6:21pm PT by Aaron Couch
'Honest Trailers' Creator Andy Signore Fired After Sexual Abuse Claims
Honest Trailers creator Andy Signore has been fired by Defy Media after he was accused of sexual abuse.
Defy Media, which owns the Screen Junkies YouTube channel Signore worked for, released a statement Sunday saying it has parted ways with the YouTube creator, who had served as senior VP, content.
"DEFY Media and Screen Junkies have today terminated Andy Signore’s employment, effective immediately. There is simply no justification for this egregious and intolerable behavior," the statement to The Hollywood Reporter read. "In August, DEFY’s HR team was made aware of allegations made against Andy, at which time an investigation was launched. On Friday, new information became available and the scope and magnitude of his inappropriate actions became apparent."
The statement continued: "We are acting swiftly to address the concerns of the people affected, and that going forward, our community is free of harassment or discrimination of any kind. Our Screen Junkies colleagues and freelancers are a team of remarkable creators serving loyal fans and we will support and protect them. If anyone else is aware of behavior of this type, we would encourage them to bring it to our attention."
The accusations against Signore became publicly known on Thursday and Friday, when two accusers came forward on social media saying that Signore had sexually harassed or abused them.
Emma Bowers said Thursday she worked for Signore as an intern in 2010, when he made comments about masturbating to photos of her, and then asked her to come over so he could do that in person. She said Signore attempted to act as though the comments were a joke.
Another woman, April Dawn, was a Screen Junkies fan who met Signore at Chicago Comic Con in 2015. Screen Junkies flew her out to Los Angeles to appear on its Movie Fights YouTube series a few months later.
Dawn wrote Friday that Signore tried to sexually assault her on multiple occasions, and threatened to fire her boyfriend Josh Tapia, an engineer at Screen Junkies who goes by the name JTE, if she spoke out about it. She said that she and two other women went to the company's HR department two months ago, but her complaints of alleged attempted sexual assault were not taken seriously.
After the claims against Signore were made public Friday, Defy and Screen Junkies released a statement saying Signore had been suspended.
On Sunday after Defy released its statement on Signore's firing, Dawn tweeted, "FINALLY. Still didn’t address why nothing was done involving my statements, but hopefully they will shed light on this soon. A great step."
And Bowers wrote, "Been a fun 72 hours fam. Amazed it only took 72 hours to destroy something over 7 years in the making."
Signore did not respond to a Twitter direct message from THR requesting comment.
Signore is well known in the online film community, with his Honest Trailers series — which skewers movies from The Dark Knight to Blade Runner — racking up more than 1 billion views since launching in 2012. He also served as the face of a number of Screen Junkies properties, including its Movie Fights show. Honest Trailers became a cultural touchstone, attracting talent like Ryan Reynolds and Michael Bolton to participate, and inspiring Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors the Russo Bros. to remark they imagined what the film's Honest Trailer would look like as they were working on the movie. The series was nominated for primetime Emmys in 2016 and 2017 in the outstanding short-form variety series category.
Signore's firing comes just hours after The Weinstein Co. announced it had fired Harvey Weinstein in the wake of a New York Times investigation accusing the producer and studio executive of sexual abuse of actresses and employees. Bowers said in her Thursday post that she had chosen to speak up against Signore following that Times investigation of Weinstein.
Stories of sexual harassment have roiled the genre community over the past year, with Ain't It Cool News founder Harry Knowles taking a leave of absence last month after multiple women went public with stories of sexual assault. Devin Faraci exited Birth.Movies.Death as editor-in-chief last October after allegations of sexual assault, while in Los Angeles, the independent film venue Cinefamily suspended its activities in August after executives resigned following sexual abuse allegations.