Danish production company Zentropa being investigated amid sexual harassment claims

Nine women have alleged a culture of sexual harassment and bullying of female employees at the Danish production company Zentropa [+].

The company was founded by Lars von Trier [+] and Peter Aalbæk Jensen [+] in 1992 and has since become one of the powerhouses in Scandinavian film, producing many of the top releases in Denmark.

Deadline reports that the claims are being investigated by Denmark’s Working Environment Authority.

The allegations were first reported by the Danish newspaper Politiken. Many of the allegations are directed towards Jensen, who retired as the Zentropa CEO in 2016 but shares 25% ownership of the company with von Trier.

The Politiken story reports that sexual harassment has been a part of the work environment for a long time, with one producer, Meta Louise Foldager Sørensen, saying that she believes everyone who has been employed at Zentropa has been exposed to sexually charged acts, stating it’s just part of the culture.

Former employees claim that Jensen would grope their breasts and he arranged sexually degrading acts on stage at the company Christmas party in front of guests from the film industry.

Jensen responded by saying the events probably happened, but he had no interest in submission. He added, “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.”

The current CEO Anders Kjærhauge released a statement to Screen stating that the Zentropa management team said that they will vow to improve the working environment of the company. You can read the statement here.



CategoriesDenmark Industry
Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.