George Clooney accused of ‘blacklisting’ a victim of harassment on ‘E.R.’

A post shared by Vanessa Marquez (@r2divala) on

Did you guys know that I never watched ER? I never even watched the reruns. So I’m taking it on blind faith that ER’s faithful viewers will know the name Vanessa Marquez. Marquez played a nurse on the first three seasons of ER, apparently, and then she was blacklisted. This is what she says now, on Twitter. There’s a lot of back and forth on her Twitter feed (plus she tweets constantly), but in response to George Clooney’s interview in the Daily Beast last week, Marquez thinks he’s full of it because he did nothing to stop her from being harassed, nor did he do anything to keep her from being blacklisted in Hollywood. Those are her claims. So I don’t have to embed her tweets, here’s the context:

Marquez responded to a link to Clooney’s Daily Beast quotes, about how he didn’t know anything. She wrote that it was “BS” (bullsh-t) and “Clooney helped blacklist me when I spoke up about harassment on ER. ‘women who don’t play the game lose career’ I did.” When she was asked what kind of harassment, she wrote “Sexual (p-ssy grabbing) & racial. Mexican jokes EVERY day. Happened to all the women. They chose 2b victims. I fought! #Blacklisted.” When questioned further by Twitter peeps, she says she wasn’t fired, and she didn’t leave the show initially because “I had rent,” but that she left after the third season, even after they offered her a contract for the fourth, which she refused. When she was asked who the “p-ssygrabbers” were at ER, she said it was a crew member. She also said the racial abuse came from Anthony (Edwards), Noah (Wyle) and Julianna (Margulies). She says she complained to John Wells, who was the executive producer, and “Wells was the boss &I 1st reported it to him. His 1st question: Did George do something to u.”

Even if our current (and hopefully permanent) habit is to now believe women, or give professed victims the benefit of the doubt, I still don’t exactly see what George had to do with her being blacklisted, if she was even blacklisted in the first place? She says flat-out that she was offered another contract and she left, and I can understand why she wanted to leave if she was being harassed. But did George really have her blacklisted? I don’t know. I think it’s far more likely that he didn’t give a sh-t one way or the other? Anyway, George issued a statement in response to Marquez’s accusations:

“I had no idea Vanessa was blacklisted. I take her at her word. I was not a writer or a producer or a director on that show. I had nothing to do with casting. I was an actor and only an actor. If she was told I was involved in any decision about her career then she was lied to. The fact that I couldn’t affect her career is only surpassed by the fact that I wouldn’t.”

[From E! News]

Yeah, I believe that he wouldn’t actively try to blacklist her. What I will believe is that he didn’t give a sh-t either way. Which is still a problem, just not the same problem that Marquez is accusing him of. “Indifference” to sexual harassment is not the same as actively punishing a victim of harassment, but interestingly enough, the result is usually the same.

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81 Responses to “George Clooney accused of ‘blacklisting’ a victim of harassment on ‘E.R.’”

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  1. Sunglasses Aready says:

    George, George, George. I feel you said something indirectly and someone else acted on it.

    • lavin says:

      I think Clooney is hiding a lot. JMO

      • boredblond says:

        And I think readers here are too young to recall what was said about clooney decades ago..

      • V4Real says:

        Bit Clooney had no real power back then. He was just a TV actor who finally found a series that didn’t get cancelled. His claim to fame was the good looking guy from the Facts of Life who landed a steady gig.

      • MamaHoneyBadger says:

        @boredblond, I’m not that young but I don’t recall what you’re referencing.

      • nicole says:

        He acts like butter doesnt melt in his mouth, but I think he has quite alot of skeletons in his closet, there is something off about him and the way he acts.

      • greenmonster says:

        @V4Real: I agree. Even though Clooney’s name was starting to get bigger around the same timeline, he was lightyears away from being a powerplayer in Hollywood. Was he the biggest name on set? I’m sure about that, but then again – VM was offered a contract for Season 4. If she would have been fired after speaking up against harassement and racial abuse – maybe Clooney COULD have said “Just get rid of her”, but that did not happen. Back then he would not have been powerful enough to do anything else.

      • mouse tolliver says:

        “Did George do something to u.”

        George Clooney and Matt Damon joke about hitting on extras while promoting Syriana.

        Clooney has a producer credit on the movie. Damon had also started producing at the time of this interview. So this is two famous Hollywood producers admitting they think it’s OK to proposition women that work for them. This is how Harvey Weinstein’s behavior can be an open secret. He’s surrounded by people who are doing it too.

      • noway says:

        I think she has a bit of misplaced anger here with George and the blacklisting idea. When ER started Anthony Edwards was the hot commodity and Sherry Stringfield who just left NYPD Blue for ER was bigger than George too. George was on Sisters and had been on Roseanne which was more popular than his stint on Facts of Life at the time. Still George didn’t have the power then. I think she just doesn’t know this, and she is projecting. I can see him not caring a lot about it at the time too.

        However, the thing I do believe is John Wells’ remark to her. Did George do something to you? Makes it seem like George has or may have done something to someone that wasn’t quite great. Now it could be his stupid practical jokes that are now probably extremely politically incorrect, but who knows.

      • Maren says:

        We believe women now, but don’t believe her. Ok.
        I, too, think Clooney is full of it.

      • Overit says:

        @noway…… he may have thought George had played a practical joke one her , he was known for it and not every one found them funny.

        On my part I cant abide them I think they are just an other form of bullying and laughing at someone in an underhanded way . Don Cheadle tells a story about himself and Georges practical jokes “George and I have a deal , he doesn’t play practical jokes on me and I don’t burn his house down”.

        Several of his past girlfriend told tales as well, the English one (can’t remember her name) said she was all dressed up to go out to dinner one evening and he rigged her door so a bucket of water was dumped on her head when she came out.

    • LAK says:

      Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?

    • Sasha says:

      George had a lot of clout on the show and I highly doubt he didn’t know about this.
      Everyone knows what’s going on, on a set.
      Doing nothing, saying nothing IS complicit.
      George is always spouting his righteous bullsh*t but stood by and did nothing.
      And, that’s if you give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t engage in such behavior.
      I think everyone in Hollywood is shaking in their boots, including George.

      • nicole says:

        Totally agree, he acts like he is the king of hollywood, so how come he didnt know about these things going on, he did, and he said nothing.

      • lavin says:

        Well said, Nicole.

        Also Clooney wasn’t exactly without a bit of clout even though he started in tv roles. His father was a tv news reporter, journalist and his dad’s sister, George’s Aunt was Rosemary Clooney one of the biggest stars in Hollywood at one point.

      • Bridget says:

        George definitely didn’t have a lot of clout on that show. He may have been the breakout star, but that didn’t exactly translate into him running anything behind the scenes.

    • detritus says:

      Anyone else see the clip and him and Damon talking about hitting on the extras?
      Back before he was married and had girls, before he knew women were people.

      • lavin says:

        I like Amal, but I still think for him, image and PR played into it marriage.
        …..But, I never much liked Clooney.

      • noway says:

        I could see Clooney doing something inappropriate with someone, which she didn’t even accuse him of, but this clip about hitting on extras is done in jest, they aren’t serious. Clooney does have the pompous attitude, and I wasn’t a great big fan of his comment about HW, because he kind of said we all heard comments about HW being a dog and we just didn’t think it was that level. Which is a problem with a lot of men and this issue. HW raped women, and this is not as far as most sexual harassers go. I know women are accusing him of this so we have to have this discussion, but what about the other harassers who don’t go that far. Some of these comments from people almost make it seem like well she wasn’t attacked or exposed, it wasn’t that bad. The victims even feel that way. Some saying well others had it worse. We need to stop all of them. I’ve only seen a few good articles on what to do if you are harassed. It’s not as easy as people think to get help and still stay employed.

  2. Annabelle Bronstein says:

    I believe she could have been blacklisted for turning down the fourth season contract alone. Studio execs prefer actors they can control, if she “acts out” by turning down a good contract she could never work again.

    • Sasha says:

      Even if that were true, which I doubt it is, it’s not reasonable.
      You don’t renew a contract, it’s c’est la vie. It’s no sweat off their arses.

      • Annabelle Bronstein says:

        Not really. Departing a show on bad terms? It’s kryptonite for your career. There’s a ton of pressure on actors to stay in line, it’s why Harvey Weinstein could happen.

      • Sasha says:

        @Annabelle Bronstein

        First you say that by not renewing a contract she could be blacklisted and then, in your second comment add, “on bad terms”, which are the operative words.
        She opened her mouth and that’s why she was blacklisted, not by the simple fact of not renewing her contract.

        Here are her tweets regarding Clooney:

        Ghoul Please 👻‏ @vanessathought
        He threatened in private that ‘women who don’t play game lose their career’He told Wells I wanted money.he had crew-

        Ghoul Please 👻‏ @vanessathought Oct 15
        stop and turn their backs on me when I entered stage 11.He was abt to b Batman so he had power.His finger pointing-

        Ghoul Please 👻‏ @vanessathought Oct 15
        and verbal threat was in itself harassment since he had power and I had none.He asked if I’d reported him as well.

        Ghoul Please 👻‏ @vanessathought Oct 15
        He met with Wells minutes after we spoke.i had to beg legal to meet w/me.a yr later my agent confessed to being…

        There’s more, I didn’t have any more time this morning.
        Her twitter is @vanessathought, if you care to delve.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Her statement is strange.

  3. Layla Beans says:

    Marquez was on the first or second season of Intervention. She was the subject. She had many problems but the main one was her serious shopping addiction.

    • mia girl says:

      That’s who she is!! I never watched ER but she looked so familiar.

    • Lucytunes says:

      I came here to say this. On Intervention, it was stated that her addiction was what lead to her being dismissed from the show. Interesting this side is coming out now.

    • Tourmaline says:

      Ooh very interesting, thanks. I haven’t seen her on anything but ER.

  4. Allie B says:

    When I saw this story I knew that she looked familiar. She was on an Intervention episode for a severe shopping addiction, spending all of her ER royalties.

  5. Pedro45 says:

    The other women CHOSE to be victims but she fought back? That is some problematic victim-blaming right there.

    • Alleycat says:

      I read that and immediately rolled my eyes.

    • HH says:

      YES! How did we just skip over that part? Reminds me of Sunny Anderson’s comments this weekend as well.

      But looking at it from the perspective of the victims, I can understand where there’s bitterness/shock/anger over the fact that you are now a victim because others didn’t stand up. I’m sure when there’s open issues/secrets, it looks like complicity is everywhere and it may be hard to see how many are victims of the system is some way.

    • Sasha says:

      I’m sure she wasn’t the only woman to endure abuse on the show.
      Yes, she used a poor choice of words there but the other women continued to stay and put up with it.
      I think that’s where she’s coming from. I’m sure she never got over it. There is power in numbers and she felt completely alone.

    • lucy2 says:

      That comment really bothered me. No one in that situation was choosing to be a victim. That’s putting the blame on them, rather than the perpetrators.

    • Chanteloup says:


  6. Bijou says:

    Chose to be victims? No. Poor choice of wording on her part.

  7. ArchieGoodwin says:

    Great statement from him.

  8. Enough Already says:

    This doesn’t ping for me. I don’t have a problem with Clooney’s statement. I do have a problem with Marquez having to put up with such disgusting behavior at work. I also have a problem with her thinking that people who couldn’t or wouldn’t speak up chose to be victims. I also wish she had sued the hell out of the show.

  9. Luca76 says:

    Happy to say I’ve never watched a single episode of ER either. What it sounds like is he was part of an environment. You know. This was a toxic environment of racism and sexual harassment and the people that spoke up were punished. Being a star he either was in his bubble and didn’t notice or he backed up the elite. If he really regretting something he would have a more sincere apology but of course he’s not willing to ownership.

  10. Anniefannie says:

    She seems to twisting these facts to create a narrative that ensnare’s GC unfairly. She looses some credibility when she makes these specific accusations against her colleagues but then blames GC for the outcome. Without specifics on his involvement I think she should have left him out of it!!

    • Carol says:

      Yes, shouldn’t her ire be directed at the actors and crew members who did the harassing? She seems angriest at George; doesn’t make sense to me.

    • KBB says:

      It’s completely bizarre. She didn’t even list him when listing the offenders. And if she turned down the contract extension, she obviously wasn’t blacklisted. So he didn’t harass her and he didn’t have her blacklisted…what exactly is she holding against him?

    • Jackielovernot says:

      Because he spoke out against Weinstein and Wyle, Margulies, and Edwards didn’t, maybe?

  11. Sarah says:

    Something about Clooney is very shifty. He tries so hard to act like this so called activist & he’s the one to go to for holding benefits & things political in Hollywood. But he is also a member of the Boys club & their fratboys tendencies. Anyone who questions him, his publicist is straight on it, releasing statements. Never bought what he’s selling & never will.

    • nicole says:

      Sarah, totally agree, I dont even buy his marriage, there is something very fake about him.

    • Jayna says:

      I don’t buy what most big name celebs are selling. We see the part of them they want us to see and present to us in interviews. And you get some real tidbits of honesty and unguarded remarks sprinkled in. It’s always a carefully crafted package in interviews. That goes for the A-list actresses and actors. We never see the full person or their real life, messy at times, in interviews. Even then, it’s presented unorganically, instead orchestrated how they are going to go into their issues and problems..

    • Jackielovernot says:

      I agree, Sarah. Something very fake and deliberate about George’s image. He seems very smug about his “power” and quite ambitious. His marriage and family man image seems part of a bigger strategy to run for office. Whenever I see George I think of him calling that reporter a “b*tch” when she asked him a perfectly polite question about what he was doing for refugees.

    • Nimbolicious says:

      Yeah…..the Sony hack revealed him in his emails to be a high-strung wuss obsessed with the poor reception of his flop Monuments Men. I think he’s a hot mess who just pretends to be super woke about everything. I ain’t buying what he’s selling either.

  12. Wren33 says:

    Just seems like a weird stunt to drag the most famous person into it, instead of directly accusing the people who were actually harassing her. I mean, she should be pissed and I am sure there are a lot of “shenanigans” that the frat-boy Clooney was aware of throughout his career, but he seems a bit tangential to this story.

    • Jayna says:

      Yeah, it’s very odd. I read her twitter all the way through. She blamed Clooney, Wells, NBC, and Steven Spielberg for blacklisting her.

      She never accused Clooney of sexual harassment nor racial remarks, as she did the four other actors. He was an actor back then on his first hit show and was the instant heartthrob on the show. But nobody even believed back then he would cross over into a movie star. I don’t see how in the world he would ever have gotten involved in blacklisting her. More like the other actors would have been badmouthing her since she was filing serious complaints about them, but she makes no mention of that. They are almost ignored in her story. And these four actors were also leads on the show. They weren’t minor parts. She focuses mostly on George, instead of the four that she says harassed her. . It becomes the headline, George Clooney had me blacklisted.

      But ultimately it would have been the ones over the show. And if they still offered her role back, her complaints, while falling on deaf ears, didn’t hurt her chances to come back on the show.

      Oh, and the crew member wasn’t the only p—-grabber. She stated Eric LaSalle, the actor, was also.

    • nic919 says:

      I am not sure why Clooney should be blamed for something she admits he never did. He didn’t have a producer credit on that show in the early years, so while it makes sense to blame John Wells, it is really the actors who were racist and the crew member who was doing the grabbing who should be called out.

      I am sure Clooney can be blamed for other movies where he had much more control, but this seems like latching on to the most popular person from that show and blaming him for all the issues.

      If she had said that she went to Clooney for help and he blew her off, then this would make more sense. But she isn’t even saying that.

    • magnoliarose says:

      It seems that she bait clicked George. I am not leaping to anything about him or what he could have done, but she is claiming something that isn’t true. Her statement makes it seem like everyone else had reasons to blacklist her, but then he disliked her for what? It makes no sense.

  13. greenmonster says:

    I still watch E.R. every now and then and I always enjoyed it a lot (mostly the early seasons) and I’m very sad this has happened to her. She was so likable as Nurse Wendy. And even though I don’t care for or like Clooney, I’m not sure everything went down as VM claims now. I don’t have one doubt in my mind that she spoke up, declined a contract for S4 and was labeled as “difficult to work with” – being one of the reasons she struggled to find work after leaving E.R.
    But Hollywood being generally racist was probably the biggest reason. Hollywood wasn’t and isn’t hiring many Mexican-American actresses.

  14. Jaime says:

    If I remember correctly when she was on Intervention (For shopping addiction) she did elude to the fact that she was mistreated. That some dark things happened on set. Also I know that sometimes contract renewals are not always good. A rewrite can have new stipulations that could have (For example) made her lose royalties.

  15. lucy2 says:

    I saw this story start a few days ago, and expected it to be much more insidious, with direct accusations against George. By her own words, that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

    I fully believe she was harassed. But she clearly says it was a crew member, and that the racial harassment came from Anthony, Noah, and Julianna (which is awful, and I’m curious if any of them will respond). I’m not sure why she’s holding George responsible for all of this, as he said he clearly was an actor on the show, not in charge. Other than him being the biggest name and the one that commented on Weinstein, I’m not sure why she’s blaming him for the actions of others.

  16. Skylark says:

    As much as I dislike the insufferable Clooney for his self-serving hypocrisy and his opportunist bandwagon jumping when he has a movie to flog, I’d need a lot more info here before taking a side.

    VM’s accusations are muddled and confusing and although I don’t doubt for a moment that she experienced the verbal and physical abuse she claims, she does need to be clearer as to what part she believes Clooney played in her alleged blacklisting.

  17. Don't kill me I am French says:

    IT is confusing. She said that it is a crew member who harassed her,several actors ( but not Clooney) insulted her but she chose not to renew her contract and it is without relation with Clooney.Why to blame Clooney when it is without relation with Clooney ?

