Frank Langella denounces cancel culture in open letter on his Netflix firing
Frank Langella is claiming he’s a victim of cancel culture, calling his firing from a forthcoming Netflix series over alleged misconduct “not just” and “not American.”
The 84-year-old actor offered his first public remarks since being fired from “The Fall of the House of Usher” last month over accusations of “unacceptable conduct on set,” as first reported by Deadline.
In a Thursday letter published in Deadline, Langella wrote, “I have been canceled. Just like that.”
According to Langella, he was forced out of the lead role after performing a love scene with the female co-star who played his wife on the eight-episode series based on an Edgar Allen Poe short story.
“Both of us were fully clothed. I was sitting on a couch, she was standing in front of me. The director called cut. ‘He touched my leg,’ said the actress. ‘That was not in the blocking,’” Langella wrote.
“She then turned and walked off the set, followed by the director and the intimacy coordinator. I attempted to follow, but was asked to ‘give her some space.’ I waited for approximately one hour, and was then told she was not returning to set and we were wrapped,” the Tony Award winner said.
Langella said approximately a week later, he was contacted by phone by a human resources representative.
“’Before the love scene began on March 25,’ said the questioner, ‘our intimacy coordinator suggested where you both should put your hands. It has been brought to our attention that you said, “This is absurd!’’ ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I did. And I still think so.’ It was a love scene on camera. Legislating the placement of hands, to my mind, is ludicrous. It undermines instinct and spontaneity.”
Being a leading actor, Langella contended, required that he “set an example by keeping the atmosphere light and friendly.”
Langella wrote, “Nevertheless, these were some of the allegations: 1. He told an off-color joke. 2. ‘Sometimes he called me baby or honey. 3. ‘He’d give me a hug or touch my shoulder.’”
“You cannot do that, Frank,” said our producer. “You can’t joke. You can’t compliment. You can’t touch. It’s a new order.”
Langella said he was later fired without being “given a hearing with Netflix.”
A Netflix spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to ITK’s request for comment.
“My request to meet one-on-one with the actress was denied. The directors and the producer stopped answering my emails and phone calls. Within 30 minutes of my firing, a letter went out to cast and crew and a full press release was sent immediately. My representatives and I were given no opportunity to comment or collaborate on the narrative,” Langella said.
He called the impact on his career and reputation “incalculable,” before railing against cancel culture.
“Cancel culture is the antithesis of democracy. It inhibits conversation and debate. It limits our ability to listen, mediate, and exchange opposing views,” he said.
“This is not fair. This is not just. This is not American,” Langella wrote.
“Most tragically,” he said in his letter, “it annihilates moral judgment.”