Vincent Kartheiser’s ‘disruptive’ behavior on the set of ‘Titans’ was investigated

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I’ve been looking around for confirmation of something in the back of my memory bank but I can’t find anything online. Did we hear some rumors about Vincent Kartheiser years ago, something about him being an undercover douchebag? I’m not talking about the weird interviews he did where he talked about living without electricity and running water and stuff. I think that was mostly misunderstood (he was renovating a home and it was taking longer than he expected). I could have sworn that there were stories about him from the Mad Men days where he had the reputation for maybe being an a–hole? I’m possibly mixing him up with someone else, or maybe it’s just my Virgo Spidey Sense. In any case, we rarely hear about Vincent or his wife Alexis Bledel. They married in 2014 and welcomed a secret child in 2015. Vincent especially likes to keep things private. Except now he’s in the gossip pages because apparently he has been behaving badly on the set of Titans’ Season 3. From Deadline:

Vincent Kartheiser is a major new cast addition to Season 3 of the DC series Titans, which is currently airing on HBO Max. But the Mad Men alum, who plays the villain Scarecrow, is not on the poster for the new season and was not actively involved in publicity efforts for the new season after his stint on the show triggered at least two complaints and two internal investigations by Titans studio Warner Bros Television, I have learned. The studio declined comment.

The allegations, which are believed to have included disruptive, juvenile behavior and inappropriate comments, were investigated by WBTV’s Labor Relations department, which interviewed the relevant parties. The investigations were conducted remotely because of Covid protocols that did not allow for Burbank-based investigators to visit the series’ Toronto set.

According to sources, the first investigation into a complaint, said to be about verbal comments and outbursts, concluded that Kartheiser’s behavior didn’t rise to level of termination but did warrant corrective action. The actor was verbally reprimanded by the studio, I hear.

Weeks later, near the end of Season 3 production, WBTV received a second complaint that also was investigated. This time, it resulted in the studio assigning a representative to monitor Kartheiser while he was on set, sources said. I hear there were other claims about alleged misconduct by Kertheiser raised in the complaints that were also investigated but were not corroborated, sources said.

“Vincent Kartheiser vehemently denies the allegations,” a spokesperson for the actor said in a statement to Deadline on Friday. “Warner Bros investigated this matter and made clear to Mr. Kartheiser its expectations for behavior on the set, and he agreed to comply with their directives.”

Kartheiser joined Titans as a new series regular for Season 3 with a one-year deal; he is not expected to return if the show is renewed for Season 4. He plays Jonathan Crane, aka Scarecrow, an inmate at Arkham Asylum who used to terrorize Gotham City using toxins to exploit his enemies’ phobias.

[From Deadline]

The denial from Kartheiser’s rep is interesting – it’s not a denial that complaints were made about him, if anything, it’s an acknowledgement that there were complaints, there was an investigation and Vincent was told to modify his behavior. He’s simply denying that there was anything to the complaints. The investigation and reprimands were for “disruptive, juvenile behavior and inappropriate comments” – hm. I wonder. I wonder if he was making comments about female costars or below-the-line workers and someone said something. If anything, this makes me appreciate the changes which have been made on various TV and film sets in the post-#MeToo world. This actually went down like it was supposed to – someone misbehaved, the targets or victims of the misbehavior were listened to and believed, and the studio acted appropriately to investigate and modify the aggressor’s behavior. Still, it’s something to keep an eye on – it will be interesting to see if we get any more info about this.

PS… Vincent worked a lot in theater before and after Mad Men, and my guess is that he just took this role for the money, because there was no theater work to be had during the pandemic. I wonder if that was his attitude on-set too – “I’m just here for a paycheck, I’m so far above this kind of work.”

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65 Responses to “Vincent Kartheiser’s ‘disruptive’ behavior on the set of ‘Titans’ was investigated”

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  1. Mia4s says:

    “ Warner Bros investigated this matter and made clear to Mr. Kartheiser its expectations for behavior on the set, and he agreed to comply with their directives.”

