Amazon Apologizes to Staff for Hollywood Sex Harassment Charges

Amazon’s expansion into Hollywood’s turf has lost some of its glow.

The Seattle-based behemoth, started two decades ago as an online bookseller, has evolved into a business powerhouse making and streaming movies and TV shows — and selling you snacks to munch on while watching.

But its movie industry connection has now made it party to a worsening sexual harassment scandal.

Roy Price, who heads up Amazon Studios, took a leave of absence Thursday after allegations arose of sexual harassment. Isa Hackett, the producer of the Amazon-created TV series The Man in the High Castle, told The Hollywood Reporter in a story published Thursday that Price repeatedly propositioned her in 2015 using crudely suggestive language.

Hackett is the daughter of late author Philip K. Dick, whose book serves as the basis for the series. Tech industry website The Information reported in late August that Amazon had investigated Price for these remarks.

Amazon exec Jeff Blackburn, the company’s senior vice president for business development, addressed the situation Friday in a memo to employees saying, “The news coming out of Hollywood over the past week has been shocking and disturbing — and unfortunately we are a part of it. It’s sad and very disappointing to me.”  BuzzFeed News first reported on the memo.

Amazon confirmed to USA TODAY that the memo was sent by Blackburn. “Amazon does not tolerate harassment or abuse of our employees or our business partners,” he said in the memo. “If a concern is brought to our attention, we investigate it quickly and thoroughly.”

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Source: USA Today