Former Silicon Valley star T.J. Miller is strongly denying disturbing sexual assault allegations made against him by a woman, from back when the two attended college together in 2001. The news that Comedy Central cancelled Miller's series The Gorburger Show has also emerged, in the wake of the allegations.
Miller's star has been on the rise in recent years. After making his name as a standup comedian and supporting roles in films like Cloverfield, Miller became a sensation as Erlich Bachman on Silicon Valley. He's gone on to star in films like Deadpool and The Emoji Movie, and featured in his own HBO standup special earlier this year. To the surprise of many, he announced his departure from Silicon Valley at the end of the show's fourth season, displaying an unusually confrontational attitude on his way out the door, airing grievances with fellow castmates and producers. Despite that abrupt departure, Miller's star seemed to be on the rise.
That ascent is likely over. In a graphic, incredibly well sourced report in The Daily Beast, Miller's unnamed accuser alleges he punched and choked her during a sexual encounter, as well as violating her with a beer bottle, when the two attended George Washington University in 2001. Miller and his wife, Kate, have released a joint statement strongly denying the claims, suggesting the woman has an ulterior motive to ruin Miller professionally. Per Variety, Comedy Central has moved swiftly to end their relationship with Miller by cancelling his puppet talk show series The Gorburger Show.
One of the more disturbing aspects of the report is the suggestion that the accusations against Miller have been common knowledge within the comedy community for years, either dismissed as lies or ignored due to Miller's rising star power. This in many ways echoes the wave of sexual misconduct allegations hitting Hollywood in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Power players of the entertainment industry like Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, and Louis C.K. were the subject of long simmering rumors of harassment and assault before being directly embroiled in scandals this year.
Hollywood will rightly have to answer for those years or complicity, but it seems as if they're at least attempting to be more proactive in how they respond to such issues. Weinstein has been all but drummed out of the film industry; Spacey was fired from House of Cards and replaced in the film All The Money In The World by Christopher Plummer; C.K. saw his the release of his new film I Love You, Daddy cancelled and his relationships with FX and HBO terminated. The cancellation of The Gorburger Show figures to be the first of many repercussions that await Miller. That said, it is extremely unlikely this is the end of the line for the ongoing fallout from the entertainment industry's longstanding complicity with sexual predators.