    The fact that they felt they had to make expectations “clear” (and his rep admits it!) speaks volumes. Yikes.

    But I think you are on the money @Kaiser with the last paragraph. If it was threatening or sexually harassing they would have just dropped him…I mean…”had scheduling conflicts”….I mean…“had a family issue”. He’s not worth any serious trouble for the studio, so he likely was just being a garden variety jerk. (LOL! Don’t knock any work you get loser, you’ve not exactly set the world on fire since Mad Men).

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I’ve read somethings that say he’s weird, and part of his process is to shout odd things right before the scenes start. It doesn’t sound like it’s sexual in nature, or targeted at other people. But I’m sure it can still feel inappropriate for the workplace.

      • teecee says:

        Shouting at a person is targeted behavior. And I’d bet he’s generally shouting at crew or lower-ranked actors – people who cannot respond in kind.

      • NCWoman says:

        A number of actors appear to do the shouting thing. From what I understand, they don’t shout at a particular person. They just shout often weird things to get the emotional energy for the scene. And if he plays Scarecrow, I can see it getting really weird even if he didn’t target anyone.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        TeeCee, what I read wasn’t that he shouted AT a person, he’d said he’d just shout to get his mouth and lips going. But it can still be inappropriate. I can’t remember the exact quote, but it was really odd, something like “f*ck me in the ear, I totally suck! Someone shoot me!”.

        So odd, kind of sexual in nature but not harassment, but probably uncomfortable for his scene partners.

  2. OSTONE says:

    Ooof I feel for Alexis Bledel. She, much like Rory Gilmore, must have a terrible picker.

    • Lee says:

      Same. First thing I thought when I read about his behaviour, is how Alexis is coping with this situation. Won’t be surprised if they divorced in the upcoming months.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Why do we have a habit of closing the woman has a bad picker? I have been in a few relationships were we were well into years of being together and his worst attributes come to the surface?

      They may not be bad pickers, it is only when certain people are able to uphold their facade for years.

      As for him, what shock! A man behaving inappropriately on a set, the shock of the news! This is as old as time. Another selfishness unprofessional dick behaving as such but actually being called on it!!

      • Robyn says:

        I loathe the “bad picker” thing. Maybe there are just a lot of shitty men that we come in contact with at all stages of life? And women are conditioned to tolerate it and try to “fix” them? Nah, that couldn’t be it.

      • cf86713 says:

        Well women are held to a higher standard in that regard its not fair but look at most of these posts where they are a result of women getting involved with the wrong guy. In Alexis’s case she definitely has one so I think it fits here because there’s a pattern. We’ve also said this about Jennifer Aniston and a slew of other female celebs through the years..

      • MissMarirose says:

        Yeah, I hate the “bad picker” trope too. Somehow it’s another way in which a woman is to blame for a man’s bad behavior.

      • ethy says:

        Or maybe, she’s just shitty too? It’s not a crime.

      • Lola says:

        Thank you! The “bad picker” thing is yet another way to blame women for the absolute masses of shitty men. Guess what. The majority of men are bad men. Nobody wants to admit that, but it’s true. A lot of them are able to hide it in public, in their friendships, or even in relationships, for weeks, months, and years. The majority of women who get involved with men end up with a bad man at some point, unless you’ve been with only one man in your life and got lucky at the outside. It has nothing to do with a “picker.”

        Being with a guy who turns out to be an abuser after you get married and pregnant, when he was a perfectly normal guy for years before that, is actually frighteningly common. Many abusers start abusing for the FIRST time after a big event that makes the relationship more permanent and harder to leave, like moving in together, marriage, you quitting your job and they support you, etc.

        Ending up with a bad guy who pretended to be a good guy for years has nothing to do with a deficit in YOU and your picker, it just means being fooled by an asshole, which happens.

    • JaneName says:

      She is a quiet, private actor who has a great sense of humor and has been working since she was a teenager who married a quiet, private actor who has a great sense of humor and has been working since he was a teenager.
      They are great together. Well matched personalities.

    • Lea says:

      Alexis Bledel didn’t have the best reputation when she was in Gilmore Girls. She and Lauren Graham were rumored to be quite rude to the crew and to extras.

    • tealily says:

      Do we know that she’s not sh**ty — or at least odd — too?

  3. Darla says:

    I knew him first as Angel’s son Connor, and then of course as Pete Campbell. IMO he’s a very talented actor. This is disappointing but not surprising, on account of he’s a man.

    • Yup, Me says:

      “This is disappointing but not surprising, on account of he’s a man.”

      LOL. Sigh. Right? Damn.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Well … he plays duplicitous, borderline sinister characters well, anyway.

      • Jaded says:

        Life imitating art.

      • minx says:

        He was a superb Pete Campbell. Sigh, I miss Mad Men.

      • SM says:

        He was so good as Pete Campbell. I also think that Matthew Weiner is not only a brilliant writer but dies a great casting. The whole main cast of Mad Men was superbly cast. Then I saw January Jones in something else and realised she is not a brilliant actress doing a great Betty, she was Betty. I alway hoped that maybe Vincent is a great actor and not a douch bag character he was playing so well, but he does give off those sleazy creep vibes so maybe Weiner saw him, and was: yep, that’s our guy.

    • detritus says:

      Honestly, for the longest time I disliked his face as an auto response because he represented that BS Angel plot that just completely messed w Cordelias story line.

      I recognize this is completely illogical

      • Darla says:

        Yeah that was Whedon and it’s unforgivable, but he IMO excelled in the role.

      • Courtney B says:

        It’s not illogical, well, in the sense that one of his two most famous roles was so divisive. It’s unfortunate for any actor but I, at least, sometimes can’t help it. I’ve had a ‘want to punch him in the face’ reaction to him since Angel because I hated Connor and what it did to Wesley and Cornelia both. One of the best things about the show was the ‘lost people find a family’ aspect and the actors had such great chemistry and this storyline trashed it all. But logically I know that’s not him and it’s a role but illogically I’m just like ‘ugh, I hate him’.

  4. Iris says:

    I’ve only heard great things about Alexis Bledel. She seems lovely so this must be tough.

    Does anyone else remember that gawker article about an argument between her and Milo Ventimiglia when they were dating in 2006… Allegedly he was over heard calling her a cunt and she was crying??

    • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

      I remember hearing he was an emotionally abusive prick to her.

      • Bettyrose says:

        More life imitating art. Jess was pretty abusive to Rory on Gilmore Girls. (But I always had trouble with Rory’s inability to have honest emotional discussions with her boyfriends, and in that regard she was also really awful to Dean and then Jess turned the tables on her).

      • North of Boston says:

        Wasn’t he also involved in some weirdness back in the Heroes days? I seem to remember him doing press and hanging out with Adrian Pasdar and Hayden Panitierre. She was a minor, and NP and MV played her father and uncle on the show, and played off like they were being protective of the teen girl while traveling for press, which is supposedly why they we’re always hanging out. But it turned out MV and HP were dating/hooking up – she was a teen, he was ~ 12 years older – gross! I’ve never been able to look at him without cringing ever since .

      • Meg says:

        @north of Boston
        Yep my feelings too, took advantage of her

    • HeyJude says:

      Yes, Milo’s apparently an absolute jerk, to put it mildly because IDK Celebitchy’s profanity policies. He apparently grabbed Alexis my the arm forcefully during that berating too.

      I want to say he’s something that rhymes with stick, frick, hick, if you get my drift.

      He behaved badly on the GG set too. Whinging about his role’s size and importance. He and Luke’s actor (ICR his name) butted heads IRL as well.

  5. pottymouth pup says:

    there were stories about him on Mad Men and there was an article on the show that included some details of his obnoxious behavior the reporter observed. the behavior then and now sounds like the same crap you pretty much hear about “method actors” being rude/juvenile/obnoxious/distracting

  6. Alison says:

    I’ve heard he’s a method actor so perhaps he was still in character. That said, being a professional does mean you have to hold back some base urges and if your boss reprimands you… let’s hope this is the last of it. I love his wife so I’m hoping he’s not an asshat.

