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Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Old 09-25-17, 05:46 PM
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Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

https://www.salon.com/2017/09/25/har...jasmine-baker/

Ain’t It Cool News’ Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault
Knowles’ name surfaces in the ongoing sexual-assault controversy within Austin’s film community

RACHEL LEAH
09.25.2017•2:11 PM •0 COMMENTS

Ain't It Cool News founder Harry Knowles has been accused of sexual assault by former Alamo Drafthouse employee Jasmine Baker, Indiewire reported. Baker alleges the assaults took place in 1999 and 2000 at Alamo Drafthouse events. But she told Indiewire, "I cannot just stay silent. I am not interested in remaining silent."

"Harry Knowles groped me, opportunistically, on more than one occasion," Baker said, and the first time the alleged assault took place, Knowles "rubbed up against her buttocks and legs" and "on at least one occasion, she said he also put his hand under her shirt," Indiewire wrote. Knowles responded to Indiewire and Baker's claims saying: "I categorically deny it."

Even though the assault happened nearly two decades ago, Baker sees a societal shift in hearing and believing the victims of sexual assault.

"Twenty years ago, 18 years ago, women routinely were encouraged to just watch their own behavior," she said, "and other people who wanted to do inappropriate things or say inappropriate things and be inappropriate and leer and be lecherous without your permission, without your consent, the air in the room was more on the side of, ‘Well, you should watch what you do,’ not, ‘Don’t touch people without their consent. No means no.'”

Baker said she shared the alleged assault with Alamo Drafthouse founders Tim and Karrie League when it first happened, and although they "thought it was horrifying," she said, they "also didn’t know what to do."

On top of founding the highly influential and popular movie-and-television news and criticism website, Ain't It Cool News, Knowles has become one of this era's more recognizable film commentators. He has also guest hosted "Siskel & Ebert & the Movies" and is noted for his participation in various film festivals and for supporting various filmmakers.

In response to this report, several Ain't It Cool News staffers — including Eric Vespe and Steve Prokopy have left the organization.

pic.twitter.com/FvK5HqM7ry
— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) September 25, 2017
An announcement about my leaving Ain't It Cool News. pic.twitter.com/4vyJIhMycQ
— Steve Prokopy (@SteveProkopy) September 25, 2017

Indiewire reported last week that Harry Knowles wouldn't be attending the "Fantastic Fest," the Austin festival he co-founded, and also that Ain't It Cool News was no longer a sponsor. Knowles' absence, as well as Drafthouse founder Tim League's, are hooked to the scandal surrounding former Birth.Movies.Death editor-in-chief Devin Faraci and his quiet rehiring by League after he was accused of sexual assault last year.

Nonetheless, Baker believes the Faraci controversy is bringing about necessary change within the Austin film community.

"I’m not saying that the Leagues have done things correctly, or always done the right thing when problems or improprieties were brought to their attention," Baker said. "However, it appears that they are really trying to do something now, the right way." She continued, "They have told me that they are listening now and they’re ready to take action. They’re ready to do the right thing. So I look forward to seeing what that right thing is like."
I never like Knowles or AICN. I always felt they were about being seen with all the celebrities and not about substantive film criticism. However I never suspected that he would also engage in sexual assault.

The fact that the Drafthouse owners knew about it and did nothing is also troubling. What a fiasco all around.

Also I hate to link to AICN but this situation prompted a lot of people to bring up Knowles’s review of Blade 2, which was freakish even when it was first published but is absolutely grotesque now: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/11793

Last edited by Supermallet; 09-25-17 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 09-25-17, 06:04 PM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Weird. I was the head protectionist for SXSW in 1999 and 2000 and worked at the Dobie Theater and moved movies to the original Drafthouse weekly, so I'm fairly certain I ran into her at some point. Knowles was always at the Dobie since it's where we screened a lot of stuff and Tarantino held his fest there, so I ran into him a lot. Wonder what really went down during those times. I never cared for him myself, even before the wheelchair.
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Old 09-25-17, 06:45 PM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

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Old 09-25-17, 07:04 PM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

I can't believe it!

*Looks at a photo of Knowles*

Nevermind, makes total sense.
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Old 09-25-17, 07:16 PM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Fuck Knowles.

Fuck Faraci.

Fuck League.

Fuck all these Geek Culture elitists who masquerade as white knights, championing women's causes and celebrating diversity and all the while they're scumbags. Knowles has always been a starfucker. Faraci is a competent writer but also a dickish piece of shit. League risked his own integrity to cover THAT guy? Christ.
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Old 09-25-17, 07:17 PM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Yikes, I couldn't even finish that Blade 2 review.
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Old 09-25-17, 07:20 PM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Also I hate to link to AICN but this situation prompted a lot of people to bring up Knowles’s review of Blade 2, which was freakish even when it was first published but is absolutely grotesque now: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/11793
What the fuck? I can't read that lame shit. Sounds like he was on his period.
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Old 09-25-17, 08:16 PM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Whenever I feel nostalgic for the internet of the 90s it's good to know I can stop by AICN and remind myself exactly what websites looked like back then.
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Old 09-25-17, 08:44 PM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
I can't believe it!

*Looks at a photo of Knowles*

Nevermind, makes total sense.
Despite all my time on the internet and as a movie fanatic, I wouldn't know Harry Knowles if he brushed up against my buttocks and fondled me. I have no clue what he looks like and won't bother to go find out.

Why does this surprise anybody?
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Old 09-25-17, 08:47 PM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
Despite all my time on the internet and as a movie fanatic, I wouldn't know Harry Knowles if he brushed up against my buttocks and fondled me. I have no clue what he looks like and won't bother to go find out.
Frankly, you're a better man for it.
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Old 09-25-17, 09:09 PM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

https://abload.de/img/harryh9s60.png

This dude. smh
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Old 09-25-17, 09:55 PM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

I thought he died a few years ago like Ebert and rerun
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Old 09-25-17, 10:28 PM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Also I hate to link to AICN but this situation prompted a lot of people to bring up Knowless review of Blade 2, which was freakish even when it was first published but is absolutely grotesque now: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/11793
Holy shit, that was embarrassing.
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Old 09-26-17, 04:16 AM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

That ain't so cool.
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Old 09-26-17, 06:15 AM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Poor Harry. And now, actual video has surfaced of him groping another woman:

Spoiler:


This is not looking good at all.
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Old 09-26-17, 07:54 AM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Saw this guy done up like a zombie, rolling around in a wheelchair. He actually looked better as a zombie.
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Old 09-26-17, 08:25 AM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Never understood how this guy got to where he's at.
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Old 09-26-17, 09:03 AM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
Never understood how this guy got to where he's at.
Same. Shitty dude, shitty reviews, shitty site. Only got famous as the first person to try to stick it to Hollywood with bad reviews online. A one man Rotten Tomatoes.
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Old 09-26-17, 09:26 AM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Originally Posted by stingermck View Post
Same. Shitty dude, shitty reviews, shitty site. Only got famous as the first person to try to stick it to Hollywood with bad reviews online. A one man Rotten Tomatoes.

Which is ironic, because he then became a studio shill.
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Old 09-26-17, 09:34 AM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Knowing how the world is nowadays, i don't understand this bit of groping here and there

You know you are gonna get caught and painted as a sex offender
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Old 09-26-17, 10:04 AM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Originally Posted by Original Desmond View Post
Knowing how the world is nowadays, i don't understand this bit of groping here and there

You know you are gonna get caught and painted as a sex offender
To be fair in that regard, this happened in the late 90s. It was a different time back then, doesn't make it acceptable, there was just a lot less reporting of incidents back then.
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Old 09-26-17, 10:33 AM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Originally Posted by Original Desmond View Post
Knowing how the world is nowadays, i don't understand this bit of groping here and there

You know you are gonna get caught and painted as a sex offender
Knowing how the world is nowadays? It happened in 1999.

