Sylvester Stallone Accused of Creating ‘Toxic Environment’ on ‘Tulsa King’ Set, Mocking Actors as ‘Fat’ and ‘Ugly’

Director Craig Zisk denies claims against the “Rocky” actor, says extras were improperly cast


Sylvester Stallone has been accused of creating a toxic work environment on the set of “Tulsa King,” prompting an Atlanta-based casting agency to step down from the Paramount+ series.

Claims that the “Rocky” star mocked background actors on set, calling them “fat” and “ugly” and asking for “pretty young girls” to be brought to the set, began circulating online Monday across social media, the same day that Catrett Locke Casting shared they would be exiting the project.

“We have chosen to part ways with ‘Tulsa King,’” the casting agency’s Facebook page posted. “We will be finishing up next week and the 12th will be our last day. We send well wishes to whomever takes over the show. We thank all of you great background artists for your continued support.”

In an internal email from CL Casting cofounder Rose Locke, shared by TV writer Julie Benson on social media on behalf of a friend in the “Tulsa King” cast, Locke notified the background actors on the project that she came to set to observe what was happening the day after hearing about the claims. “At the end of the day I resigned because it was clear a toxic environment that I was not comfortable putting myself or background artists in,” she wrote, adding that she would like actors to share what they observed and that she would send the information to HR.

Benson also shared a screenshot from a private Facebook group for Atlanta-based background actors that laid out several accusations against Stallone.

“While working on ‘TK’ this week, Sylvester Stallone was observed calling the director over and saying, ‘What the F–k is up with these f–king ugly background [actors].’ He and the director proceeded to call certain people terrible names and laughed at them. ‘Tub of lard,’ ‘fat guy with cane,’ and was making fun of their weight and handicaps. Sly said, ‘Bring in pretty young girls to be around me,’” the post read. “Rose Locke has resigned and will finish out this final week to give them the opportunity to find someone else. BGs need to stand together and NOT submit to ‘TK’ moving forward to show this production we don’t support this kind of disrespect in Georgia.”

Meanwhile, “Tulsa King” director Craig Zisk denied the accusations in a TMZ interview published Tuesday, stating that no insults of the sort were divulged from Stallone. He instead noted that Locke “improperly cast” the background actors, while further stating that Stallone’s alleged comment regarding “pretty young girls” never happened.

Paramount+ did not provide comment, but sources close to the show told TheWrap the streamer only recently became aware of the post and are looking into the claims and pride themselves on a fair and respectful workplace. The individual also noted the show is aiming to ensure Season 2, which began production on April 1, matches scenes from the first season. Stallone could not be reached for comment.


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