Danish authorities are investigating allegations of sexual harassment at Zentropa, the film studio co-founded by Lars Von Trier.
Officials from the country’s Working Environment Authority have confirmed to Deadline.com that they have launched a probe into the workplace culture at Zentropa, and allegations of “sexual harassment, degradation and bullying”.
The investigation has been launched after nine women, including Louise Foldager Sorensen, who produced Von Trier’s films Antichrist and Melancholia, made allegations against former chief executive Peter Aalbaek Jensen, 61, in Denmark’s Politiken newspaper.
Working Environment Authority official Lars Toft Pedersen stated, “When we hear about relationships like these, we respond. In the light of the information that has now come to light, over the coming week, we will begin to decide what we can do in the current case.”
The female employees have accused the film executive of presiding over a culture of inappropriate behavior, as well as arranging, “Several sexually degrading acts on stage at the company Christmas party.”
The Politiken report also alleged that under Jensen’s tenure, awards were handed out to the trainee who could undress the fastest, and he had organized a game where female employees had to pull out sex toys from a bag.
Jensen, who founded the company with von Trier in 1992, stepped down as chief executive last year (16). He told Politiken that although he could not remember specific incidents they, “Probably happened”.
Von Trier has himself been accused of inappropriate behavior on set by the musician Bjork, who starred in his 2000 movie Dancer in the Dark.
She alleged the director made unwanted sexual advances towards her, claims that von Trier has denied.