Contracted Director Eric England Accused of Assault - Dread Central
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Contracted Director Eric England Accused of Assault

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Katie Stegeman

UPDATE: Eric England gave a very brief response, which we have added below.

This story discusses various forms of assault and, as such, readers should enter knowing that sensitive topics will be discussed.

In this time of #MeToo and #TimesUp, we are seeing more and more people come forward with stories of abuses they have suffered at the hands of people in power. From the women assaulted by Harvey Weinstein to Mariah Carey’s ex-security guard who accused her of sexual harassment to Timothy Heller’s accusations of rape at the hands of Melanie Martinez, people are coming forward with their stories of pain and hurt in the hopes of changing the status quo so that everyone can feel a little bit safer.

Today another story is added to this tragic list as actor Katie Stegeman has publicly accused director Eric England (Contracted, Josie, Madison County) of “…physically, emotionally, mentally, and sexually” abusing her over a three-year period.

Taking to Instagram, Stegeman wrote the following passionate, empathetic, and heartfelt message:

The image Stegeman attached to her Instagram post.

[Pause. What a pleasure. Deep Breath.] For many years I have been keeping this man’s secret from going public. For many years I had to make sure I was safe and of sound mind coming forward. I wanted to come from a place of kindness and without fear. Well, today is the day. For three years, director Eric England abused me physically, emotionally, mentally, and sexually. The irony of this photo is not lost on me. I was thrown into tables, choked until I couldn’t breathe, threatened with scissors, knives, screwdrivers, and was denied the right to turn this man down for sex for fear of, as he called it “awakening the beast.” To say I am lucky to be alive is an understatement. Sitting and watching the trailer for his latest movie #Josie is all the reminder I need to come forward. Impressionable, young amazing women like [Sophie Turner] should not be working with someone like him, and if I remain quiet, the pattern will continue. Eric, I hope this forces you to bow out gracefully and get the help you need. I know your team is aware of your history as well as the LAPD. It’s time to go and give way to the creatives of this town, who also know how to treat people when no one is looking. I want you to know I forgive you and thank you for reminding me how strong I am. I also want the people who knew about Eric’s abuse and continued to work for him to know, that I forgive you too. But now you have a choice. From here on out I ask you to do the right thing…even though it’s impossible at times. I want to thank all the amazing people in my life, who stood by me no questions asked. Especially my amazing hero [Brett Pierce], who reminded me that great men still exist. I stayed quiet for the integrity of our movies, out of respect for your family, for fear of you running a smear campaign, for fear of you hurting me, for fear of you stopping my movie, for fear of you making sure no horror director would hire me, but I am no longer afraid. I will happily put my career aside, if it means saving someone’s life, because no one should ever have to go through what I endured. I hope you find your peace and come out of this a better man. Love and light.

Josie refers to England’s latest film, which stars Sophie Turner and Dylan McDermott. The film follows the relationship between an older man and a high school girl who recently moves into the area. It was just released in limited theaters and on VOD.

Stegeman responded on her Instagram feed after receiving several comments of support, saying:
I cannot thank you all enough for your support. Means we are getting to a better place of zero tolerance. Please do me a huge favor and still watch Josie. There are a lot of innocent people involved in this movie and residuals are how they pay their bills. All I ask is that moving forward, we do not create a platform to reward violence or manipulation. Let’s fill this void with greatness and do our damnedest to put excellence at the top…not just the loudest voice in the room. I am so so so lucky to be surrounded by people, who do what’s right…not what’s popular. I am beyond inspired by you all. There’s no need to bash Eric…no one person is all bad…it’s just simply his time to go. Keep sharing the message and the love!

We at Dread Central take allegations like this very seriously; but for clarity’s sake, we must also make it clear that England has not been officially charged. I want to personally highlight the powerful and empathetic presentation of Stegeman’s accusation. As she herself claims, she wanted to come at this from “…a place of kindness and without fear.” I believe that she has done so and laud her for that. Should these allegations be confirmed, I want to send her my best wishes on her road to recovery and to let her know that she is not alone. Already there are many voices lending their support in this difficult time.

We have reached out to England for a comment, who simply replied, “I’ll be releasing a statement soon.

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Freeform Renews Killer Mermaid Series SIREN for Season 2

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I have never watched an episode of Freeform’s killer mermaid series Siren. I’ve heard (relatively) good things and I guess those things were (relatively) apt as today we have word that Freeform has renewed the series for a second season.

This word comes to us via Variety who says that Siren snagged a 16-episode second season renewal.

In the past year, our commitment to quality has been reflected back to us with a rousing chorus of critical and fan acclaim,” said Freeform president Tom Ascheim. “Our young adult audience is the most important and influential generation in America and we want to be right there with them every step of the way.”

Are you excited to know this killer mermais show will return for season 2? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Synopsis:

Legend has it that Bristol Cove was once home to mermaids. Now, this coastal town has a mysterious new visitor in a girl named Ryn, who may just prove that all of the stories are true. Ryn catches the eye of local marine biologist Ben, and when he begins to show interest, fellow marine biologist Maddie becomes suspicious. Others in town, like deep sea fisherman Xander, are on a quest to discover the truth that is out there, and Helen, the town eccentric, knows more about the mysterious creatures than she lets on. The battle between man and sea takes a dangerous route as these predators seek to claim their birthright.

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Rest in Peace: Bill Gold, Iconic Movie Poster Designer, Passes Away at 97

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Sad news as it’s been confirmed that iconic graphic designer Bill Gold, who was responsible for creating thousands of film posters, has passed away in his Old Greenwich, Connecticut home at 97 years old.

Gold’s career stretched back decades to the early 40’s, where he designed posters for films like Yankee Doodle Dandy, The Big Sleep, and the classic Bogart/Bergman film Casablanca. Over the next several decades, Gold would work with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Ridley Scott, Stanley Kubrick, Desmond Davis, Oliver Stone, and many, many more. Some of his most famous works were done for many of Clint Eastwood’s westerns, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, John Boorman’s Deliverance, Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, and a multitude of posters for the James Bond franchise.

Per THR, Gold is survived by, “…his wife, Susan, son Bob, daughter in-law Joanne, daughter Marcy, grandson Spencer, granddaughter Dylann and her fiancé Justin, great nephew Jaaron and “man’s best friend” Willoughby.”

We send our deepest condolences to his family in this sad time. However, we also send our gratitude for a man whose work fascinated and intrigued countless audiences over more than 70 years. I remember walking through a movie theater’s halls and delighting in looking at movie posters, imagining what their stories could hold. I can only believe that other children over the years looked at Gold’s work and wondered the same thing about those films.

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Will Billie Lourd Return in AMERICAN HORROR STORY Season 8?

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For those of you who might not know, Billie Lourd is the daughter of Carrie Fisher. She was one of the stars of Ryan Murphy’s horror-comedy series Scream Queens and has since followed Murphy over to the world of American Horror Story.

Lourd starred in the recent AHS: Cult and it looks like Deadline is confirming that she will return for the upcoming 8th season, which is rumored to be called AHS: Radioactive. Lourd will star alongside Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Kathy Bates, and Joan Collins, who will play Evan Peters’ grandmother.

Are you excited about this casting? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

American Horror Story is an anthology horror-drama series created and produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. The Emmy and Golden Globe-winning franchise is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television.

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