The waves made by the #metoo movement continue to break against Hollywood’s unholy power structure: After a string of sexual assault allegations against Agency for the Performing Arts talent agent Tyler Grasham, young Jewish actors including 14 year-old “Stranger Things” star Finn Wolfhard have broken with the agent and the agency.
Grasham, who has now been fired from APA and may be facing criminal prosecution, has been publicly accused of sexually assaulting and harassing several young, male clients. Actor and filmmaker Blaise Godbe Lipman first posted a #metoo status on Facebook on October 15th, saying that as a young actor looking for representation he had been sexually assaulted by an APA agent, whom he declined to name. After it was posted, the “Weeds” actor told The Wrap, the agent Lipman was referring to “poked” him on Facebook. Lipman and Grasham had not spoken in a decade.
“Was his poke passive aggressive? An abuser making himself known, a quiet threat? An admission of guilt with a smirky, ‘just try me’?” Lipman wondered in a post the next day on Facebook. In the post, he told the story of Grasham’s alleged assault and following harassment in detail, and named Grasham.
Tyler Grasham, under the pretense of a business meeting regarding potential agency representation at APA Agency, fed me alcohol while I was underage and sexually assaulted me. APA Agency has kept this man employed, working with kid actors. I find it incredibly difficult to believe they do not know of his predatory behavior, using his position within the company to prey on naive kids.
“Like Harvey, everyone knew about Tyler’s reputation,” Lipman wrote later.
Lipman said that after the incident, which took place when he was in his late teens, Grasham continued to harass him. Since Lipman’s accusation, other men including Lucas Ozarowski have come forward with similar stories. Ozarowski says Grasham pushed alcohol on him and grabbed his genitals, despite his protest.
“Stranger Things” and “It” child-star Finn Wolfhard dropped Grasham and subsequently APA as these accusations became public. Jewish Disney Channel star Cameron Boyce’s spokesperson says Boyce’s future relationship with APA is undecided. “Tyler Grasham, however, is most definitely fired,” she said.
Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny