Frank Langella admits to his own inappropriate behavior after being fired by Netflix

In April, the trade papers learned that Frank Langella had been suspended and then fired from Netflix’s production of The Fall of the House of Usher. Netflix was adapting the Edgar Allan Poe short story into a miniseries, with Langella playing Roderick Usher. They had already filmed a chunk of the series when Langella was fired for what Netflix called “unacceptable conduct” on set. Langella was swiftly replaced by Bruce Greenwood and Netflix sources say that they will not use any footage shot with Langella. So exactly what was Langella’s “unacceptable conduct”? Well… we knew that it was something in the vein of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior around a woman involved with the production. Now, weeks after his firing, Langella wrote out a pissy, ridiculous statement to Deadline. He blasted Netflix for “canceling” him and then he tries to explain what he did “wrong” while insisting that his behavior was actually perfectly acceptable. He made everything so much worse, OMG.

On April 14 of this year, I was fired by Netflix for what they determined to be unacceptable behavior on set. My first instinct was to blame. To lash out and seek vengeance. I interviewed crisis managers, tough connected lawyers, the professionally sympathetic at $800 per hour. Free advice was proffered as well: “Don’t play the victim.” “Don’t sue. They’ll dig into your past.” “Sign the NDA, take the money and run.” “Do the talk shows, show contrition, feign humility. Say you’ve learned a lot.” Apologize. Apologize. Apologize.

On March 25 of this year, I was performing a love scene with the actress playing my young wife. Both of us were fully clothed. I was sitting on a couch, she was standing in front of me. The director called “cut.” “He touched my leg,” said the actress. “That was not in the blocking.” She then turned and walked off the set, followed by the director and the intimacy coordinator. I attempted to follow but was asked to “give her some space.” I waited for approximately one hour, and was then told she was not returning to set and we were wrapped.

Not long after, an investigation began. Approximately one week later, Human Resources asked to speak to me by phone. “Before the love scene began on March 25,” said the questioner, “our intimacy coordinator suggested where you both should put your hands. It has been brought to our attention that you said, ‘This is absurd!’” “Yes,” I said, “I did. And I still think so.” It was a love scene on camera. Legislating the placement of hands, to my mind, is ludicrous. It undermines instinct and spontaneity. Toward the end of our conversation, she suggested that I not contact the young lady, the intimacy coordinator, or anyone else in the company. “We don’t want to risk retaliation,” she said. When I mentioned that it was certainly not my intention to … she cut me off politely and said: “Intention is not our concern. Netflix deals only with impact.”

When you are the leading actor, it requires, in my opinion, that you set an example by keeping the atmosphere light and friendly. Nevertheless, these were some of the allegations: 1. “He told an off-color joke. 2. “Sometimes he called me ‘baby’ or ‘honey.’” 3. “He’d give me a hug or touch my shoulder.”

“You cannot do that, Frank,” said our producer. “You can’t joke. You can’t compliment. You can’t touch. It’s a new order.”

[From Deadline]

There’s more in his crotchety essay, but let’s just keep it to the facts as he fully admits – he was told what he should and should not do by the intimacy coordinator and he fought with the coordinator. Then he touched the actress’s legs, which had not been part of the intimacy-coordination or blocking. He was also telling inappropriate jokes, calling women “baby” and “honey” and he was touchy and gropey with women off-camera. Again, he’s fully admitting that he did all of that, and he considers this an instance of cancel culture. I’m so glad that Netlix took a hard line on this and just fired him quickly. Holy sh-t.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

47 Responses to “Frank Langella admits to his own inappropriate behavior after being fired by Netflix”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    This actress probably already felt uncomfortable around him, as it sounds like he was touchy feely outside of scenes. And then when they did the scene, he went “out of bounds” and she was livid. I’ll bet she had already spoken up to the producers, director, or even Frank himself about him keeping his hands to himself and he ignored her.

    I’ll be quite frank, folks, knowing that there are intimacy coordinators on sets these days makes me sooooo much more comfortable watching love scenes! I’ve often felt bad for actors having to do that work, so having it in the back of my head that they have both consented to not just the filming but the actions taking place on film, allows me to enjoy the work. Maybe that’s just me.

    • Lawcatb says:

      Nice of him to put a target on the actresses back for the MAGA crowd. But I suppose it’s what she deserves for not understanding or respecting his old-school process based on “instinct and spontaneity”.

