BBC Pulls Drama Starring Ed Westwick; Filming Disrupted on His Comedy Series 'White Gold'
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The BBC said Friday that it will not air upcoming Agatha Christie special "Ordeal by Innocence" while an investigation into actor Ed Westwick on allegations of sexual assault proceeds. Filming has been disrupted as well on another BBC series starring Westwick, "White Gold," which is available on Netflix outside of the U.K.
"Ordeal by Innocence" was set to be one of the centerpieces of the BBC's Christmas schedule. Meanwhile, filming started last month on Season 2 of BBC Two's edgy 1980s-set comedy "White Gold."
But the fate of the two projects is in question in light of the allegations made against Westwick. Former actress Aurelie Wynn has accused him of raping her in July 2014. Kristina Cohen, who was the first to make a public allegation against the "Gossip Girl" star, has also said he assaulted her, and filed a police report against him with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Westwick denies the allegations.
The BBC said in a statement: "These are serious allegations which Ed Westwick has strenuously denied. The BBC is not making any judgment, but until these matters are resolved we will not include 'Ordeal by Innocence' in the schedules. The independent production company making 'White Gold' has informed us that Ed Westwick has paused from filming while he deals with these allegations."
"White Gold" is set in 1980s England, with Westwick in the lead role as a hard-living, philandering salesman, Vince Swan. It is produced by Fudge Park, the production company set up by the team behind hit comedy series and movies "The Inbetweeners." It is distributed by BBC Worldwide, which sold it to Netflix. The streaming service committed to Season 2 as part of that deal.
"Ordeal by Innocence" hails from Mammoth Screen, which had a hit with the adaptation of Christie's "And Then There Were None." The three-parter will be distributed by Endeavor. Amazon has U.S. rights to the series. Westwick was part of an ensemble cast that includes Bill Nighy, Matthew Goode, and Eleanor Tomlinson.
Westwick also has a recurring role in "Snatch," the series based on the film of the same name. It goes out on digital service Crackle in the U.S. and on AMC's U.K. channel. A second season has been greenlit. Westwick's continued involvement in the series is not clear.
© Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained in this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.