Frank Langella on His Firing From ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’: 'I Have Been Canceled'

Frank Langella
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

The 84-year-old actor was set to star in a leading role in Netflix’s eight-episode limited series based on Edgar Allan Poe's work.

Frank Langella has responded to Netflix firing him from The Fall of the House of Usher in wake of misconduct allegations leveled against him, saying he's been "canceled."

The 84-year-old actor wrote a guest column for Deadline refuting allegations of "unacceptable behavior" while filming scenes for the eight-episode limited series on the streaming giant. He was set to star in a leading role on a series based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe. The Oscar-nominated actor was fired last month halfway through production.

The since-completed probe determined Langella had been involved in "unacceptable behavior" conduct on set, resulting in his ouster. According to TMZ, the actor was accused of sexual harassment, including making inappropriate comments to a female co-star on set during work.

Langella's opening sentence in his piece for Deadline is succinct: "I have been canceled. Just like that." According to the actor, it all stemmed from a love scene he filmed on March 25 with an unnamed actress playing his young wife.

"I was performing a love scene with the actress playing my young wife. Both of us were fully clothed," he explained. "I was sitting on a couch, she was standing in front of me. The director called 'cut.' 'He touched my leg,' said the actress. 'That was not in the blocking.' She then turned and walked off the set, followed by the director and the intimacy coordinator. I attempted to follow but was asked to 'give her some space.' I waited for approximately one hour, and was then told she was not returning to set and we were wrapped."

Langella later writes that it wasn't long before Netflix launched an investigation. And, about a week later, Langella writes that human resources asked to speak with him by phone. The actor said the HR person told him, "Before the love scene began on March 25 ... our intimacy coordinator suggested where you both should put your hands. It has been brought to our attention that you said, 'This is absurd!'" The actor confirmed he said as much, adding, "And I still think so. It was a love scene on camera. Legislating the placement of hands, to my mind, is ludicrous. It undermines instinct and spontaneity."

Langella claims he was told not to contact the actress, the intimacy coordinator or anyone in the company to avoid the risk of "retaliation." Langella then writes, "When I mentioned that it was certainly not my intention to ... she cut me off politely and said: 'Intention is not our concern. Netflix deals with impact.'"

The actor also said that, as a leading actor, "it requires, in my opinion, that you set an example by keeping the atmosphere light and friendly." He then lists a number of allegations against him: "1. 'He told an off-color joke.' 2. 'Sometimes he called me 'baby' or 'honey.' 3. 'He'd give me a hug or touch my shoulder.'" He claims a producer told him, "You cannot do that, Frank" as well as "You can't joke. You can't compliment. You can't touch. It's a new order."

Langella said he was ultimately fired, claiming he "was not given a hearing with Netflix." What's more, he claimed his "request to meet one-on-one with the actress was denied."

"I cannot speak to the intentions of my accuser or Netflix, but the impact on me has been incalculable. I lost a thrilling part, the chance at future earnings and perhaps face a stretch of unemployment," he wrote. "Netflix terminated me after three months of work with only three weeks left to shoot, and I have as yet to be fully remunerated for my services. Most importantly, my reputation has been tarnished."