News

Rocky Horror Show production company MD apologises to McLachlan’s accusers

John Frost, managing director of production company the Gordon Frost Organisation (GFO), has issued a detailed apology to the performers accusing Craig McLachlan of misconduct during the 2014 production of The Rocky Horror Show.

The apology comes after three of McLachlan’s female co-stars – Erika Heynatz, Christie Whelan Browne and Angela Scundi – told Fairfax and the ABC the actor inappropriately touched them or exposed himself during the show’s tour.

McLachlan was ousted from the current production of the show by the GFO on Monday.

Gordon Frost CEO, John Frost: “I sincerely apologise to them for this.”

“Anyone should feel comfortable reporting issues of sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying, and the fact that these three women did not feel as though they could report these issues in 2014 is concerning and distressing to me, and I sincerely apologise to them for this,” Frost wrote in the statement issued yesterday afternoon.

“Our company is responsible for sometimes hundreds of people across many productions at any given time, and we do have very strict policies and procedures in place when it comes to reporting of allegations of this nature. We had those same policies in place in 2014.

“Over the past few days we have spent time reinforcing those policies and assuring all employees across all productions that any reported incident will be treated seriously and promptly with sensitivity to all parties concerned.”

Frost also noted that although Heynatz, Whelan Browne and Scundi did not officially make a complaint at the time, he has “no reason to disbelieve anyone who says they spoke to one of our managers in 2014.”

Despite this, he said: “None of our managers were aware of any issues that warranted further action at the time, and all of our employees were aware of the procedures of making a complaint.”

The Sydney Morning Herald’s story alleged Frost was told by Christie Whelan Browne that McLachlan was “frightened of him”, but that Whelan was encouraged by the stage manager not to take her concerns further.

Addressing these comments, Frost said: “I’d also like to say to Christie, who said she spoke to me personally backstage and told me that she was frightened of Craig, that I can honestly say while I remember seeing her briefly, I cannot remember any discussion around Craig.

“I can only explain this by pointing out that I speak to many people backstage across many productions and have little time to spend with each person. Christie has told the media that I responded with words to the effect that what she was feeling was not good and that I gave her my phone number and asked her to call me. She has confirmed that she did not take up that offer.

“Christie has also said in recent interviews that she didn’t know that what she was experiencing was sexual harassment because she took it as a joke at the time. Sexual harassment is not a joke, but our company can only deal with issues if we are told about them.

“I understand why the women decided not to come to GFO with their concerns, and I am sorry they felt that they may be in some way disadvantaged by making a complaint. I give them and all employees a commitment that we will do more to enforce a culture where no one else will ever be fearful of coming forward.”

ADVERTISEMENT

SUBSCRIBE

Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing