WarnerMedia is looking into allegations that Kevin Tsujihara, the CEO and chairman of its entertainment division Warner Bros, promised a British actress movie roles in exchange for sex.
The alleged quid pro quo relationship was detailed by The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. The publication claimed it had accessed hundreds of messages exchanged between Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara, actress Charlotte Kirk, Australian billionaire James Packer and filmmaker Brett Ratner. According to the publication, Packer set up a meeting between 21-year-old Kirk and 54-year-old Tsujihara in September 2013. Packer and Ratner were partners at RatPac Entertainment, a film production and finance company, which was about to close a four-year co-financing deal with Warner Bros. In the message, Packer promised Kirk an introduction to “the most important u [sic] can meet”, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
That man, the report said, was Tsujihara, according to the emails, texts and a draft settlement agreement obtained by the publication. The meeting led to a sexual relationship which “devolved into a protacted and increasingly desperate struggle among Tsujihara, Ratner and Packer to manage Kirk’s urgent demands to be cast in movies and TV series”, The Hollywood Reporter said.
The Warner Bros CEO allegedly told Kirk he would put her in contact with executives spearheading projects for the company, but subsequent messages reveal that the actress did not feel enough help was forthcoming. “You’re very busy I know but when we were in that motel having sex u said u would help me and when u just ignore me like you’re doing now it makes me feel used. Are u going to help me like u said u would?” read a March 2015 text from Kirk to Tsujihara, The Hollywood Reporter claimed.
The allegations come two days after Tsujihara was given a bigger role in WarnerMedia, including charge of its animation division and the channels Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Tsujihara’s attorney told The Hollywood Reporter that the CEO had “no direct role in the hiring of this actress”.
Kirk went on to do two small roles in Warner Bros productions, How To Be Single (2016) and Ocean’s 8 (2018), and also got auditions in other projects. However, as Kirk started to grow frustrated with the lack of roles, Ratner, through his attorney, proposed a settlement agreement that would guarantee the actress some auditions and an appearance in one of Ratner’s movies, the publican alleged. The settlement never came about, the publication said.
‘Tsujihara never promised me anything’
WarnerMedia, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, said that the allegations were being investigated as per standard practice. “Through her spokesperson, the actress has publicly denied any impropriety in her casting, and our prior investigation did not find otherwise,” a WarnerMedia representative said. “Whenever we receive new allegations, it is our standard practice to conduct an appropriate investigation. And that is what we will do here.”
Kirk told The Hollywood Reporter that she was made no promises by Tsujihara. “I emphatically deny any inappropriate behaviour on the part of Brett Ratner, James Packer, and Kevin Tsujihara, and I have no claims against any of them,” she said in her statement. “I confirm that I was in a romantic relationship with James Packer in the summer of 2013 and that I was treated with respect by Mr Packer, and I have no issues with him or claims against him. I further confirm that when the relationship ended I sought the advice of Mr Tsujihara whom I had been introduced to by Mr Packer. Mr Tsujihara never promised me anything. I also confirm that Brett Ratner helped me out of friendship to assist me in getting auditions and trying to help me find an agent, and I have no issues with him or claims against him. I deny that there was any legal settlement or agreement entered into between myself and Brett Ratner in 2016.”
A statement by Ratner’s attorney said he offered to help Kirk get some auditions, “he consistently told her that she would have to earn any job herself”. The deal between Warner Bros and RatPac expired in 2018 and was not renewed as Ratner had been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct in 2017. He has denied the allegations.