Saturday Night Live comedian Chris Kattan says that famed SNL show-runner Lorne Michaels pressured him to engage in sex for the sake of a business deal.
In “Baby Don’t Hurt Me: Stories and Scars from Saturday Night Live,” Kattan writes that during production for “Night At The Roxbury,” the 1998 movie starring Kattan and Will Ferrell, based on a popular SNL sketch, he was approached for sex by writer-director Amy Heckerling.
Heckerling, who is most famous for writing and directing the 1995 comedy “Clueless,” was attached to the movie and was one-on-one with Kattan after a casting session when she turned to him and said, “Are we gonna have sex?” Kattan writes. Kattan, who was in a relationship at the time, says he was “shocked,” since their relationship had felt fairly “professional” up to that point, and he thought of Heckerling as his boss.
here is an interesting bit in Chris Kattan’s memoir. he describes Amy Heckerling propositioning him during pre-production for A Night at the Roxbury; he doesn’t say yes, and the next day Lorne pressures him to sleep with her lest she tank the movie pic.twitter.com/t2sGLZtSew— Seth Simons (@sasimons) May 26, 2019
Kattan writes that the next day Lorne Michaels, who was producing “Roxbury,” called him, sounding “furious,” saying that Heckerling was now refusing to direct the film — her attachment had been a requirement of the studio. Michaels, Kattan writes, demanded that Heckerling be kept “happy.”
“Chris, I’m not saying you have to f**k her, but it wouldn’t hurt,” Michaels said, according to Kattan. Kattan writes that he wasn’t sure how to proceed or who to speak to, since he was afraid that Michaels might end his career.
“The thing is, I was attracted to her,” Kattan writes. “And naturally, I felt thrilled that a woman of her stature was interested in me.” Later, he says, they had sex on the Paramount lot.
“I was attracted to Amy,” he writes. “But at the same time I was very afraid of the power she and Lorne wielded over my career.”
In publishing these claims, Kattan joins a tiny club of famous men who have come forward with stories of being pressured into sex, harassed, or abused by Hollywood power brokers. Athlete and actor Terry Crews has been outspoken about his experience of alleged sexual assault. Actor Brendan Fraser has said that he was groped by the then-president of the Hollywood Foreign Press, and opened up about his resulting depression. And decades after the fact, Anthony Rapp shared his story of alleged childhood sexual assault by Kevin Spacey.
Jenny Singer is the deputy life/features editor for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny