The company would allegedly give awards to trainees “who undressed the fastest and the one with the longest pubic hair” https://t.co/tb1jE6f3LX— The Cut (@TheCut) November 13, 2017
I’m sorry, it’s another post about trash men in Hollywood. I understand these posts can be very taxing on a lot of us and if you need a break from this, practice self-care. Look at these kittens. Do a google image search for cats in doll beds or cool dogs wearing sunglasses (highly recommend both).
So here we go. Nine former Zentropa employees spoke out on the systemic degradation and humiliation they experienced at the hands of co-founders Lars Von Trier and Peter Albæk Jensen, the latter of whom served as CEO. You can read the full report at Politeken (It’s in English, not Danish). The former employees describe a toxic work environment where trainees were forced to perform humiliating acts, including stripping down, for bonuses. Jensen is also accused of groping and asking to spank female employees. He made employees fetch sex toys and strangely requested they vaccinate his pigs (??). The company is now under investigation by Danish authorities as a direct result of this story.
Writer and journalist Anne Mette Lundtofte worked for Zentropa for three years and confirmed the accusers’ accounts: “Here I saw women being degraded. According to the Zentropa propaganda, I would be part of an ‘alternative work culture’, but in reality, I encountered an old-fashioned, patriarchal power structure.”
Jensen was asked for comment and claimed to not remember the alleged incidents but says they “probably happened.” He went on to make this statement and the unlikely claim that he was an adored leader.
“I’ll say this: I have no interest in submission and degradation. I’m interested in testing boundaries, especially where the red line is. There have been plenty of times when I’ve been over the top or gone too far. And I stand by that fully. But the question is whether you are an adored leader or not. And I am an adored leader …”.
He left the company in 2016. Current CEO Anders Kjærhauge claims, “This does not match my perception and this picture does not correspond to the Zentropa that I know.”
The article mostly focuses on Jensen’s actions, but remember that Björk recently opened up about the harassment she received at the hands of “a Danish director.” She does not explicitly name Lars Von Trier, but she has only worked with one Danish director.