We've Got Hollywood Covered

Ricky Gervais Is ‘Shocked and Appalled’ by ‘Predator’ Accusations Against ‘After Life’ Producer

”I am confident the matter is being handled thoroughly,“ star of Netflix series says in a statement

Ricky Gervais issued a statement Saturday, commenting on the “immediate removal” of Netflix’s “After Life” producer Charlie Hanson following accusations made by several women of predatory behavior.

“I am shocked and appalled to learn of the historical allegations made by a number of women against Charlie Hanson. The decision was made to immediately remove him from production and I am confident the matter is being handled thoroughly,” Gervais said.

Gervais’ long-time collaborator was the subject of an anonymous email sent to Netflix and BAFTA, detailing a history of sexual misconduct. Although his name was initially withheld, the U.K. outlet The Times revealed it was Hanson, and it reported that 11 women complained about the producer’s behavior. Hanson has since been removed from “After Life” and suspended by BAFTA.

“Charlie Hanson is a predator who uses his reputation, connections and standing in order to groom far younger, impressionable and sometimes vulnerable women into trusting him,” one of the women wrote in the email, which The Times received an excerpt of.

It went on: “At times he will promise them a starry career under his wing, and then exploits that trust in creepy and illegal ways. He then tries to diminish the seriousness of what he’s done by telling these young women — us — that it wasn’t as bad as it seemed, that it was somehow blameless. He does his best to convince himself — and others — that this method of operating is fine. But we know it is not fine.”

Hanson denied all claims, saying in part through an attorney, “I have not had one complaint in decades of work in the media industry. I categorically reject any wrongdoing on my part, and strongly refute the allegations that have been levelled [sic] at me. I have worked with and supported hundreds of men and women during my working life and will do what is necessary to protect and/or restore my reputation. I will also cooperate with any formal inquiries. The matter is now in the hands of my solicitors.”

Aside from “After Life,” Gervais has worked with Hanson on numerous projects, including, the BBC/HBO comedy series “Extras,” the film “Cemetery Junction” and the short-lived series “Life’s Too Short” and “Derek.”