One Strange Hollywood Story Leads to Ron Meyer’s Exit at NBCUniversal

Published on August 24, 2020

Ron Meyer has stepped down at NBC, inciting a hurricane of rumors and finger pointing. For a long time, Meyer was a powerful man in Hollywood. He famously co-founded the talent agency CAA. Following a very open and nasty scandal, Meyer is no longer the vice chairman at NBCUniversal. 

What Happened, Allegedly 

Ron Meyer came clean about an affair and a settlement to his bosses, following two alleged extortion attempts. NBCUniveral’s CEO, Jeff Shell, confirmed in a memo that Meyer had behaved “in a manner which we believe is not consistent with our company policies or values.” Meyer, a Hollywood powerhouse for a long time, worked at the company for 25 years. According to Shell, it was a mutual decision for Meyer to exit the company. 

Where Things Get Weird…

It’s worth remembering that everyone involved in this story is a person. We don’t know everything. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the woman Meyer had an affair with was actress Charlotte Kirk, who also allegedly had an affair with former Warner Bros. chief Kevin Tsujihara. Last year, Tsujihara left the company following the news he abused his power. productions. Kirk wouldn’t comment to Variety on the story, but her representation did ask the outlet if they paid for interviews…. Variety does not.

Alleged Extortion 

Meyer, who sought help from the FBI, said two parties were trying to extort him after learning about his affair and settlement:

I recently disclosed to my family and the company that I made a settlement, under threat, with a woman outside the company who had made false accusations against me. Admittedly, this is a woman I had a very brief and consensual affair with many years ago. I made this disclosure because other parties learned of the settlement and have continuously attempted to extort me into paying them money or else they intended to falsely implicate NBCUniversal, which had nothing to do with this matter, and to publish false allegations about me. After I disclosed this matter to the company, we mutually decided that I should step down from my role as Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal.

I’ve spent 25 years helping to grow and support an incredible company in a job I love. It is the people at this company that I will miss the most. I regret what has happened and I am sorry for all the people in my life I may have let down, especially and most importantly, my family.

Ron

The Parties Involved

Allegedly, one of the two parties that attempted to extort Ron Meyer was none other than filmmaker Neil Marshall. Marshall directed one of the most frightening films of the 21st century, The Descent, episodes of Game of Thrones, and two cult favorites, Doomsday and Dog Soldiers. Movie fans like and respect Marshall. Marshall and Kirke, both engaged to one another, made a horror movie together.

Marshall completely dies the report of extortion. He calls it clickbait and worse. The story is, as he writes, a stain on his reputation. Here’s Marshall’s denial of the story regarding his involvement in this strange but unsurprising Hollywood story: 

I am a filmmaker, lucky enough to have had moderate success and keep working for almost 20 years now. And any of my friends, anyone who’s worked closely with me, anyone who knows me personally, and not just as some name in a headline, will know that what’s being said about me is a load of old bollocks.

In case that doesn’t make it clear, the allegations concerning myself, Ron Meyer and NBC/Universal are nothing but lies based upon falsehoods. There isn’t a grain of truth to this story, so I urge you, don’t just look at a headline and take it as gospel. Certain websites believe they can publish whatever scurrilous garbage that is fed to them with impunity. Such provocative nonsense doesn’t deserve my time, or yours. The trouble is, those lies are out there now, and my career and reputation have already been irreparably damaged by them.

Part II of Response

For too long now a tightly knit group of morally corrupt dinosaurs has ruled the roost here in Hollywood, their extinction date long overdue. Thanks to the #metoo movement, and every resignation and revelation it has brought about, things are changing for the better. What we need now is more women in charge of studios, and the absolute abolishment of the terrible casting couch culture (which has morphed into sexual predation) that has long been an accepted part of the business.

What we have here is a witch-hunt, plain and simple, perpetrated by overprivileged men in positions of power, aided by friends of equal standing and lack of ethics, fuelled by clickbait headlines such as we’ve seen these past few days, and carried out against the woman I love, my fiancé Charlotte Kirk. I am simply collateral damage, thrown to the wolves by using some trumped up malicious allegations as a smokescreen to distract the focus from the real villains here. Charlotte has had the guts to stand up to her detractors and not allow herself to be bullied into submission, and neither will I.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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