Proof: Hollywood Has Known About James Toback’s Alleged Sexual Misconduct Since 1989

US director James Toback arrives for the British Premiere of his latest film Tyson in London's Leicester Square part of the London Film Festival on October 17, 2008. AFP PHOTO / Max Nash (Photo credit should read MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images)
MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images

For those of you who still believe Hollywood had no idea whatsoever about what Harvey Weinstein was up to, let me ask — how many suns shine down on your planet? Well, even you deluded holdouts, after you read this Spy magazine article detailing director James Toback’s alleged sexual misconduct, will not be able to defend Hollywood as having no idea.

The article was written in 1989.

Go to page 86.

Take your time.

I’ll wait.

Yes, you read that correctly — a full 28 years prior to this weekend’s Los Angeles Times exposé on Toback, Spy magazine pretty much wrote the same exact exposé in 1989. To argue that our leftwing Hollywood and media elite knew and did not give a damn, would be an understatement.

Somehow, despite these well-documented alleged predations, his alleged abuse of his power, his alleged “just touch my nipples, and I’ll come” bon mots, Toback not only managed to write and direct another eight films, including this year’s The Private Life of a Modern Woman, but just two years after Spy detailed some 20 or so alleged allegations, Harveywood awarded Toback an Oscar nomination for his 1991 Bugsy screenplay.

You remember Bugsy, the Warren Beatty movie? You see, Toback and Beatty are/were pals. So close are/were they, in fact, that in the Spy story, we learn that Beatty supposedly told Toback to always include “one small part for a pretty young actress in every motion picture — and to schedule the auditions for that part late in the day.”


And how did our vaunted, oh-so progressive, pro-feminist national media react to this 1989 horror story about Toback? If you read this lengthy, gushing New York Times profile from 2000, you will see that the Gray Lady found those 1989 horror stories positively charming — like, OMG, Toback is just like a character in his own movies! [emphasis added]:

[Film critic David] Thomson likens being with Mr. Toback to being in a movie.

Once, the two men found themselves gridlocked on Santa Monica Boulevard. ”He sees an attractive woman three or four cars back, so he goes back to talk to her and leaves me sitting in traffic,” Mr. Thomson said, adding, ”He was a little more inclined to do this a few years ago.”

So inclined was he that Spy magazine once chronicled Mr. Toback’s own exploits as a pickup artist. He has been known to stop women in the street and offer them parts in his films, flashing his Directors Guild of America card to prove he is in a position to do so.

Mr. Toback, who is married to Stephanie Kempf, called the article slander and ”an occupational hazard of personal filmmaking.”

How odd that the Times (a so-called newspaper that was just four years away from killing a story about Harvey Weinstein’s predations) fails to detail the “slander,” fails to inform its audience that Spy “chronicled” something a whole lot more disturbing than a “pickup artist,” which just happens to be the title of one of Toback’s movies — cuz he’s just like the character in his movie!

Wait. There is more…

A full seven years ago, 21 years after Spy’s exposé, the now-defunct Gawker reminded a whole new Harveywood generation about Toback’s alleged sexual misconduct — one involving a 14-year-old girl.

And yet, somehow, even after these horrific Gawker allegations, Toback still managed to write and direct five films, including the 2008 documentary Tyson, a sympathetic look at his friend, a convicted rapist.

Want to know who else knew? James Gunn, the director behind both Guardians of the Galaxy blockbusters. In a Facebook post published Sunday, Gunn said that he has tried to warn women about Toback for years. Moreover, to Gunn’s great credit, he has used his Facebook page to actually name Toback.

Meanwhile, over all these decades, over these many years while oh-so progressive Hollywood was well aware of all these alleged sexual predators in its midst, it produced movie after movie after movie lecturing us Christians and Red State deplorables about morality, decency, and women’s rights.

Oh, and Harveywood also produced how many films making heroes of corporate and military and Catholic whistleblowers? Countless — as their own whistle remained dry, as they stood by and enabled and enriched, worked with and flattered, funded and made famous men like Toback and Weinstein and admitted child rapist Roman Polanski.

Hey, what’s the difference between a rapist and a Republican?

Hollywood won’t work with a Republican.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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