The film-critic website, Rotten Tomatoes, describes David O. Russell as “one of the most original and forward-looking directors working in Hollywood” and a “rare talent”. And like RT, most established websites that report directly about the world of talent and glamour, does little to paint the full picture at first glance. Once the cursory inspection passes notice, the more convoluted and complicated claims and allegations start surfacing to light, and those against David O. Russell label him as an alleged molester.
The Allegations Against David O. Russell: 1999-2013
The American filmmaker rose to fame with projects like Three Kings (1999), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and American Hustle (2013). But parallel to projects as outstanding as these, his reputation garnered an equally microscopic examination when reports of molestation started getting around on the news. In December 2011, a police report was filed against O. Russell by his 19-year-old transgender niece, Nicole Peloquin who claimed that the former had sexually assaulted her at a hotel gym in Florida.
The case was later dismissed without charges being filed even after the director admitted to the groping stating that Peloquin was “acting very provocative” toward him. However, this was evidently not the end since David O. Russell went on to gain a reputation for being physically and verbally abusive toward actors on set. Reports surfaced during the filming of Three Kings about the director headbutting George Clooney. Footage from the set of O. Russell’s 2004 film, I Heart Huckabees, also shows him yelling and throwing objects at actress Lily Tomlin. Allegations of abuse followed him through the decade after Amy Adams claimed a similar incident occurring on the set of American Hustle.
David O. Russell’s Amsterdam Crew Subjected to Scrutiny
The star-studded ensemble affair, Amsterdam, is a Who’s Who of Hollywood A-listers. After spending seven years on hiatus, David O. Russell returns to deliver this visual revelation of a historical murder mystery espionage. Starring Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Tobey Maguire, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Mike Myers, Timothy Olyphant, Michael Shannon, Andrea Riseborough, Taylor Swift, Alessandro Nivola, and Robert De Niro, Amsterdam staged its world premiere this weekend at the Alice Tully Hall in New York.
However, the many applauds toward the film’s cast and crew have failed to drown out the vocal objections against the character of its director. Margot Robbie has particularly been vocal about and contributed to the progress of the #MeToo movement via her interviews and her performance in the film, Bombshell. However, her appearance in O. Russell’s film despite her earlier standing with the socio-political movement has now been dubbed as a hypocritical act by the Twitterati. People have now been drawing comparisons between the Olivia Wilde controversies on the set of Don’t Worry Darling to how David O. Russell might be approached in the aftermath of the film’s launch.
Let's see if this actually problematic director gets the same treatment from the media and twitter "experts" as Olivia Wilde who is not problematic at all when compared to this molester https://t.co/TkmEERT5Dn
— ConsultingSithLord ✨in Harry's House 🏠✨🏳️🌈 (@juisharryera) September 19, 2022
The hypocrisy of Margot Robbie when she wanted to make a stand with Bombshell & Promising Young Woman movies milking the #MeToo hypocrisy card when it suited her, just to go and work with David O.Russell who sexually Assulted his neice & was abusive to Amy Adams & Lily Tomlin
— ¥Judy¥ (@judyju18) September 19, 2022
Margot Robbie sure does love working with abusers. Good to know.
— Benberbatch (@BentoboxC) September 18, 2022
Feels like seeing an actress pose with weinstein
— Christopher Etrata (@ChristopherEtr8) September 19, 2022
But Olivia had (and is still having) a consensual relationship with another adult. Plus she said some slightly condescending things in a 42 second video with absolutely no context. She is clearly the problematic one.🙄
— Sparkles2722 (@sparkles2722) September 19, 2022
Public opinion is now turning sour despite the promising film and its incredibly talented cast. Whether the theatrical release will succeed in driving the arguments to a backseat or if new allegations end up surfacing by the year’s end is yet to be seen.
Amsterdam premieres on 7 October 2022.