Screenwriter Max Landis - son of director John Landis - is now facing a barrage of charges as more and more women keep coming out of the woodwork with their harrowing experiences of sexual abuse and harassment from the screenwriter. It started with former girlfriend Ani Baker sharing an Instagram post about how upsetting it was to learn that she is still featured on Landis' Instagram highlights section, a week ago. But more recently, in a detailed statement to The Daily Beast, Baker came out about how she wanted to 'protect' other vulnerable women Landis could lure in with his extravagance, and then proceed to exploit and abuse later.
Landis' allegedly predatory behavior isn't news though. A series of allegations against him for incidents of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, had first been reported back in February and an expose on the 'Bright' and 'American Ultra' screenwriter was reportedly in the works with The Hollywood Reporter. The story was shelved after the abused victim refused to divulge their name, but now, speaking for all of them, Baker has come forward with her harrowing experience with Landis, and she isn't the only one. A total of eight women have spoken to The Daily Beast, sharing their individual experiences with the screenwriter, and all of their accounts are equally disturbing, and traumatizing.
“If you have found my page via Max Landis, hi,” Baker's Instagram post warning others about Landis' behaviour read, adding: “I’m going to give you some direct info I wish I had gotten, because the experience/aftermath of this person is really destructive, and it will be riddled with pain and emotional work that you don’t need to spend your precious energy on.” More recently, speaking to The Daily Beast, Baker noted the number of supportive responses she got from strangers regarding her post, saying: "Women that I had never heard of who are like, I too was tortured by this person." She also added: “It gets worse every day. Every story I hear, I’m like, how did I think I knew this person? It’s horrifying. But I just feel like I need to be as honest as possible since my goal in this is to help other people to not be in the same position.”
The article also alleges that Landis indulged in an exclusive group of friends, called 'The Colour Society', where he would find, befriend, and then date women - several of whom have eventually accused him of misconduct. One of the women who was lured in by Landis during her initial days in Los Angeles has been identified by The Daily Beast as Julie, and her details of Landis' behavior are excruciatingly disturbing. “Max’s whole entire MO was, he had a special friend group, it’s very exclusive, and you’re lucky to be a part of it. He introduced me to almost every single one of my current friends,” Julie shared with the outlet.
Julie also added that 'sexual violence' was a part of their relationship 'from the beginning.' “He showed me abuse and humiliation porn and constantly tested my boundaries—this became murkier and murkier as our relationship got more tumultuous, as I grew to view sex with him as the only way to receive love and connect,” Julie wrote in her statement to the outlet. “This lead to me allowing myself to become more and more abused. He claimed that seeing me cry was a turn-on—this later turned into a routine of him yelling and humiliating me until I cried, then having sex with me while I continued to cry with no regard or effort to make things right. He’d instigate fights, belittle and upset me, just so he could have sex with me, and the real, legitimate fights ended the same way. He choked me until I passed out and did humiliating, degrading things to me that I still can’t manage to write out on paper.”
a dam has been broken pic.twitter.com/EecgfgUfY9— Whitney Moore (@TweetneyMoore) June 11, 2019
As Baker's words in the article surfaced online, it brought on another tide of accusations against Landis, as more and more people began sharing their stories in response. A tweet by actor Whitney Moore (above) details how she chose to keep Landis' behavior towards her to herself because she believed "forgiveness was the correct way to heal.' Moore admits to even defending him and keeping his predatory behavior under wraps as she was made to believe he was working on himself - something she has now realized was a lie all along. Similarly, when Netflix's 'Bright' was about to premiere, Anna Akana, an actor who had worked with Landis, shared her opinion on the screenwriter underneath a promotional tweet for the film. "Written by a psychopath who sexually abused and assaults women, right? Cool," Akana wrote.
Another extremely horrifying recount of Landis' misconduct was uncovered by The Daily Beast in the form of a 2008 allegation of domestic violence. Despite the allegation reaching the Miami circuit court, the plaintiff, Callie Ray dropped had dropped the case. But a friend of hers, Ashley Heffington Dionne, revealed in a statement to the outlet that after Ray went out for drinks with friends including Landis, the screenwriter took advantage of Ray later that night, pretending to be her boyfriend, while she was incapacitated. “He was on top of her and her pants were off and he was thrusting and I could hear the sound of what he was doing,” Dionne shared, adding that she was able to chase him out of the house, reducing him to tears.
At the court hearing, Landis' attorney allegedly told Ray that “she was going to make a fool of Callie, talking about how much she drinks and talking about the nature of her relationship to Max.” This prompted her to refrain from going further with the case, but she too recently opened up about her side of the story. "Max was one of my close friends. I've spent the last 11 years with a spinning coin in my head, heads or tails... did I make him think that I wanted that, or did he just do what he wanted to do? its never landed," Ray tweeted on June 19.
As these harrowing recounts keep surfacing, social media has been buzzing about how Landis should have been thrown out of Hollywood a long time ago. But it is to be noted that Landis was replaced by actor Chloe Moretz as the screenwriter for the upcoming horror film, 'Shadow in the Cloud'. Speaking to Page Six about the issue, Moretz shared: “We’ve completely distanced ourselves from him,” she told the Guardian. “We’ve rewritten it several times now.”