Charlyne Yi Alleges They Were Assaulted on Taika Waititi’s ‘Time Bandits’ Set; Paramount Says ‘Steps Were Taken to Address Concerns’ – Variety

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Charlyne Yi has alleged that they were “physically assaulted multiple times by an actor, as well as psychologically abused” on the set of “Time Bandits,” Taika Waititi‘s upcoming Apple TV+ series produced by Paramount Television Studios. They also said they were “coerced to quit” the project and that they were denied workers compensation for an alleged back injury and PTSD.

In a statement to Variety, a spokesperson from Paramount said: “The safety of our cast and crew is very important to us, and we take all concerns that are raised to us very seriously. At the time of the complaint, Paramount Television Studios conducted a full investigation regarding allegations that were brought to our attention. While all investigations are confidential and we cannot comment on specifics, additional steps were taken to address concerns.”

Additionally, a source close to the show claims that the incident Yi is referring to happened on camera and involved a fellow actor running or bumping into them and picking them up during a scene where actors were running. The source did not deny that Yi sustained a back injury, nor did they comment on the cause of any injury. They did dispute Yi’s allegation that their request for workers’ compensation was denied, saying that the studio assisted them in receiving payment from the third party in charge of workers’ compensation and that Yi is actively working with that party to receive additional payment.

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Variety tried to reach Yi for additional information through their listed agency and attorney, as well as through Instagram, but didn’t immediately hear back. Yi said alongside their allegations that they are seeking a new manager and attorney to represent them regarding their “Time Bandits” complaints.

Yi, who plays Judy in the series, made the allegations via Instagram on May 7 with a caption reading, “Instead of asking ‘why did it take them so long to speak up’ why not ask ‘what institutions and circumstances make it unsafe to?’”

Along with alleging physical and psychological abuse and rejected workers’ compensation, Yi said that they were “gaslit by coworkers, producers, and HR,” and that that before performing an investigation, HR told them they could “leave with ‘integrity’” rather than offering that the alleged abuser could leave show. Yi also says they were told “to submit to [their] abuser so he wouldn’t physically assault [them] more,” and that they experienced suicidal ideation despite not previously being “prone to thinking this way.”

Yi expanded on the issue in a second Instagram post depicting text messages with a “Chinese Medicine doc,” per the caption, which also says, “I could not even stand straight without shooting pains, could not sleep, and was constantly disassociating from chronic pain. I want my workers comp so I can heal my back and PTSD from the physical assaults and psychological abuse on the Time Bandits set.”

In the first post, Yi also says that they are “tired of being met with retaliation” and “have been met with being blacklisted, death threats, threatened to be sued, and fired—any time [they] have spoken out.” In 2018, they alleged that they were harassed by Marilyn Manson on the set of “House,” and in 2021, they posted about attempting to quit James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist” after learning of sexual misconduct allegations against him.

The source close to the show confirms that Yi quit before production wrapped on “Time Bandits,” but disputes the allegation that they were coerced to do so. Instead, this source claims that after an official investigation could not substantiate Yi’s allegations, the actor was given the option to continue working or to leave the production without having their contract enforced, and that they were still paid for all episodes that they were originally set to appear in.

“Time Bandits” was shot in New Zealand and wrapped production in January 2023. The source says that the incident between Yi and their castmate occurred over 18 months ago, which would place it before mid-November 2022.

Yi’s character will still appear in the finished series. Their character was written out of episodes that were shot after they left.

When asked for comment, representatives for Waititi and Apple TV+ deferred to Paramount.

“Time Bandits” is based on Terry Gilliam’s 1981 film of the same name. Along with Waititi, executive producers include Jemaine Clement, Iain Morris and Garrett Basch. Paramount produced with Anonymous Content’s AC Studios and MRC Television.

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