Televisa Cuts Ties With Director After Karla Souza Rape Allegation, Investigation
The 'How to Get Away With Murder' star recently revealed she was raped by a director on a Mexico shoot but declined to name the alleged assailant.
After Mexican actress Karla Souza told CNN en Espanol in a Tuesday interview that she was humiliated and raped by an unnamed director early in her career, Mexican network Televisa later that evening issued a statement saying it has severed ties with writer-director Gustavo Loza (Don't Blame the Kid).
"Following the public accusations about sexual abuse from actress Karla Souza, and after a preliminary investigation, Televisa has decided to immediately sever its (working) relationship with Mr. Gustavo Loza," the statement read.
The broadcaster added: "Mr. Loza is not an employee of Televisa, but has collaborated with the company on projects over the years. We want to express our solidarity with Karla Souza and our goodwill disposition so that the legal process has the appropriate consequences. Televisa will not tolerate behavior like the one reported [Tuesday]."
Souza never mentioned anyone by name when she recounted her story of a director who had visited her hotel room on repeated occasions during a one-month shoot and who had allegedly attacked and raped her one evening.
She said that after a month of dealing with the director's "total abuse of power," which included subjecting her to humiliation on the set, she finally gave in. "I ended up giving in to him [to let him] kiss me, to touch me in ways I did not want him to touch me and in one of those instances, he attacked me violently and yes, he raped me," Souza told CNN while wiping away tears.
Loza took to Twitter to deny the Televisa accusation.
"I deny any accusation against me by Televisa, who has accused me without foundation regarding the case of the alleged rape reported by @KarlaSouza7, [one] I deeply regret and openly condemn," he said.
In a statement sent to Mexican media outlets, Loza called the Televisa accusation "irresponsible" because Souza never mentioned him in the televised interview. He urged Souza to publicly clear his name.
Souza, who currently plays Laurel Castillo in ABC's popular Shondaland drama How to Get Away With Murder, said the incident happened early in her career.
She previously worked alongside Loza on 14 episodes of the Televisa comedy Los Heroes del Norte, which aired on the network in 2010. They also collaborated on the 2012 TV comedy La Clinica and the 2016 box-office hit Don't Blame the Kid (Que Culpa Tiene el Nino).
Souza's reps did not immediately reply to The Hollywood Reporter's comment request.
As the #MeToo movement continues to spread throughout Hollywood, Mexican actresses Kate del Castillo (The Book of Life) and Stephanie Sigman (Spectre) have spoken out about sexual misconduct. In general, however, the movement in Mexico has been slow to gain traction.