AICN reviews are the worst. And they inspired a whole legion of lame writing, where the writer spends most of the review talking about how he got to the theater, what he ate, what the guy sitting next to him said, how he got Fatburger afterward, etc. Anything but the movie.

What the fuck is Legion?
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Old 09-26-17, 10:37 AM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

While the first woman to talk about this said her incident happened in the late 90's, there have been more that were as recent as a few months ago. I saw something about him sending messages to a woman about his Vienna sausage or some gross bullshit.

Honestly, I just don't get the behavior at all, and it's really disappointing that someone like Tim League, who seems genuinely concerned about this kind of stuff, had no idea what to do about it, so chose not to cut ties until the shit really hit the fan. AICN was garbage anyway.
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Old 09-26-17, 10:47 AM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

I cannot believe I am about to defend the guy, but is this a he said / she said situation? Tarring someone as a sex offender if they are not is one of the worst things you can do to a person, as it totally wrecks their life.

There was a brief period of time prior to and after the Blade 2 review where AICN was actually a fun site to hit for reviews and news (including tv / dvd/blu news). For the most part, Harry's reviews were never the reason to hit the site, as plenty of other staffers put up articles/reviews/interviews that were enjoyable and oftentimes informative reads, and Harry's reviews were the worst of the crop of articles that would pop up on any given day. He always denied that his reviews were influenced by the treatment/access a studio provided him, but of course they were and fans of the site just rolled their eyes and read his articles with their eyes wide open. Exhibit one is his infamous Godzilla 1998 review, and while he tried to explain that he got caught up in the excitement of the special screening he was at, he never did live that one down (also wow, next year is the 20th anniversary of the Emmerich Godzilla, time flies).

I remember attending a panel he was on at maybe a LosCon or Wondercon convention, and it was indeed an entertaining panel.

Back to the assault allegations, I do hope there is a proper investigation as I am sure there are plenty of folks (male / female) who have an ax to grind against Harry Knowles.

Edited to add: I noticed Dan's post after mine went up and no...sending someone texts/emails about your "vienna sausage" does not count as sexual assault, harassment yes (and a lame form at that, but it still counts), but it is not physically assaulting a person.
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Old 09-26-17, 10:55 AM
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Re: Harry Knowles accused of sexual assault; AICN staffers leave

Originally Posted by Inhumans99 View Post
I cannot believe I am about to defend the guy, but is this a he said / she said situation? Tarring someone as a sex offender if they are not is one of the worst things you can do to a person, as it totally wrecks their life.

There was a brief period of time prior to and after the Blade 2 review where AICN was actually a fun site to hit for reviews and news (including tv / dvd/blu news). For the most part, Harry's reviews were never the reason to hit the site, as plenty of other staffers put up articles/reviews/interviews that were fun to read, and Harry's reviews were the worst of the crop of articles that would pop up on any given day. He always denied that his reviews were influenced by the treatment/access a studio provided him, but of course they were and fans of the site just rolled their eyes and rolled with it. Exhibit one is his infamous Godzilla 1998 review, and while he tried to explain that he got caught up in the excitement of the special screening he was at, he never did live that one down (also wow, next year is the 20th anniversary of the Emmerich Godzilla, time flies).

I remember attending a panel he was on at maybe a LosCon or Wondercon convention, and it was indeed an entertaining panel.

Back to the assault allegations, I do hope there is a proper investigation as I am sure there are plenty of folks (male / female) who have an ax to grind against Harry Knowles.
Im pretty sure actually sexually assaulting a person is one of the worst things you can do to a person.

What does the accuser have to gain here if its not the truth? She does not appear to be suing for money (a common accusation leveled against women dealing with sexual assault), and making an accusation against a major figure in her industry could easily have significant negative effects for the woman.

Im actually surprised it took this long for someone to suggest the woman is lying, even though a woman bringing up sexual assault usually faces harsh treatment from coworkers and peers.
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