spontaneity.”
Though Langella said he “cannot speak to the intentions of my accuser or Netflix,” he claimed “the impact on me has been incalculable.”
“I lost a thrilling part, the chance at future earnings and perhaps face a stretch of unemployment. Netflix terminated me after three months of work with only three weeks left to shoot, and I have as yet to be fully remunerated for my services,” he wrote. “Most importantly, my reputation has been tarnished.”
Langella outlined what he says were some of the other allegations on set, including that he “told an off-color joke” as well as claims that “sometimes he called me ‘baby’ or ‘honey'” and “he’d give me a hug or touch my shoulder.”
Following the accusations, Langella wrote he had “been canceled. Just like that.”
He said he interviewed crisis managers and high-powered lawyers. “My first instinct was to blame. To lash out and seek vengeance.”
Langella said he “was not given a hearing with Netflix. My request to meet one-on-one with the actress was denied. 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.” At the time of his firing, USA TODAY reached out to Langella’s representative but did not receive a response.
Langella ended his column by calling “cancel culture” the “antithesis of democracy.”
“This is not fair. This is not just. This is not American,” Langella said.
USA TODAY has reached out to Netflix for comment.
Netflix’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” is based on the 1839 short story of the same name by poet Edgar Allan Poe, which centers on the “gloomy and mysterious” estate of Usher’s family. Langella was set to play Roderick Usher in the horror drama. Scenes featuring Langella were set to be reshot after a new actor is cast in the role.
The eight-episode series is also set to star Mary McDonnell, Mark Hamill and Carla Gugino.
Contributing: Edward Segarra