    • Mercy says:

      The Clooney name generated media attention. He is an A-lister. Actresses like Margulies aren’t A-list.

    • Jackielovernot says:

      I think she specifically called him out in response to his condemnation of Weinstein.

  18. Dippit says:

    I think it’s telling that Clooney’s statement to Vanessa Marquez’s claims doesn’t address her statements on, both, Facebook and Twitter, that he told her DIRECTLY that “women who don’t play the game lose their careers” – he dismissed her with a “play the game, or else”. Complicity.

    • KBB says:

      Did she attribute that quote to Clooney? I didn’t read it like she was saying he said that. I read ‘women who don’t play the game lose their career’ like she was referencing a commonly held notion in Hollywood.

      She didn’t list him as one of the people who harassed her or made racist jokes. And she also said she was offered a contract extension and she refused it, so he clearly didn’t blacklist her.

      • Dippit says:

        On her initial Facebook post she directly attributed THAT quote to him having made it to her in the midst of her speaking directly to him of the harassment she was suffering. Her Facebook post in the aftermath of Clooney’s statement on HW is far more compressive and coherent than grabs on Twitter. She directly calls out Clooney for saying women have to play the game.

  19. xena says:

    Something strange is going on … I mean, she kept her silence throughout all the years and indicated it once in a different tv-show. Did she want to hint, that George in generel misstreated women on this set? Did she want to indicate, that he is a hypocrite who is good at forming statements, but in reality looks the other way (also looked the other way when the jokes came) or tries to aprofite? She sounds like someone who is still afraid to talk. And she didn’t seem to have gotten a lot of acting jobs afterwards, despite being a good and through ER also relatively known at the time.
    For the contract offer: maybe she wanted them to change their behaviour towards her? If one is being mistreated constantly like this in a work situation, one does not have to stay just because there comes an offer to do so. A work offer doesn’t outbalance such a behaviour. Not taking her complaints seriously at the time was also not right.

  20. moon says:

    Julianna Margulies seems to be a real diva handful, didn’t she have trouble with Archie Panjabi? (Another women of colour actress…)

  21. Mercy says:

    Well, Clooney was just a small actor on a sucessful tv series in ER. I doubt he had much influence. I am not sure he could have changed his abusive co-actors’ behaviour. If the bosses ignored claims of harassment then likely their underlings would see that as a confirmation that harassment is to be ignored.

    Weinstein got away with harassment and worse for years. He must have had helpers who occasionally blackmailed an actress to keep silent or to withdraw a suit and similar. Who are the helpers?

  22. marnie says:

    If you read her Twitter feed all the way through – Vanessa also claims Clooney is gay.

  23. Fanny says:

    All I know about this actress is that when Quentin Tarantino directed an episode of ER, he said that one of the actors was so terrible and undirectable that he just had that person sit there eating pizza. She was the one eating pizza.

  24. Ally says:

    I will say that what I always disliked about Clooney was his reputation as a prankster. Many of the stories about them, presented laughingly – for instance, on the Graham Norton Show, sounded to me like elaborate, dangerous, immature and entitled bullying by a Hollywood power player (i.e. it’s hard to tell George he’s being an a-hole when he’s king of the set). If someone compiled an exhaustive list of these purportedly hilarious hijinks, it would be quite disturbing, I think.

  25. Shiba says:

    It’s a big red flag (to me) that she didn’t file a union grievance. This is not how you solve a problem – it’s how you get attention. Her behavior on Intervention was not stable, either.
    This is a serious issue. Accusations still have to be backed up to be validated.

  26. Vovacia says:

    Oh come on… do you realize how badly Clooney needed ER to work for his career? Up until then he wasn’t even that good looking -more goofy looking than handsome. What power did he have?

  27. Overit says:

    A few other sites are actually talking about her and not her accusation, back in the day people who worked with her said she was a bit strange and tend not to believe her about the blackballing. When she left the show she just didn’t get much work, it happens to many actors no blackballing needed, I think this is something she is telling herself to explain her lack of success.

    I watched ER all the time in it’s first 5years and I don’t remember her at all, so it seems she wasn’t that memorable and even the memorble ones can sink without a trace, aka Radar from M.A.S.H.

  28. ash says:

    o man… a WOC has a very real story and the white femmes down play #tiredofthisish

    white femmes …let US know when its appropriate to clutch pearls…because only YOU guys have the authority and “understanding” of what is REAL harassment.

    • Almondcake says:

      I agree. The difference in opinions in this thread vs the others (Weinstein) ones is huge. I don’t know anything about Vanessa but her Twitter has retweets from another lady with the same agent back during this time and she endorses her take.