    • Trina says:

      Same. It’s not just you. After Emilia Clarke talked about how she was kept naked in between takes, I was horrified and while this all makes it better, I still worry. I AM thrilled to hear the things he says Netflix said to him.

      “Intention is not our concern. Netflix deals only with impact.”

      YES. Good for them.

      • Runaway says:

        “Intention is not our concern. Netflix deals only with impact”
        This is the best thing I’ve ever heard and if only all people like JKR and Dave Chapelle could just accept this the world would be a much nicer place

    • TOM says:

      Essentially, he was fired for insubordination. Netflix did the right thing. Langella disregarded the supervisors.

      I am in the same age bracket. A lot about his rigid attitude and lack of filters says it’s probably time for him to hang up his cleats.

    • Pinkosaurus says:

      I wonder if after he argued with the intimacy coordinator, he intentionally went out of bounds just to prove he could and that he didn’t have to follow directions. Just a toddler tantrum from a spoiled molester. So glad the producers made him find out after he fucked around. I’m sure he thought he was untouchable.

      • tealily says:

        That sure sounds like what he’s describing. And he STILL thinks he right! What a douche!

    • BlinkB says:

      He’s conveniently missed out the part where he turned to her after touching her and said “I bet you liked that, didn’t you.” I have a client on this show. He’s been a pig.

  2. WiththeAmerican says:

    I cannot tell you the number of men with whom I worked in film who felt entitled to grope and make disgusting “jokes.” These guys weren’t even the most egregious, but they contributed to an atmosphere where horrific sexual assault was normalized and it’s not okay.

    The complete entitlement of FL rebuttal is on par with the underlying attitude. It won’t change. These guys literally see womens bodies as theirs.

    • AMA1977 says:

      THIS. It’s exhausting to realize, but women are not sentient beings worthy of respect to men like this. This is an underscore to an already devastating week of looking down the barrel of once again being stripped of my rights to bodily autonomy and being considered a second-class citizen in my own country.

      Old sh!tbirds like this one DON’T CARE about how other people feel, they only care about what they want. FL wanted to touch the actress he was appearing with in a way other than what had been agreed to, so he did. FL wants to call women he doesn’t have an intimate relationship with “honey” or “baby” so he does. FL wants to tell an inappropriate joke, so he does. I am SO SICK OF IT!!! Part of the bargain of living in society is that you have an obligation to consider other people.

      And nobody is guaranteed roles in TV shows, or sold-out comedy tours, or anything else of the sort. They don’t have to hire or retain you, you asshole, and I am glad to hear that Netflix DGAF about his intent.

  3. Persephone says:

    Holy smokes. He actually thought he would come off looking good with this? Can we say old white male privilege?

    • FeministYeah says:

      Last week (trigger alert for sexual abuse), an old, crochety Dutch presenter admitted on LIVE tv to putting a CANDLE inside a woman’s vagina while she was unconscious from a night of drinking with this asshole and his buddy.
      Johan Derksen. His two co-hosts LAUGHED and LAUGHED, and he was NOT fired. They all quit two days later, when their non-apology got people even madder and their two biggest sponsors pulled out.
      I love disgusting old white men. They’re the TRUE parameter of how much work we still have to do so that men learn to FEAR consequences to their actions, because virtue or empathy clearly doesnt do it for them

      • Kim says:

        I saw that too, so disgusting. He’s not apologizing either. He has said so much problematic stuff on TV, I don’t know why anyone still wants to work with him, too many people are making excuses for his racism, homophobia and misogyny.

  4. Trillion says:

    Well, now he’ll have a chance to grow a new kind of fan-base among incels and MAGAs and maybe get cast in a low-budget stupid Chuck Norris movie.

  5. BW says:

    Wow. When you’re filming a love scene, you do it exactly has rehearsed. You do not improvise by touching parts of the other actor’s body that the intimacy coordinator already told you were off limits. It doesn’t matter if it’s the tip of her little finger and you don’t see the big deal. NO means NO. And Geez, don’t call her Baby, you old fogey.

    • Beana says:

      Yes! If this was, say, a staged swordfight, and he’d ignored the stunt coordinator and sliced off his co-star’s fingers, FL would be on that apology circuit for sure. Yet he felt ENTITLED to touch his co-star to help his “acting.” His arrogance is staggering. And I’d also suggest that his need to inappropriately touch someone just to deliver an acceptable performance means that he’s a sub-par actor and won’t be missed.

  6. Mia4s says:

    Uhhhhh, he thought that statement would make things better? Another actor with no publicist, or whose publicist bailed, or who ignored their publicist and their publicist is currently day drinking. Oof.

    About two seconds after this all happened Film Twitter was acknowledging that there had been stories and whispers about this guy for years. No shock expressed. Still a lot of poison to be sucked out of the Hollywood wound.

    Anyway, love Bruce Greenwood as an actor and have never heard a bad word about him offscreen. So kudos to the production for cracking down and wishing them every success.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Mia4s, there has been talk for decades about how much of a douchebag he is to work with. When I saw that title, I explained YES!!! Finally!! Someone put him in his place after spending decades of being an pr!ck to work with!! His excuses are hilarious though!! He thinks his clout would supersede his deplorable behaviour again and again!! Could not have happened to someone more deserving than Frank Langella! A man that has a reputation of a pig, self serving POS filled with self entitlement and sexist!!

      • AppleCart says:


        “He thinks his clout would supersede his deplorable behaviour again and again!”

        I think this is such a good point. Men like him, Kevin Spacey, Jeff Garlin and Jeffrey Tambor as examples. Thinking since they are the ‘big dog’ in the room. People will let them get away with it. To keep their jobs. Since they felt without their star power the shows will be over. Glad to see them replaced and keep it moving.

      • Meg says:

        Matt lauer seemed to think the same, but the ratings went up after he left which must have been salt in the wound for him thinking he was the only guy that could do that

  7. Little Red says:

    Makes me respect all the work done on “Bridgerton” to ensure that everyone felt safe during the love scenes.

    • Kelly says:

      Bridgerton came to mind as did Shadow and Bone where Jessi Mei Li talked about how hard Ben Barnes worked to block their love scenes and make sure she was comfortable with everywhere he put his hands. With all the other issues they have, I love that Netflix is hiring these actors like Barnes and Jonathan Bailey who are so respectful and that they are taking a firm stance on the old school nonsense.

  8. jen+d. says:

    I’m glad to see how firm they’re being, and that they are setting a higher standard for conduct. The entitlement that some of these actors feel towards the bodies of actresses is gross. Being handsy in any intimate scenes is gross and absolutely grounds for firing, but I get the impression that there was a lot more going on. There always is. Mike Flanagan hires a lot of the same actors for every show, including his wife, and I get the impression that everyone is very close, so this must have been jarring.

  9. MF says:

    A++ response by the intimacy coordinator and Netflix HR. I appreciate the bit about “Intention is not our concern. Netflix deals only with impact.” I’m getting WAY tired of being told the creepy dude had good intentions!

  10. NCWoman says:

    It’s clear he was in the wrong, but I do question why anyone hires a man over 60–and certainly one in his 80s–for a role that requires an intimacy coordinator without sitting him down first for a frank discussion about what that means, including the need for him to follow the rules to the letter. People that age are used to casual sexism, and they should be held accountable to current standards, but they shouldn’t be set up for failure. Producers need to start spelling things out before hiring–and then firing by the end of the first week if they can’t adapt.

    • Emma says:

      But he was told. He was told about where to put his hands by the intimacy coordinator and the blocking was agreed on beforehand. By his own account. He knew.

      This is not setting him up for failure. It’s basic professionalism. They told him not to do this and he did it anyway.

    • WiththeAmerican says:

      What? It’s producers fault for not telling him he can’t touch and grope? No, sorry. Ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse. And furthermore, the intimacy coordinator told him the rules. He decided they didn’t apply to him.

      Enough with the excuses. It’s not like a “harmless” pat by an 80 year old man at a family dinner. This man did this at work, during intimate scenes, in front of all of her colleagues and crew. If men can’t stay current enough to realize that the law applies to them now, then they should quit their jobs.

      • NCWoman says:

        Exactly how is it making excuses when I said men like him should be fired the first week if they can’t comply? It seems very obvious that he had no respect whatsoever for the intimacy coordinator. Whether he was willing to respect their authority should have been ascertained before the hire, simple as that. Otherwise, not only are you setting up him for failure, you’re setting up the woman actor to be very uncomfortable for a very long time before he gets fired.

