The Warner Bros chairman-CEO, Kevin Tsujihara, has resigned after allegations of sexual impropriety. The 54-year-old has been embroiled in controversy since the Hollywood Reporter published an article suggesting that he engaged in a sexual relationship with the British actor Charlotte Kirk amid promises that he would help her get roles in the studio’s movies.“I love this company and the people that make it so great,” Tsujihara wrote in a memo sent to employees.
“I’ve been honored to head this organization and work alongside all of its talented employees over the past 25 years. Together we’ve built this studio into an unequivocal leader in the industry. However, it has become clear that my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s continued success. The hard work of everyone within our organization is truly admirable, and I won’t let media attention on my past detract from all the great work the team is doing.”
Tsujihara has held the position since 2013 and was the first executive of Asian descent to lead a Hollywood studio.
In the initial report, text messages alleged that Tsujihara would push for Kirk to gain auditions while they engaged in an extramarital affair. Kirk was eventually cast in small roles in How to Be Single and Ocean’s 8, both Warner Bros movies. Tsujihara’s personal attorney claimed that he had nothing to do with her hiring.
In an internal memo earlier this month, Tsujihara wrote: “I also deeply regret that these personal actions have caused embarrassment to the company and to all of you … I realized some time ago you are right to expect more from me and I set a course to do better.”
Kirk has since spoken out and explained that she was just 19 at the time and exhibited both arrogance and naivety. “I acknowledge I may have made some poor choices and I’m sorry for that, but I’ve learned from my mistakes since then and have grown a lot, as a person, as a woman, and as a professional actor,” Kirk said in a statement. She is set to appear in the Descent director Neil Marshall’s horror film The Reckoning, which she co-wrote.
WarnerMedia’s investigation into Tsujihara’s behaviour is ongoing with his cooperation. The company’s CEO, John Stankey, has assured employees that no further disruption will occur. “I also want to thank all of our employees, particularly the teams at Warner Bros., for your patience and honesty, and we will continue to lean on your collective resiliency, dedication and professionalism as we chart a new path for our company together,” he wrote.The Guardian.