Vincent Gallo Film Under Investigation by SAG-AFTRA Following Alleged Sexually Explicit Comments

Three female actors filed a formal complaint concerning the director's behaviour during auditions

Photo via Warp Records

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jan 12, 2024

SAG-AFTRA has launched an investigation into the production of Vincent Gallo's The Policeman following claims that the actor made inappropriate sexual comments during the audition process.

In a report from Rolling Stone, two women share how they issued respective complaints to SAG due to comments made by Gallo, while a third woman told the publication she did not attend her callback audition upon hearing of Gallo's alleged statements to other women during the process.

"We are aware of these complaints and are investigating," SAG-AFTRA said in a statement [via Variety]. "We extensively engaged with production regarding the complaints and, while shooting has wrapped, we continue to monitor and investigate. We also reaffirm our commitment to ensuring a safe and respectful environment on set."

This article contains potentially triggering material relating to sexual abuse. If you believe you have experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct and are looking for support, consult the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime here.

Per Rolling Stone, the obtained complaint finds a first actress alleging that during her audition, Gallo said to her, "If I say to suck my dick or I will kill you, I want you, you the person, not you the character, not you the actor, but you, to truly believe you will die if you don't do as I say. And just like you would in real life, if this were happening to you, I want you to do all of the actions necessary to do that. You won't actually suck my dick, but you do not have the power, I have all the power. You have no control, I am in complete control."

A second actress claims she was told something similar, with Gallo allegedly telling her: "I may ask you to suck my cock onscreen, and I want an actress who is not going to put up a fight about that. You're going to be offended by what I ask you, but I don't want any of your personal feminist values. You don't want to do this, you don't think it's fair, but you know what? The victim didn't have a choice, and neither will you as the actress … Of course we can't actually have you give me head onscreen, but the point is that I want someone who will not stop production to call their agent, or complain, etc. because they are offended."

Read Rolling Stone's complete report on Gallo's alleged behaviour.

The Policeman is written and directed by Jordan Gertner and co-stars James Franco. The two women who submitted complaints told Rolling Stone they wanted to come forward about their experiences with Gallo out of concern for other women working with him in the future.

Gallo's 2003 film The Brown Bunny, which he directed and starred in, featured a scene in which co-star Chloë Sevigny performs un-simulated oral sex on him, leading viewers and critics to speculate whether Sevigny had been pressured into the act. Sevigny would later tell Playboy in 2010, "What's happened with that is all very complicated. There are a lot of emotions. I'll probably have to go to therapy at some point. But I love Vincent. The film is tragic and beautiful, and I'm proud of it and my performance."

The reaction to The Brown Bunny would later lead Gallo to call himself "the Donald Trump of Cannes" in a moment of 2018 MAGA boosterism.

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