Hollywood has been on a deep cleanse since the allegations against Harvey Weinstein broke. Numerous Hollywood influecers including Oliver Stone, Ben Affleck, and Chris Savino have been accused of being abusers at an almost daily rate. In the most recent toss of accusations, 38 women have come forward in a Los Angeles Times report to claim that film director James Toback of “The Pick-up Artist” sexual abused them. Shortly after, NBC’s Natalie Morales included herself in the group of woman.
Toback is being described as a street prowler who preyed on women looking for work.
In the investigation piece published by the L.A. Times 38 women stepped forward to accuse the Hollywood film director and writer of taking advantage of them. The number quickly shot up to over 200 when more women contacted the Times to share their stories. The majority of accounts recall being approached by Toback while on the streets of Manhattan. He’d offer them a chance to have a role in one of his movies, lure them to his hotel room for what they thought were auditions and interviews, and exact a range of unwanted sexual advances on them.
Morales allegedly endured similar experiences when she was just beginning her TV career.
Glenn add one more. Exact same playbook by James Toback when I encountered him near Central Park.
— Natalie Morales (@NMoralesNBC) October 23, 2017
On this past Monday’s airing of “Access Hollywood,” the Brazilian-Puerto Rican reporter recalled an inappropriate encounter with Toback. Morales was 25 and living in New York at the time and had not quite yet hit a stride in her career. “He came up to me. I was coming home from work in Central Park,” Morales explained. “Out of nowhere: ‘Hey, I’m a filmmaker, has anybody told you you have that look.”
After attempting to skirt Toback’s advances around the park, Morales says he propositioned her.
“So I’m in Central Park, doing my walk, and he follows me in,” Morales, who has been reporting on the Weinstein Scandal with “Access Hollywood,” further explained. “I’m like, ‘there are thousands of people here. Nothing to be concerned about.’ He’s like, ‘No I’m writing a screenplay right now for this movie called ‘Two Girls and a Guy.’ Then he starts–let’s just put it this way, he makes it very clear with the conversation, as I’m walking and he’s walking along, that he wants to get me into a secluded area of the park, which I did not go there.”
Toback told Morales, “If you want to be in the movies, you have to be willing to show yourself.”
In her “Access Hollywood” interview, Morales shared how she attempted to brush Toback off and finally left once his language become more explicit. “He also proceeded to say ‘if you want to be in the movies, you have to be willing to show yourself,’” Morales said. “I’m like, ‘I’m leaving right now. I don’t want to be in movies. I just want to make money, have a career.’ I left.”
Morales’ account of her interaction with Toback appears to align closely with the claims made by the 38 other women in the Times report. Shortly after her “Access Hollywood” segment, Morales called for women to speak out against their assailants. ‘I want to say all to the women, don’t blame themselves, you’re going about your day, he approaches you. You didn’t ask or want any of this,” Morales said.
Since the break of the LA Times story, numerous calls have been made to the Los Angeles Police Department regarding Toback. Meanwhile, the Manhattan district attorney’s office in New York has opened up a sex crimes hotline for Toback accusers as well.