Turkish TV series producers boycott actor over sexual abuse allegations
Turkish TV series actor Talat Bulut (L)
More than 50 producers and directors of popular Turkish television series announced on June 14 that they would not employ actor Talat Bulut who was accused of sexual harassment.
Özge Şimşek, a costume assistant working on the set of the Turkish TV series “Forbidden Apple” (Yasak Elma), had said she would file a criminal complaint against the 62-year-old actor for sexually harassing her during filming in Istanbul on May 31.
Hande Ataizi, a well-known Turkish actress who played a part with Bulut in another Turkish series 18 years ago, also came forward to support the young woman. “He did it to me too. He invited me to his room at 2:30 a.m. to ‘study the script’ and then proposed that we swim in Van Lake,” Ataizi had said last week, referring to a film project she was involved in with Bulut.
Following Turkey’s Actors Guild, a total of 56 producers and directors supported Şimşek with a written statement.
“We know it is hard for a woman to expose harassment and abuse incidents in Turkey, so we believe in the principle that a woman’s voice counts. We stand by our costume assistant friend and we declare that we will not employ anyone accused of sexual abuse in our films from now on,” the statement said.
Bulut had rejected the allegations and threatened to launch a countersuit.
Fatih Aksoy, the series’ producer, said he would cancel Bulut’s contract if the prosecutor decides to investigate the case.
The prosecution is expected to decide in the coming days whether it would turn the criminal complaint into a full investigation for a legal case.