[Warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault.]
Back in late 2017, when the #MeToo movement was picking up steam and a wave of allegations and accountability were threatening to out any number of Hollywood men on their shittiest behaviors, writer Max Landis’ name began steadily cropping up as part of the ongoing discourse. All of the allegations against Landis came secondhand, with people like MAD editor Allie Goertz and former collaborator Anna Akana alluding to an “open secret” that Landis was, to use Akana’s phrasing, “a psychopath who sexually abused and assaulted women.”
Landis’ accusations never resulted in a big, Ronan Farrow-style piece outlining the charges against him, but that didn’t stop numerous people from coming forward with stories of close friends who he had allegedly assaulted, abused, or discredited when they discussed their own issues with abusers. That appeared to be enough, at the moment, and for the last year or so, he’s been very quiet in public spaces, announcing no new Hollywood projects in the intervening time.
That period of respite ended just a few weeks ago, though, when the Bright writer’s name began cropping up again in relation to multiple high-profile films, including Idris Elba’s Deeper and a Chloe Grace Moretz-led “feminist” action-thriller, Shadow In The Cloud. Max Landis is making his comeback, it seems. Now, one of the women accusing him of assault is putting herself forward, too.
This is per an anonymous Medium post that appeared online earlier this week, written by someone calling themselves “The Colour Society Reject.” In the post, the woman in question lays out a trip she took with Landis—once a friend—to a California tourist destination several years ago. While there, Landis forcefully attempted to initiate sex with her while she was intoxicated, despite the fact that she repeatedly told him, “This is a really bad idea. Stop. Please, no, this is a really bad idea. No, stop.” Eventually, she “went limp and pretended to pass out,” at which point Landis “got off of me and rolled over, and then he fell asleep spooning me.”
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The author of the post says that she and Landis remained friends for some time after the incident. She also offers up screenshots of Facebook conversations between the two of them in which they discussed the incident, and in which Landis downplays her obvious distress, says he believed they were only “wrestling” at the time, and describes the incident as “making half a move.” “I got my signals really crossed,” he concludes, having apparently misconstrued “Stop. Please, no.”
The author says that she was initially in conversation with The Hollywood Reporter about publishing a piece on her allegations against Landis, which the publication vetted extensively. However, the story was eventually killed because she was unwilling to come forward and reveal her name. “One thing I realized by getting involved in a public #MeToo story,” she writes, “Is that the most horrifying accounts rarely surface because the extreme trauma makes it incredibly difficult to speak, amplified many times over when the perpetrator is famous. I can only imagine how many stories like ours have been shelved. “
Landis is still attached to multiple Hollywood films.