Amazon suspends top exec Roy Price in wake of harassment claim

Roy Price, VP of Amazon Studios and global head of Prime Video content, has been suspended from the retail giant and streaming platform following a harassment claim from one of the company's producers. 

Read more: Amazon TV Producer Goes Public With Harassment Claim Against Top Exec Roy Price (Exclusive)

Price's departure comes after Isa Hackett, a producer on Amazon's Man in the High Castle and Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams detailed her "shocking and surreal" experience with the programming chief in July 2015. "You will love my dick," Price said, according to Hackett, who relayed her account to others. 

Hackett says she reported the incident to Amazon executives immediately. An outside investigator, Christine Farrell of Public Interest Investigations Inc., was brought in and spoke to Hackett and executives at Amazon. Hackett says she was never told the outcome of that inquiry, but notes that she hasn’t seen Price at any events involving her shows. Price, through a spokesperson, declined comment. 

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Roy Price -- Vice President of Amazon Studios
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Roy Price -- Vice President of Amazon Studios
Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios, poses during Amazon's premiere screening of the TV series "Transparent" at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, California, September 15, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios, poses during Amazon's premiere screening of the TV series "Transparent" at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, California September 15, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 27: (L-R) Kelsey Grammer, Head of Amazon Studios Roy Price and Lila Feinberg at the Amazon Prime Video premiere of the original drama series 'The Last Tycoon' at Harmony Gold Theatre on July 27, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Head of Amazon.com's media development division Roy Price arrives at the Variety And Women In Film's 2017 Pre-Emmy Celebration at Gracias Madre on September 15, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 18: Vice President Amazon Studios Roy Price attends 'Landline' New York Premiere at The Metrograph on July 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 27: (L-R) Head of Amazon Studios Roy Price and actor Lilly Collins at the Amazon Prime Video premiere of the original drama series 'The Last Tycoon' at Harmony Gold Theatre on July 27, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 18: (L to R) Ted Hope, Roy Price and Jason Ropell attend the Amazon Studios official after party for 'Wonderstruck' at the iconic Nikki Beach pop-up venue during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2017 in Cannes, France. Guests enjoyed a 'Belle Epoque' champagne cocktail by Perrier Jouet. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Nikki Beach)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: (L-R) Head of Amazon Studios Roy Price and director Kenneth Lonergan attend Amazon Studios Oscar Celebration at Delilah on February 26, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: Actor Billy Bob Thornton (L) and Head of Amazon Studios Roy Price attend Amazon Studios Golden Globes Celebration at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Amazon)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 01: Roy Price Vice President Head of Amazon Studios arrives at Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors' 34th Annual Caucus Awards Dinner at Skirball Cultural Center on December 1, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Founder, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com Jeff Bezos and Head of Amazon Studios Roy Price arrive at the Amazon's Emmy Celebration at the Sunset Tower Hotel on September 18, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Head of Amazon Studios Roy Price and Morgan Wendell attend the Amazon Emmy Celebration at Sunset Tower Hotel on September 18, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Head of Amazon Studios Roy Price and actress Michelle Williams attend the premiere of Amazon Studios' 'Manchester By The Sea' at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on November 14, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Swisher Productions)
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The news comes as Amazon is currently reviewing two expensive dramas the streamer has in the works from The Weinstein Co. in the wake of rape and sexual harassment allegations against former co-founder Harvey Weinstein. The future is unclear for Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner's The Romanoffs and director David O. Russell's untitled drama, which were both to be co-financed by TWC. Amazon, sources say, is on the hook for $40 million for the Russell drama and the Weiner show is already halfway through production. Amazon has not received any financing from TWC for either show.  

Price joined Amazon in 2004, overseeing the launch of its digital video store and eventually its streaming service. Amazon Studios' entry into scripted series has produced mixed returns. The Jill Soloway comedy Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor, became a critical and awards season favorite, and Man in the High Castleand Goliath are said to have been among the streamer's most-viewed originals. While other fare like Mozart in the JungleSneaky Pete and One Mississippi have earned solid reviews, sources also say Amazon chairman Jeff Bezos was impatient for a Game of Thrones-style hit. None of Amazon's originals has broken out like Stranger Things13 Reasons Why and Orange Is the New Black have for rival Netflix.

Although Amazon won awards for such originals as Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle — and notched Oscar wins for Manchester by the Sea — rival Netflix has had several noisy series and Hulu was the first streamer to win the Emmy for best drama for The Handmaid's Tale.Price made a potentially transformative deal with Woody Allen but the resulting series was trashed by critics. (The Allen comedy, Crisis in Six Scenes, will not return.)

Amazon Studios and Price received heat for their decision to cancel Good Girls Revolt a month after the female-skewing period drama that debuted to warm reviews. Insiders told THR at the time that Price did not fully support the show. In recent months, sources say Amazon is taking a hard look at its original scripted programming choices, that has resulted in the cancellations of pricey dramas The Last Tycoon and Z: The Beginning of Everything, the latter of which was axed after a surprise season two renewal.

Read more: Amazon "Reviewing" Weinstein Co. Series Amid Staff Concerns (Exclusive)

 

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