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In an interview with NPR, the actor, who makes his directorial debut with the movie, addressed the news in a recent Jezebel report that Peters has been sued by at least five former employees for sexual harassment stemming from incidents between 1996 and 2008.
“If I had known all those things, I would have done it differently,” said Cooper, “I wanted to make the movie, I knew I had to get consent from him, otherwise there’s no film. But I should have checked. I guess that’s the thing.”
Peters, who produced the 1976 version of A Star Is Born starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, was involved in putting together Cooper’s movie, which co-stars Lady Gaga. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter provided on Sept. 11, Warner Bros., which will release the film on Oct. 5, spoke of an obligation to include Peters in the production, saying, “Jon Peters’ attachment to this property goes as far back as 1976. Legally, we had to honor the contractual obligation in order to make this film.”
“With this property, there are many writers that come before — if you see the end credits, it’s like, there’s 10 writers. And [Jon Peters] was part of the, I guess, the grandfather clause of the movie, and we had to get his consent in order to make the movie,” Cooper told NPR.
The same day that Peters’ lawsuits resurfaced, the Producers Guild of America said that he would not be recognized as a producer of Cooper’s A Star Is Born after the guild decided that Peters did not perform enough producing functions to earn its producers mark (the “p.g.a” that follows a producer’s name in a film’s credits). And Cooper seems to indicate that Peters was not on set during the film’s production.
‘”On the set, you have to create an environment where everybody feels safe. Everybody. And there’s no room for disrespect. And that’s something that you’d have to ask everybody who was involved, but I feel like that’s the environment I created. Luckily, Jon wasn’t there.”
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