One of the most powerful studio executives in Hollywood is now without a job, following allegations that he engaged in a sexual relationship with an actress, and used his influence to get her roles.
Kevin Tsujihara, who had served as CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment since 2013, resigned from his post on Monday, following an explosive story from The Hollywood Reporter that uncovered Tsujihara's alleged attempts to promote British actress Charlotte Kirk, while the two were engaging in a sexual relationship. The trade reviewed hundreds of emails and texts between Tsujihara, Kirk, and other producers that showed Kirk repeatedly asking Tsujihara to help her secure movie and TV work, and Tsujihara arranging meetings with executives on Kirk's behalf -- a highly unorthodox move for a studio chief.
In a statement issued on Monday, WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey confirmed that the company asked Tsujihara to vacate his post. Stankey's statement said:
"It is in the best interest of WarnerMedia, Warner Bros., our employees and our partners for Kevin to step down as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros.
"Kevin has contributed greatly to the studio’s success over the past 25 years and for that we thank him. Kevin acknowledges that his mistakes are inconsistent with the Company’s leadership expectations and could impact the Company’s ability to execute going forward."
Kirk did eventually land minor roles in two Warner Bros. projects, 2016's "How to Be Single" and 2018's "Ocean's 8." An attorney for Tsujihara said in a statement that the now-former executive "had no direct role in the hiring of this actress."
Tsujihara's tenure at Warner Bros. was marked by huge successes, including shepherding the release of DC Comics flicks -- including last year's monster hit "Aquaman" -- and courting "Harry Potter" mastermind J.K. Rowling to develop the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise. Most recently, he had been set to assume a plethora of new responsibilities following AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, including "oversight of a new kids and young adults business bringing together family, kids and animation businesses from across WarnerMedia, including Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang," per THR.
No successor has been named yet.
[via: The Hollywood Reporter]