Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn took to Twitter today to direct people to Facebook, where he'd penned an essay titled "Why I've Despised James Toback For Over 20 Years." Toback has been accused of sexual harassment by more than three dozen women.
In the essay, Gunn writes:
"When I lived in New York, in the 'nineties, this dude was EVERYWHERE. I have personally met at least FIFTEEN WOMEN, probably more, who say that he's accosted them in NYC. He essentially goes up to women and says, "Hey, I'm James Toback, and I'm a famous director, and I feel like there's a connection between us." Then he shows them some article on himself or some other artifact to prove he is who he is, and tries to get them to go somewhere else with him.
He has done this to three girls I've dated, two of my very best friends, and a family member… twice. Yes, he came up to her twice with the same stupid line, not realizing she was the same person. This is in addition to many other women I've talked to at parties or dinners about their interactions with Toback.
AND THAT'S JUST PEOPLE I KNOW. It's not even mentioning the many other accounts going all the way back to an article that came out in SPY magazine in 1989 detailing this behavior, and I'm not including all the people I've talked to online who've had experiences. I mean, statistically, it would seem his numbers would have to be at least in the thousands."
And he adds:
"So I did what I could do in my impotent state – for over twenty years now, I've been bringing up James Toback every chance I could in groups of people. I couldn't stop him, but I could warn people about him."
But on Twitter, Gunn was asked:
To which he responded:
They soon worked that out:
But the topic has been coming up again:
Leading Gunn to add to his Facebook post:
"Addendum to the first post:
A few people on here, Twitter, and other sites are saying, 'James, why didn't you say anything if you knew this was happening?'
A) Like I said above, I did say something, many times, to many people, all over the world.
B) More importantly, I have publicly written Facebook posts about Toback and what he was doing, as well as mentioning him on my web site and on MySpace. I don't know why suddenly people are just assuming I didn't just because I don't mention it here.
C) That said, I put myself in legal jeopardy doing so, and I'm not sure I would do the same today. If I actually SAW something, it would be a different story. But simply sharing secondhand stories is legally complicated, and could open me to being sued. It is necessary that firsthand accounts come out to get these stories noticed, whether it's from the victim or someone else who witnesses what's occurring."
Whether or not you think Gunn did enough, at least he apparently did more than Quentin Tarantino did about Harvey Weinstein.