      • WiththeAmerican says:

        You’re making excuse by suggesting this could have been avoided if only a producer had told him not to do this.

        You seem to think men like this would tell someone up front that they won’t comply. That would suggest they took the law seriously.

  11. thaisajs says:

    Frank, this is why you pay those consultants $800/hr. They stop you from releasing self-pitying, career-destroying BS like this.

  12. ILady Digby says: › 2022/05 › no…
    Noel Clarke Sues BAFTA For Defamation After UK Police Stop Investigating Sexual Harassment Claims – Deadline
    Yes the Met decided complaints didn’t meet the threshold for criminal charges but that doesn’t mean this actor/director’s behavior was right or appropriate. So Frank is pensioner befuddled in these woke times and Noel is suing; it is like #Me Too never happened and neither man understand professional behaviour on set or off!

  13. KBeth says:

    Old, ignorant pig.

  14. GR says:

    It’s so interesting the way guys like this play dumb – the whole thing here is context. I mean, if he were someone the actress could trust, probably most of the things he mentions wouldn’t have been a big deal, at least individually. Of course if he were trustworthy, he would have stopped the second he had the slightest idea that he might be making her uncomfortable. But making her uncomfortable was actually his *goal*.

  15. Andie says:

    This is honestly so embarrassing for him. He “just touched her leg [and] called her honey” OMFGGGGGG LMAO AND HE THINKS THIS IS A VALID DEFENSE

    Read the room asshole. BYE

  16. Tiffany:) says:

    It’s pretty terrible that he essentially named the actress who made the complaint by saying what her role was. I’m more interested in her version of events.

    It stands out to me that he uses the word “Leg”. “Leg” is so general, it makes me suspicious that he uses the least descriptive way to describe what he actually touched. I wonder if she would describe it as him touching her “leg”, or if she would have said “thigh” or “inner thigh” or “upper thigh”. I think if he was truly away from any intimate areas, he would have been blatant about it in his defense and said he touched her “calf” or something.

  17. AppleCart says:

    Frank Langella is 84 years old. It just sounds like he saw an opportunity to touch a young woman however he wanted. And went for it. Thinking he could hide behind being ‘an artist’ to sexually gratify himself.

    After the Kevin Spacey disaster. I am glad Netflix has taken a hardline on this behavior.

    And like everyone else I am going to keep this line in my back pocket if something like this happens to me at my job.

    “Intention is not our concern. Netflix deals only with impact.”

  18. Rox says:

    I am totally over this mess. It is beginning to feel as if anyone who wants someone fired makes this type of complaint. I am a woman and it’s time for some of these people to get over themselves. I really don’t think he was after this person and it has been grossly over rated.
    Shame on you!

    • Tiffany:) says:

      “It is beginning to feel as if anyone who wants someone fired makes this type of complaint.”

      Really? That’s your take?
      It seems like people have been groping others for a long time and haven’t been held accountable before, so they are shocked when they are called on it. The actions at the center of the complaint were done in front of WITNESSES, and the production as a whole decided to support the person who made the complaint. If she just invented the impropriety, many other people would realize it.

      The shame does not belong to the victim, Rox. It belongs to Frank.

  19. JanetDR says:

    Sounds like Netflix handled it appropriately. I am always thinking when watching intimate scenes that I would be much happier if those scenes weren’t filmed. I have zero desire to watch people pretending to be sexual. Or being sexual. Show me the big 💋 smooch and move on!

  20. Julia K says:

    I had no idea Frank Langella had this reputation. I saw him in ” The Americans” and thought his work was so good, but now this. Can’t believe in anyone anymore. Disappointed.

  21. tealily says:

    You know, it’s funny because I missed or forgot this story until he released this statement… now I’ll never forget it! Good job, buddy! I’m sure that’s what you were going for.

  22. Bisynaptic says:

    I don’t remember the plot of the Fall of the House of Usher, but I’m wondering why they paired an old man with a young woman for a love scene, in the year of our Lord 2022. That might be the genesis of this whole thing.

  23. Cava 24 says:

    It’s really interesting that Deadline published that, I think they fully understood that he was essentially admitting to insubordination, gross behavior, a total lack of professionalism and possibly assault. It’s like they said “you would like to set yourself on fire? Here are some matches and some lighter fluid, this will be great for helping people understand why this conduct is effed up.”