WarnerMedia is investigating Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara over allegations that he offered to promote the career of a young actress with whom he was having a sexual relationship.
The Hollywood Reporter reported in an article published on Wednesday that Tsujihara contacted other executives on behalf of actress Charlotte Kirk regarding auditions for various roles in films and TV being produced by the studio. Text messages allegedly exchanged between the two over a three-year period starting in 2013 and published by THR appear to show that the two had met in person multiple times and appeared to be engaged in a sexual relationship.
The text messages, if authentic, also show that Kirk repeatedly asked Tsujihara to introduce her to people who could help her land acting work. There is no indication, however, that Tsujihara forced anyone at Warner Bros. to cast her in a movie.
Kirk was cast in 2016’s “How to Be Single” and 2018’s “Ocean’s 8,” both of which are Warner Bros. movies.
Tsujihara, who has served as CEO of Warner Bros. since 2013, saw his role expand this week as part of AT&T’s restructuring of WarnerMedia, following an appeals court decision that allowed AT&T’s purchase of the company to go ahead. Under the restructuring, Tsujihara also gained authority over Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies. Earlier Wednesday, Tsujihara was on stage with WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey and his direct reports as part of a town hall with the company’s employees to discuss the moves. (CNN is also part of WarnerMedia.)
THR reported last year that WarnerMedia hired a law firm to investigate the content of an anonymous letter sent to Stankey that raised questions about whether a Warner Bros. executive had promised speaking roles to an actress. WarnerMedia said at the time that the investigation did not reveal any evidence of misconduct, according to THR.
“Through her spokesperson, the actress has publicly denied any impropriety in her casting, and our prior investigation did not find otherwise,” a WarnerMedia spokesman told CNN Business on Wednesday. “Whenever we receive new allegations, it is our standard practice to conduct an appropriate investigation. And that is what we will do here.”
In a statement, Bert Deixler, an attorney representing Tsujihara, said, “Mr. Tsujihara had no direct role in the hiring of this actress.”
“Charlotte Kirk emphatically denies any inappropriate behavior on the part of… Kevin Tsujihara, and she has no claims against [him],” a spokesperson for Kirk said in a statement. “Mr. Tsujihara never promised Ms. Kirk anything.”