UPDATE: Warner Bros. has clarified that Peters' involvement in A Star is Born is entirely legacy and he's not a PGA producer of the film.
Bradley Cooper's remake of A Star is Born might be an early Oscars favorite, but infamous producer Jon Peters may ruin its chances altogether. Given Hollywood's recent zero-tolerance policy following last year's inception of the #MeToo movement, his mere association with the movie might hurt its shot at winning Best Picture given sexual harassment allegations made against the producer just over a decade ago.
Having produced a number of successful movies like Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns, Clue, Flashdance, and An American Werewolf in London, Peters ultimately lost his professional credibility after serving as producer on Bryan Singer's Superman Returns in 2006. Several sexual harassment claims made against him following production affected his career significantly, temporarily blacklisting him from Hollywood for nearly twelve years (he's credited as executive producer on Man of Steel, but Peters revealed that Christopher Nolan had banned him from set, according to an interview with THR). Now, returning to his roots with this year's A Star is Born remake (his very first producing credit was on the 1976 production of A Star is Born with Barbara Streisand) may well negatively affect the movie's chance come Oscar night.
According to The LA Times, Peters was accused of sexual misconduct by his then-personal assistant, Shelly Morita. He reportedly exposed himself to both Morita and her two-year-old daughter, touched her inappropriately, and crawled into bed with her. This resulted in a Los Angeles jury ordering him to pay nearly a million dollars in damages to Morita. So, assuming A Star is Born maintains its awards-friendly status come Oscar night on February 24 - going so far as to nab a Best Picture nomination in the process - will the fact that Peters himself will be a recipient of the honor affects its chances? And, given the fact that studios are wasting no time distancing themselves from alleged offenders (see: Harvey Weinstein's blacklisting, Kevin Spacey being fired from House of Cards, an entire scene being cut out of The Predator on account of featuring a registered sex offender), is it too late for Warner Bros. to distance itself from Peters altogether?
Assuming there is no legal way to remove Peters from A Star is Born's credits, and the film's chances at being nominated for/winning Best Picture are affected by his association alone, its Oscar chances aren't completely destroyed. The bulk of the praise stemming out of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is aimed at Bradley Cooper (for acting and directing) and Lady Gaga, specifically. So, at the very least, in the event that voters don't feel comfortable handing over a trophy to someone who's been accused of the very thing Hollywood's dedicated itself against just this past year, it's unlikely that anyone else associated with the movie will be affected. That said, it's a fair argument that associating with Peters at all could stir up some questionable reactions - which could then potentially affect A Star is Born getting any recognition whatsoever.
Hollywood, as a whole, hasn't abandoned their #MeToo post. Given the sort of individuals they've collectively blacklisted in the past year, any sort of favoritism or biases haven't really affected the treatment aimed at anyone accused of sexual misconduct. However, given that Peters' association with the movie has hardly been a hot topic following the movie's awards buzz, could A Star is Born be the exception? Is this the movie that ultimately reintroduces leniency in La La Land?
- A Star is Born (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018