    • M says:

      I hear method actor and I have to roll my eyes.

    • Izzy says:

      I hear “method actor” and what comes to mind is “oh yay, my career is giving me the perfect excuse to behave like a complete douchecanoe.”

  7. Lucy2 says:

    Why is it so hard for some people to just be professional and respectful of others? I get the impression he fancies himself a very serious and intense actor, but you still don’t get to treat people around you like crap.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, it’s disappointing because I loved him as Pete Campbell and I don’t remember hearing anything but generally positive stuff about him personally, other than what seemed to be sort of quirky hippie tendencies.

      When someone acts up that much it makes me wonder if substance abuse is involved, especially if the behavior is out of character and hard to control.

      You make such a good point about treating your co-workers respectfully no matter what your personal “process” might be. I mean I would love to shut the door of my office most days and ignore my co-workers but workplace etiquette and basic human decency means I suck it up and be cordial.

      • Erin says:

        Yeah, he was so good as Pete, and I hated him so much! I just wanted to punch Pete’s face every time he came on screen.

      • Eleonor says:

        He is a gifted actor.
        And I am team “I want to punch Pete Campbell everytime he is on screen” too. Actually he is so good in that role, for me is difficult not to think he is a major a-hole LOL

  8. Gigi says:

    He behaved this snotty when he was on Angel, so I’m not surprised to hear that he’s been acting an ass on another sff/supernatural show he feels is beneath him.

  9. JaneName says:

    I was on that set and the complaints were because he was loud and really hammy between takes. It wasn’t bad and he was very nice, on time, knew his lines, accommodating to others, but he has these between take quirks that can rub you the wrong way. And nobody said to him stop, they just immediately reported him. Which is ridiculous because he takes criticism well and is very nice. I think tension was high on set because of covid and there was no calm in the place. Honestly it wasn’t a fun set and that was not his fault, but others. There is a reason he has worked consistently and it should be telling that the only bad thing your hearing is that he can be obnoxious on set. But not disruptive, not mean, not destructive. Also, I see a couple commenters saying they feel sorry for his wife, don’t. He is a lovely man towards her, speaks about her and his family very little (private guy) but absolutely glows at their mention. I’m just really mad that he is getting dragged when he was one of the best actors on that set.

    • Darla says:

      On the titans set you mean? That’s interesting.

    • ellie says:

      Thanks for this!! It’s so easy to make assumptions based on headlines. Seems like this is a non-story twisted to make it seem

      • Lena says:

        Yes thank I for your input on this, it pretty much changed what I was going to comment. A shame this was blown up into an article in Deadline which can affect his reputation and even employment.

    • Ocho says:

      Thanks @JaneName! I read the article (I am so embarrassed to admit…) and didn’t feel like rushing to judgement. I have zero tolerance for bullying, intimidation or abuse of any kind, but in this case, that didn’t seem to be the story. It felt like the set dynamics were off. That the accusations might say more about a generally odd set or insecure or immature co-workers, rather than his behaviour.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Can you work on every set, everywhere, 24/7?

      • JaneName says:

        And how many sets have you been on?
        No I can’t be on every set, but you’d be surprised how small Hollywood is especially on studio productions. If someone is acting up on a studio production, word gets out.

        Let’s say after a take an actor yells “oh fuck that was terrible” (this is an example, but not what actually happened) and the person in the scene thought he was talking about them, then after another take the actor jumped around and began talking to crew and the Other person saw that as the actor dismissing and ignoring them. It is a misunderstanding and the person won’t hear “you got it all wrong” because in their mind they have been disrespected and criticized and “you got it all wrong” feels like their feelings are being delegitimized. It’s a no win situation and the studio responded to the issue with an investigation.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        No no no, I meant… Could you please be on every set, everywhere, 24/7? You know, to shut down blind gossip lol. It’s nice hearing from actual set employees.

