Many of us would know about the popular Youtube series Honest Trailers. The often irreverent and funny series take on our favourite (and often not so favourite) movies and series has been a staple of many peoples Youtube viewings over the years.
However, this recent piece of news from The Hollywood Reporter has put the series in a bit of a spot as its creator, Andy Signore has been accused of sexual abuse. The accusations have been levelled at him by two women, one of which says she was a former intern for Signore.
The former intern, Emma Bower, posted on publicly on Twitter that Signore had used his position to prey on women. She also wrote that she chose to speak up now in the wake of an investigation by The New York Times that accused producer and studio executive Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse with actresses and employees.
— An Emerican Werewolf (@EmmaBowers) October 6, 2017
Among the accusations levelled by Bower against Signore included inappropriate comments made by him about masturbating to photos of her, and then asked her to come over so he could do that in person.
The other woman that has levelled accusations against Signore was April Dawn, a fan of the Screen Junkies show who met Signore at Chicago Comic Con in 2015. Subsequently, Screen Junkies flew her out to Los Angeles to appear on its Movie Fights YouTube series a few months later.
A more detailed statement on the harassment I received from Andy Signore. pic.twitter.com/wVGwr8ATCa
— AprilDawn OfThe Dead (@April13Dawn) October 6, 2017
According to Dawn’s posts, Signore had tried to sexually assault her on multiple occasions and despite her and two other women making a complaint to the company’s HR department, the claims were not taken seriously.
According to The Hollywood reporter, Defy Media, which owns the Screen Junkies channel Signore works for, issued a statement saying it has been investigating the accusations, while Signore did not respond for comment to a direct message sent by the publication. Signore has since been suspended pending investigations.
“We at Defy Media have no tolerance for harassment or retaliation of any kind,” the company said in a statement. “We have been conducting a thorough investigation into allegations made against Andy Signore and are preparing to respond to those allegations and take appropriate action.”
Honest Trailers, which first launched in 2012, has to date 157 million views on Youtube and has since been able to enlist top Hollywood stars in its productions, including Ryan Reynolds in their Honest Trailers for Deadpool. The series was even nominated for a Primetime Emmy Awards in 2016 and 2017 for the outstanding short-form variety series category.
It’s sad to see this happening in the genre community as this isn’t the only major channel that has its founder accused of such behaviour. Recently, Harry Knowles, founder of Aint it Cool News was also accused of sexual assault by multiple women and had to take a leave of absence.
And while the investigations are underway to prove whether they’re innocent or guilty, it still goes to show that being famous and in a position of power does not give you the power or excuse to engage in such abhorrent behaviour.