Danish authorities are looking into claims of sexual abuse at Zentropa, the studio behind such films as the 2003 drama “Dogville,” starring Nicole Kidman, who is not involved in the investigation.
The inquiry into Zentropa, co-founded by director Lars Von Trier, comes in the wake of a report by the Scandinavian newspaper Politiken. In it, nine women, all former Zentropa employees, spoke of “ingrained” abuse at the studio.
Von Trier was not named in the report. But several allegations of sexual misconduct are aimed at studio co-founder and former CEO Peter Aalbæk Jensen, who’s accused of groping, spanking and bullying women.
The atmosphere of intimidation was fostered by contests involving pubic hair and tasks that involved nipple clamps, according to a report in the Guardian.
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Jensen exited as CEO of Zentropa in 2016. He told the Guardian that some of the claims “probably happened,” while characterizing some of the claims as being part of production firm’s “rituals.” Jensen added, “I’ll say this: I have no interest in submission and degradation. I’m interested in testing boundaries, especially where the red line is.” He added that he is “an adored leader.”
A statement released on Monday on behalf of the company’s management, the studio said “Zentropa will continue to be colorful and alterative, but we do not wish to violate anyone’s rights or insult anyone.”
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