After it’s world premiere in at the Venice Film Festival, Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, in which he also stars, “A Star is Born” shot up the list of awards contenders and firmly placed it, in many peoples’ minds, as the film to beat at next year’s Oscars. But shortly after the film’s premiere, a report from Jezebel surfaced, claiming that one of the film’s producers, Jon Peters, has previously been involved in multiple sexual harassment lawsuits, and is overall, not such a great guy. And now, Cooper is opening up about Peters and the accusations.
From the initial report, there have been a few days of the studio minimizing Peters’ involvement in the new film, but also claiming he’s a producer. However, the official statement regarding Peters from Warner Bros. said, “Jon Peters’ attachment to this property goes as far back as 1976. Legally, we had to honor the contractual obligation in order to make this film.”
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This statement seems to contradict a quote from a 2017 profile of Peters that appeared in The Hollywood Reporter. In the piece, Bill Gerber, another of the producers on “A Star is Born,” said that “there were a lot of complicated deals on Star Is Born, a lot of heavy-hitters. And Jon could not have been more helpful in getting it all in line.”
Regardless of the official statement versus the quotes, the truth is, according to Cooper’s latest interview with NPR, Peters had next to nothing to do with the finished product and was never even on set.
“With this property, there are many writers that come before — if you see the end credits, it’s like, there’s 10 writers. And [Jon Peters] was part of the, I guess, the grandfather clause of the movie, and we had to get his consent in order to make the movie,” explained Cooper. For those not aware, the 2018 film is the fourth remake of the classic tale.
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He continues, “When you’re at the helm, it’s a huge responsibility. And I guess — I mean, first of all, on the set … you have to create an environment where everybody feels safe. Everybody. And there’s no room for disrespect, nothing. And that’s something that you’d have to ask everybody who was involved, but I feel like that’s the environment I created.”
“Luckily, Jon wasn’t there. And if I had known all those things, I would have done it differently. And I guess it’s … I wanted to make the movie, I knew I had to get consent from him, otherwise there’s no film. But I should have checked. I guess that’s the thing,” Cooper concluded.
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It’s unknown, at this time, if the Peters situation, in regards to the 2018 film’s release, is much ado about nothing. That being said, this is the first sign of Cooper’s film not being this invincible awards season behemoth that many have predicted it would become.
“A Star is Born” is set to hit theaters on October 5.