Lars Von Trier's Producer Says He Will “Stop Slapping Asses” Amid New Guidelines
Peter Aalbaek Jensen has been accused of sexual harassment by several former employees at his Danish production company Zentropa.
Lars von Trier's producer and business partner Peter Aalbaek Jensen told The Hollywood Reporter he will abide by new anti-harassment guidelines drawn up by his production company Zentropa in response to allegations by former company employees that Jensen bullied and harassed them.
The Danish Working Environment Authority launched an investigation into Zentropa after nine former employees spoke to Danish newspaper Politiken alleging that Jensen regularly degraded them by groping their breasts or asking them to lie across his knee and get spanked as punishment.
“I've always been a cheerful guy and I've been slapping the asses of guys and girls at the company for 20 years, but I never tried to fuck anyone,” Jensen told THR. “But these days that is seen differently than it was 5, 10, 15 years ago ... so I'll stop slapping asses.”
In a report seen by THR, the Danish authority closed its investigation against Zentropa and concluded the company has taken sufficient steps to insure a safe and appropriate working environment.
Jensen, who is an executive producer on von Trier's The House That Jack Built, which screens Monday in Cannes, stepped down as Zentropa CEO in 2016 but remains a producer at the company, sits on the board and, together with von Trier, holds a 25 percent stake in the company.
A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 10 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.