Ain’t It Cool News founder Harry Knowles is stepping away from the site and handing over operations to his sister, following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault, and the resignations of several staffers.
Knowles discussed his resignation and replacement by his sister in a Tweet posted Tuesday night.
Teaching my sister the ins and outs of AICN for take-over. I feel she's doing a great job, while I step away. Tomorrow she emails contacts
— Harry Knowles (@headgeek666) September 27, 2017
On Saturday, Jasmine Baker told IndieWire that Knowles had assaulted her on two occasions at official Alamo Drafthouse events in Austin, Texas. In one case, she said, he “rubbed up against her buttocks and legs in a way that made her feel uncomfortable.” She said at another time he put his hand under her shirt.
Knowles denied the allegations, calling them “100 percent untrue” in a Saturday tweet. However, just before the Indiewire article was published, Austin-based writer Britt Hayes went public with her own accusation that Knowles had sexually harassed her and other women in the community. And other women came forward with accusations after the article was published.
On Monday, longtime Ain’t It Cool News staffers Eric Vespe and Steve Prokopy resigned from the site. “I have known too many women over the years — both inside and outside the film community — who have encountered and survived sexual harassment and/or assault to allow myself to remain involved in an organization where allegations of either are part of the landscape,” wrote Prokopy in a Monday statement.
“Given the recent allegations against Harry Knowles of behavior impossible to defend I can not, in good conscience, continue to contribute to the brand I helped build over the last 20 years,” wrote Vespe.
The allegations against Knowles came less than two weeks after it came out that Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League had quietly rehired former Birth.Movies.Death editor-in-chief Devin Faraci, who had resigned from the Drafthouse-owned site in 2016 after he was accused of sexual assault.