Last week, the photos of Taika Waititi, Rita Ora and Tessa Thompson went viral. They looked like they were high and/or drunk and especially “friendly.” There were a lot of “hot new throuple” jokes and such. Taika seems to be full-on dating Rita Ora, and Tessa Thompson is part of Thor: Love and Thunder, which Taika has been directing in Australia for months. Taika definitely looks like he’s been partying a lot. It also doesn’t look great that he’s partying so much with people who are technically his employees, like Tessa. The combination of the partying, the throuple photos, and the “cavorting with employees” thing is all a bad look. And Disney/Marvel has been paying attention and they apparently “reprimanded” Taiki.
Marvel bosses were reportedly unimpressed with the recent photographs of director Taika Waititi together with Rita Ora and Tessa Thompson. Last week, the director, singer and actor made headlines when photos of the trio sharing an intimate moment on the balcony of Waititi’s Sydney home went viral on social media.
Waititi is currently filming the highly anticipated sequel Thor: Love and Thunder together with actor Thompson (who plays Valkyrie) in Australia. The director and Ora sparked dating rumours last month, arriving together at the premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under in April.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Marvel bosses have reportedly reprimanded the Kiwi filmmaker for the photograph. An insider close to Thor: Love and Thunder’s production told the publication that the behaviour exhibited in the photo is “not exactly the image they’re looking to project in relation to one of their biggest franchises”.
They added that although the 45-year-old has a reputation for being a “party animal”, the photos “crossed a line” for Marvel bosses.
I kind of wonder if the “damage control” from those throuple photos began immediately, because Tessa was photographed with a hot Aussie model within the same 24-hour newscycle and it felt like she was making a point of being photographed with someone else. Meaning, “nothing to see here, sexy throuples are not coming to destroy your kids’ Marvel movies, it was all some big misunderstanding!” That being said, Taika is – or was – very well-liked and highly regarded at Disney/Marvel. They gave him the proverbial keys to the kingdom. I don’t doubt that Taika has received some calls from corporate, but I do wonder if those calls were more of the “clean up your mess, be a little bit quieter and complete the film, okay bro” variety.
PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Rita Ora and director boyfriend Taika Waititi get VERY cosy with actress Tessa Thompson https://t.co/6v4bvKyD4z
— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) May 23, 2021
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.
They’re probably bracing for a “me too” scandal with Waititi. It’s all fun and games when everyone’s willing, but what happens when a low level employee says no? Does that person get punished or fired? This is why supervisors should not hook up with their subordinates.
He’ll be in rehab within the next five years.
ALSO: the last time there was a slight internet rumble over his trashiness, he started posting “good dad” photos on Instagram, so expect to see another round of those soon. Even though his (soon-to-be?) ex-wife has said on multiple occasions that he’s a fairly absent father.
yeah this guy is a total douche who believes his own hype
He’s an idiot, because he’s also involved with the Star Wars franchise. He seems talented to me but he’s also a very lucky person, some people should have a good hard look in the mirror and recognise talent doesn’t bring you anywhere without luck and luck can go into the bin if you absolutely behave like a m*ron.
I mean, he cheated on his wife with his personal assistant so he has a history of being a lecherous old creep.
Are there any links interviews with the ex?
The man was wearing a Time’s Up pin at Golden Globes only a few years ago, and now he could be embroiled in a Me Too case. I doubt that this is the case, but the optics are not great.
I also find it funny that Tessa is now very close with Rita, when she was also very close with his side-piece during the previous Thor shoot.
Who’s gonna tell both of them that Rita has a direct contact with the Daily Mail who posts puff pieces about her several times a week? The girl has finally hit the jackpot.
I mean, at 45, you hope that you have the maturity to know that your kid is someday going to see all this and be like, “Ew Dad”….if nothing else motivates you….it’s a really messy look for 45.
Exactly. It’s the messiness that’s the problem. My respect for him as a filmmaker tanked when I saw the photos — not because of the non-existent ‘throuple,’ but because it seemed like he’d been partying for days with work colleagues.
And how’s the actual filming going, I wonder?? If my boss showed up tanked and stoned all the time, I’d be pissed.
If he edits Thor 4 on the Disney lot, like Thor 3, party’s over.
Lol. And so Disney didn’t watch the video either? They just went off photo stills taking a high cuddle session out of context? Lol, I guess. The Aussie model Tessa was with next day was literally in that cuddling video. He’s seated just a few inches away on the same couch and cropped out of the stills.
Or is it the clues that they were coming down some drug that’s got Disney in a bunch?
It doesn’t matter if she has another partner or other partners under discrimination laws. It’s an inappropriate workplace relationship, not just as far as the power imbalance between them but for others in the cast and crew if she gets preferential treatment for welcoming his advances and they don’t. There are serious liability issues here for the studio.
++1. It’s the work relationship that’s the problem. Otherwise, what he does on his own time with consenting adults is not the concern of Disney execs.
Yeah…. I don’t cuddle with my boss.
“Reportedly” is doing a lot of heavy lifting here.
Exactly. I also clicked that “hot Aussie model” link (I’m only human) and that People magazine writeup made sure to mention BOTH agencies representing the guy AND his brother. Sometimes this stuff is so obvious it’s hilarious.
The vast majority of Marvel exclusives turn out to be nothing, so I wouldn’t bet money on this being true.
I’m over here hoping he loses his Star Wars gig because I really don’t think his style is right for Star Wars.
I was obsessed with Star Wars as a kid, but the only film since the original 3 I have really enjoyed is Rogue One. Maybe he could shake things up?
I’m a big fan of the 9-film saga, so I guess one’s thoughts on what he’d do are different depending on your feelings on current Star Wars offerings! I just know I don’t like how he used so much humor to undercut emotional moments in Thor: Ragnarok, and I really don’t want that to happen in a Star Wars project. As oliphant500 says below, his Mandalorian episode was okay, but he can’t seem to get rid of his signature humor, even when it doesn’t belong there (it felt really out of place in Mando, IMO).
To be fair, I love Tarantino movies and wouldn’t want him to direct Star Wars either, lol. Some writers/directors just don’t work for certain movies.
Same. Rogue One is the only newer movie I’ve really enjoyed.
I think Taika’s humor would be great for Star Was. The whole franchise takes itself too seriously a lot of the time
his episode for the mandalorian was mostly okay although it had a super cringe ‘comedy’ moment at the beginning which is very much his trademark and fell really flat. I get the impression he thinks he has a lot more talent than he actually does.
Wasn’t his episode the one with the joke about how Storm Troopers can’t hit the side of the barn with their blasters? (not a spoiler) I really liked that one.
If we suffered through Rian Johnson and JJ Abrams, we can live through Taika’s Star Wars take just fine.
Oh FFS it’s not like they had sex in public. They all appear to be well over 21 and it looks like they are all consenting.
And if she gets preferential treatment from him on set over Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, Jaimie Alexander or any other cast or crew member who isn’t cuddling with him on his balcony? It’s a huge liability issue for the studio.
@Coji The public love fest is not the problem. The problem is the power difference between employee and employer. It’s never a good look and reminds everyone of “Me Too” and casting couch issues that exist in Hollywood.
Ah, ok. I don’t know who he is so I wasn’t aware of a power differential. That makes more sense.
Taika did not live in Sydney before he started filming Thor 4 which just wrapped. Perhaps Marvel/Disney was paying his rent in Sydney? If so an argument could be made that what happened at the house was their business. Curious if he will see his kids (in NZ) before he leaves for the US and if Rita and the paparazzi will go too.
I personally don’t care about Taika Watiti’s personal life and if he’s into threesomes or whatever. He can do whatever he wants with Rita, she’s not working for him currently. But it isn’t a good look if he’s fooling around with actors who are working for him. It’s one thing for costars to hook up, it can be awkward and messy but that’s a separate issue. It’s another for a director to hook up with the actors, so Disney/Marvel is right to be concerned.
Agree, Amelie. In a post Me Too world, we should want corporate overlords to start speaking up when directors are doing this. Even if this particular situation seems ok, we don’t know the power dynamics at play, and we often don’t learn about them for years (see Sean Young and Ridley Scott).
It’s a huge power imbalance but it also creates fairness issues for other cast and crew and if he’s partying every night, how is that affecting his work?
I agree, the power imbalance while still filming would be the issue for me.
These franchises are for kids as much as adults, so Taika needs to keep his sh*t locked down in public. Particularly when one of the other parties is his employee. As the parent of a young teen, who was a little kid not too long ago, kids deserve boundaries on the sexual behavior of the adults around them.
I’m not talking boundaries on affection or family. If little Jimmy at school has two dads and a mom, I’m not going to be clutching my maternal pearls. I’m specifically talking sexual behavior. Keep the grown-up stuff in a grown-up space.
One of my dearest friends from high school just came to visit. She lives on the other end of the country and we haven’t seen each other f-t-f in a while. All parties agreed that there is no reason that my 14-year-old needs to know that his honorary auntie is the collared sub of the other nice, middle-aged lady that she’s road-tripping with. He knows that BDSM exists. But he can find out that kink is a lifestyle for mom’s friend in a few years when he’s past grappling with the typical adolescent fears of the sexual unknown.
I kind of think Marvel decided that they needed to optics to look like they did something but they did it with a wink to him like “we have to say we slapped your wrist but we aren’t actually doing anything”. It’s a shame because as Lightpurple and others are pointing out, there are real issues here.
I can also see concerns if he’s showing up hungover on the set every day. It’s a large cast around Hemsworth and they added Christian Bale, Melissa McCarthy, Karen Gillen, Chris Pratt, and Russell Crowe, in addition to bringing back Sam Neill, Jaimie Alexander, and Matt Damon. Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel are probably doing voice work. The focus of this film is supposed to be Natalie Portman’s character. Feige is definitely going to take the call if any of them are raising complaints.
Yep. he’s their golden boy. He’s been partying and having sex with his employees since Wilderpeople. They knew who they were hiring and have enabled his behavior.
If Thor 4 makes money, all is well. My guess is Rita breaks it off soon.
No way! This is everything Rita has worked for. Taika’s about to head to LA; she’s been waiting forever to be properly papped there. She’s hanging on until she gets caught leaking info about his A-list friends.
I think it’s notable that the Hemsworths haven’t really been seen with him since Rita showed up. At least not outside of the set
She was at the 80s party one of them held and was photographed getting off a pj with Chris and Damon’s families but that was a while back (good eye!). Chris and Elsa tend to fly back to Byron Bay every weekend so they don’t seem to be a part of Taika’s weekend-long parties.
I hope Taika is not dumb enough to put Rita in the movie. And as far her singing for Thor4, Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo) the composer nearly died of Covid. Can’t imagine Mark wants Covid rule breaker Rita anywhere near his music.
Hemsworth has been down this road before. Remember Kristen Stewart having an affair with Rupert Sanders during the Snow White and the Huntsman movie? That was a mess. (Why that movie – did we want to know more about the Huntsman? – he was two sentences in the original tale.)
It was a bad look, like they were stunting for the cameras, and yes, Tessa is working for him so unprofessional. So thirsty. No one wants to have to explain that mess on the press rollout when that film wraps,
In public? Photographed? Come on – you can afford a more private location. It was a little OTT. Unfortunately with American companies you “represent” them in your personal time too.
Well, I always felt… the douchery is Strong in this dude.