“A Star is Born” has been getting terrific reviews on the film festival circuit, but online there is a bit of controversy.
And that is because one of the movie’s producers, Jon Peters, has a history of sexual harassment allegations. Jezebel recently reported on a number of lawsuits against Peters, most of which were settled out of court.
Calls were made for Peters name to be removed from the film’s credits, but Warner Bros. said there was no way around it. “Jon Peters’ attachment to this property goes as far back as 1976,” the studio said in a statement to Variety last week. “Legally, we had to honour the contractual obligation in order to make this film.”
Nevertheless, the Producers Guild Of America said Peters would no longer be recognized as a certified producer under their organization.
Bradley Cooper, who directed the film and stars opposite Lady Gaga, touched on the sensitive topic in a new interview with NPR‘s “Morning Edition”.
“With this property, there are many writers that come before — if you see the end credits, it’s like, there are 10 writers,” Cooper said of the legal complications. “And [Jon Peters] was part of the, I guess, the grandfather clause of the movie, and we had to get his consent in order to make the movie.”
“When you’re at the helm, it’s a huge responsibility… You have to create an environment where everybody feels safe. Everybody,” he stressed. “There’s no room for disrespect, nothing. And that’s something that you’d have to ask everybody who was involved, but I feel like that’s the environment I created. Luckily, Jon wasn’t there.”
Still, Cooper takes some responsibility. “If I had known all those things, I would have done it differently,” he continued. “I wanted to make the movie, I knew I had to get consent from him, otherwise there’s no film. But I should have checked.”
“A Star is Born” premieres in theatres Oct. 5 following strong performances at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.