Nine women are accusing a famous Hollywood manager of making unwanted sexual advances against them. These accusations reference incidents that took place over two decades, with the earliest allegedly occurring in 1993 and the most recent in 2011. The nine women, consisting of eight African Americans and one Asian American, allege that this manager engaged in inappropriate behavior ranging from requesting a monthly sexual arrangement to masturbating during their auditions.
The acting industry is notoriously competitive and limited in diversity. According to the author of a UCLA Hollywood diversity report, black women had leading roles in only 11 of the top 168 films in 2015 according to global box office performance, compared to white women who had leading roles in 145.
Abuse of Power
Hollywood manager Vincent Cirrincione has a reputation for advancing the careers of minority women, including Taraji Henson and Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry. Many African-American actresses sought support from Cirrincione in hopes that they too could be given an equal opportunity to achieve stardom. The women said that Cirrincione would frequently reference Halle Berry and other minority actresses whose careers he had helped to launch and use it as leverage against them. He allegedly said that he could help these women become stars too if they would allow certain inappropriate sexual behavior to take place.
Some of the women claim that he said he would take them on as clients or help to advance their careers if they agreed to meet with him once a month for sex. Others recall being uncomfortable and feeling trapped during their meetings. One woman says that despite succumbing to his advances, she was never taken on as a client which led her to feel taken advantage of and demoralized.
Cirrincione denies the allegations, stating that while he had been unfaithful while in committed relationships, he never engaged in sexual behavior that was non-consensual. He insists that he never used sexual favors as a condition for managing actresses and states that he wholeheartedly supports the #MeToo movement.
Although none of the women have made criminal allegations against Cirrincione, they are coming forward to hopefully prevent the same thing from happening to other women. The nine women stayed silent for years for fear of damaging their reputations and careers or because they did not believe the men would be held accountable for their behavior. According to the women, the recent outpouring of allegations against other powerful men in Hollywood encouraged them to come forward so they could help other minority women in the industry.
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