The biggest news story this week has undoubtedly been the allegations made against comedian and actor Russell Brand - and it seems that the Dispatches/Sunday Times investigation has encouraged other people
With further alleged victims of Brand's coming forward since the weekend, a director has shared his own experience of dealing with a well-known star who had troubling claims made against them.
Jim Field Smith, who co-created and directed the recent Apple TV series 'Hijack', as well as mini-series 'Litvinenko' and various comedy films, said that he turned down the opportunity to cast the unnamed actor in a project after other actors voiced their concern.
Field Smith made the comments in a thread on Twitter, saying "I was once dissuaded from hiring Actor X because other actors I was meeting for other roles had heard X might be attached to the project and had said unequivocally they would not work on the project in those circumstances."
He continued: "There were no criminal allegations against X, but rather a pattern of behaviour that several people had either noticed or been personally subjected to. When I asked these people why this wasn’t common knowledge, they said that speaking up didn’t seem to make a difference.
"This was really troubling. After not much deliberation, the casting director and I decided not only to cease negotiations with X, but also more importantly to be very open and honest about why we were doing so."
He went on to say that the actor's agency responded with "fury and thinly-veiled threats" that were "eye-watering, but not unexpected" before he was contacted directly by the actor in question.
"Calmly and - it must be said, somewhat convincingly - they wanted to reassure me that anything I might have heard about them was just gossip. But nonetheless they were keen to know who my “sources” were," he wrote. "When I refused to disclose them, X started listing several possible suspects - none of whom, tellingly, were the original sources, thus convincing me we had made the right decision."
He concluded: "But of course several years later X is still working, in front of and behind camera. Those that had expressed their concerns originally were all right about one thing for sure - speaking up didn’t seem to make a difference.
"The Russell Brand case has brought this all up for me again. If someone in a position of relative power, such as me, can’t really make a dent on a situation like that, then what hope do victims have?"