'Stranger Things' star quits talent agency after sexual assault allegations
It appears that the Harvey Weinstein scandal has shed light on other cases of sexual assault and harassment since The New York Times' damning exposé rocked Hollywood three weeks ago.
As of yet, 40 women have come forward to share details of the abuse they endured at the hands of the disgraced film producer. And that number includes household names such as, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd.
However, people have also been compelled to talk about other figures who have abused their power in similar ways. Ben Affleck was forced to issue an apology to former TRL host Hilarie Burton when a video surfaced of him groping her on-air back in 2003, and around 38 women have come forward to accuse director James Toback of sexual harassment.
And now, Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard has decided to quit his talent agency, APA, after sexual assault claims were made against his former agent, Tyler Grasham.
Finn Wolfhard is perhaps known best for playing the best friend of missing boy, Will Byers, in Netflix's science-fiction series, Stranger Things. And with the second season of the hit television show due to premiere later this week, it's safe to say that Finn and his fellow actors have been incredibly busy as of late.
However, Finn has also been using his platform to speak out about the issues that matter. In fact, the 14-year-old decided to quit the talent agency, APA, after allegations of sexual assault were made against his former agent, Tyler Grasham.
Two men have claimed that they were assaulted by Grasham. The first man to come forward was former child actor, Blaise Godbe Lipman, who has starred in films such as The Dark Place and Nobody Walks.
Inspired by the viral #metoo thread, Blaise posted his story on his Facebook page and alleged that Grasham assaulted him when he was a child:
"Tyler Grasham, under the pretence of a business meeting regarding potential agency representation at APA Agency, fed me alcohol while I was underage and sexually assaulted me.
"APA Agency has kept this man employed, working with kid actors. I find it incredibly difficult to believe they do not know of his predatory behaviour, using his position within the company to prey on naive kids.
"Although his power in this biz is no where near Weinstein level, the collective power of agents is massive. I hope the light that’s shed by the newly empowered victims who are coming forward, makes predators think twice.
"Change is slow but I hope this is a big jump start."
27-year-old film and TV editor Lucas Ozarowski was inspired by Blaise's courage and decided to tell of his own run-in with the agent. Speaking to Deadline, Lucas stated: "[Grasham] got me a little tipsy and took me to the Sandbox bar next door":
"There were more and more drinks. At midnight or 1 AM I told him I wanted to go home, but I’d left my phone at his house to charge. So we went back there and I called for an Uber.
"But he said, ‘Let’s watch The Martian while you’re waiting for Uber.’ I said OK and we sat down on the couch.
"I had my phone in my crotch, and all of a sudden he reached over and grabbed me under my pants.
"It really took me off guard. I pulled his hands out and said, ‘You know I’m not gay. I don’t want this Hollywood BS."
Finn has since been praised for deciding to leave the agency in light of such allegations. One fan tweeted "role models come in all ages".
Another Twitter user corroborated, "If a 14 year old kid can do it, no excuse for adults", while another commented, "Smart kid, made the right choice. A small step towards progress".
APA, which is based in Hollywood, is now conducting an internal investigation into the claims. The agency made a statement to Deadline stating "APA takes these allegations extremely seriously and is investigating this matter."