    • lucy2 says:

      Thanks for the behind the scenes info!

      On one hand, it’s not a bad thing for people to feel comfortable going to the hire ups if there’s an issue on set given how much stuff has historically been swept under the rug, but in this case it sounds like maybe someone could have talked to him directly first, or there could have been a general “hey lets try to keep it down between takes” announcement.

    • Concern Fae says:

      This is why Hollywood and most creative fields have avoided taking the HR approach to coworker interactions. It’s not like everyone has the same working methods and the people can be very odd and sensitive.

      I have a friend in HR and her nightmare is “feeling disrespected.” It’s so broad and ambiguous, covering a lot of behavior that is well within the bounds of acceptable office behavior. She says it’s like people think they can write Yelp reviews to HR and the other person will have to immediately comply with all their wishes. Think the guy dropping off mail should stop and say hello level of stuff.

      It’s fantastic that a system is being set up to deal with abuse, but it will be interesting to see how it shakes out in terms of these sorts of ego driven squabbles Because we don’t want abuse and harassment to become equated with “whatever annoys me.”

    • tealily says:

      Oh wow, thanks for sharing. I’m actually really happy to hear this! I’m ashamed of myself for assuming the worst.

  10. ce says:

    I’ve worked with a bunch of actors on set and a bunch of them do this sort of thing before shooting. To me it doesn’t read as inappropriate, just like, weird? I’ve heard actors make weird sounds before scenes and it’s jarring at first, but eventually you tune it out. I wonder if whoever reported this is just inexperienced?

  11. Miss Margo says:

    I totally agree with you that he was all “I’m above this, I’m to good for this show.” Also, the show was filmed in Toronto where we’ve had the longest lockdown in the world (I am no even joking, look it up). There was absolutely nothing to do in the city up until last month. Everything was closed, patio dining, shopping) he was probably bored and pissed and like an ass took it out on the people on set.

  12. Phyllis says:

    I know someone who’s path (outside of the film industry) crosses with his occasionally and he has said that VK is “wild…crazy…all over the place…like a little kid with hyper activity disorder….he’s just wild and all over the place”.

  13. Daphne says:

    This worries me for Alexis. I was always confused by their pairing.

  14. Savannah says:

    Yikes, this sounds bad. I loved his acting in Mad Men, and I wondered why I hadn’t seen him much after that. This might explain it.

  15. Izzy says:

    They literally had to get this guy a babysitter to look after him while he worked.

  16. Anastasia says:

    The first time I saw him, he was the lead townie in All I Wanna Do, and then Crime and Punishment in Suburbia, so it definitely could be art imitating life.

    That being said, even as a GG fan, I have no idea what Bledel is like in real life, other than the fact she can’t hold a cup of coffee like a normal person. Or flowers…

  17. Theothermia says:

    I watch Titans lol – it’s like the most hetero show on TV. It’s men with massive pectoral muscles, women with breathy-voices, and they all strike ridiculous poses between making out.

    They don’t give POC much to do, except Starfire (the Black alien princess, runaway from her throne). Beast boy is constantly minimized.

    I’m so glad that a show with such intense mainstream tendancies has a system of checks and balances for people being inappropriate on set. It was a big deal to my boyfriend that Scarecrow showed up.

    • Jillian says:

      Ha! Thank you for this, I was wondering what the show was like – this business about Vincent being a brat is the most I’ve heard about it

  18. SusanRagain says:

    I am so happy that times are changing and people who are awful to others at work are finally getting called out on it.

    I currently am WFH and OMG, I do not miss the personality issues or office drama at all!
    (gossip and office politics drive me nuts. I just am here for the $$, OK?)

    Method actor, my butt.
    I don’t care who you are or what employment you have, behave professionally or keep your mouth shut.

    I did enjoy him on MM but, he really does not strike me as talented enough to get away with any kind of out of line behavior.

  19. jferber says:

    Maybe this is out there, but could he have Tourette’s syndrome? Or maybe he just is an out-of-line jerk.