Amazon suspends Studios chief amid sex harassment allegation

Top entertainment executive Roy Price has been suspended from Amazon Studios following a Hollywood Reporter article that revealed allegations against Price for sexually harassing Isa Hackett, a producer on The Man in the High Castle.

Hours after the initial publication of the story, an Amazon spokesperson said, "Roy Price is on leave of absence effective immediately".

Ms Hackett, the daughter of author Philip K. Dick, whose work is the basis for The Man in the High Castle, said Mr Price, 51, made lewd suggestions in a taxi on the way to a party during the annual San Diego Comic-Con fan convention.

In its statement, Amazon says it's reviewing options for projects it has with the Weinstein company.

Hackett said she also reported the incident to Amazon executives and though she never found out the outcome of that inquiry, she did not see Price at any event, which involved her show, after that.

Roy Price is the head of Bezos' studio. At one point, she said, Price drew close to her and loudly said, "anal sex!" even as others stood nearby.

The statement came hours after USA media reported that a television producer on the Amazon series "The Man in the High Castle" had accused Price of propositioning her and making lewd comments. Amazon had previously brought in an outside investigator to look into Hackett's charge. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon has two projects in development with The Weinstein Company - The Romanoffs, which has already begun production, and a still untitled drama from director David O. Russell.

Price joined Amazon in 2004, overseeing the launch of its digital video store and eventually its streaming service. McGowan added that, after that incident, she attempted to buy back a script she says she previously sold to Amazon. None of Amazon's originals has broken out like Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why and Orange Is the New Black have for rival Netflix. She further claimed Amazon had "won a dirty Oscar" while "funding rapists". And Lila Byock, a writer on Manhattan and The Leftovers, drew a connection between Price's conduct and Amazon's habit of giving male creators with no TV experience like Woody Allen series deals while routing established female creators like Transparent's Jill Soloway through Amazon Prime's pilot process, and passing on shows like The Handmaid's Tale and Big Little Lies altogether. Insiders told THR at the time that Price did not fully support the show.

Vanessa Coleman

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