Jeremy Piven Believes He Was An 'Easy Target' For The #MeToo Movement
The 'Entourage' actor says he was collateral damage to the #MeToo movement that upended Hollywood and unmasked sexual predators within the industry.
Speaking to comedian Andrew Schulz on his podcast last month, Piven said he "took one for the team" regarding #MeToo, adding that he was a "case of collateral damage".
While the #MeToo movement was behind the public downfall of the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Bill Cosby, Piven believed he was also targeted due to his history of playing Ari Gold on the HBO series 'Entourage'.
"This guy is an easy target," Piven said of Gold, "He’s a very powerful agent. I’ve created this character, They had just taken down another powerful Hollywood guy. What’s another powerful Hollywood guy?
"Not only who wouldn’t believe it, but who wouldn’t rally behind it to take that guy down?"
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Piven was accused of sexual assault by three women in 2017, though the actor was adamant that all three were lying, he even offered to take a lie-detector test to prove his innocence.
Reality TV star and Playboy playmate Ariane Bellamar accused Piven of sexual assault, tweeting at the actor publicly asking if he remembered groping her without consent.
Following Bellamar's claims, two more women -- Cassidy Freeman and Tiffany Bacon Scourby -- came forward with their own allegations against Piven.
Following the allegations, Piven released a statement of his own, saying we were heading into "dark times" where allegations against actors were "being printed as facts and lives are being put in jeopardy without a hearing, due process or evidence".
"I hope we can give people the benefit of a doubt before we rush to judgement," the actor's statement continued.
On Schulz's podcast, Piven again reaffirmed his belief that the #MeToo movement was more about rushing to create headline controversy.
"Who benefits from putting that story out? It's all about the clicks," he said, "The editors basically said, 'Go out there and get me more. Get me those Hollywood actors, let's round them up.'"
Piven also reflected on the long-term effects of the movement, saying, "because of opportunists coming out of the woodwork, the real victims are taking a step back.
"Forget about me, I’m just some random dude who got taken down. I took one for the team. Forget about me."
While he slammed the movement overall, Piven did acknowledge some of the positive outcomes, including steps toward pay equity for women in the industry, noting his sister, actor and director, Shira Piven.
Meanwhile, Piven has shifted his focus away from TV and film and has been focusing on his comedy career.
"When I go on the road, and I'm selling out these rooms, and I'm standing up there with nothing to hide, and I'm making them laugh from beginning to end, that's real," he told Schulz, "I can get better as a comic every day, and not take a victim mentality."
Featured image: Getty Images.