Harry Knowles, the founder of Ain’t It Cool News, has been accused by a woman of repeated sexual assault. Per Indiewire, former Alamo Drafthouse employee Jasmine Baker claims the assaults took place in 1999 and 2000 at official Drafthouse events, where Knowles “rubbed up against her buttocks and legs in a way that made her feel uncomfortable” and “rubbed up against her again” in another instance; he also “put his hand under her shirt” on one occasion. “Harry Knowles groped me, opportunistically, on more than one occasion,” Baker said. “I cannot just stay silent. I am not interested in remaining silent.” Baker continued to say when she told Tim and Karrie League, the Alamo Drafthouse’s founders, about the assault, they sympathized with her and thought it was “horrifying,” but only suggested that she avoid Knowles. When reached for comment by Indiewire, Knowles “categorically” denied all of Baker’s claims.
These sexual-assault claims against Knowles come after Devin Faraci resigned as editor of Birth.Movies.Death — which is owned by Alamo Drafthouse — last October, after allegations of sexual harassment went viral. “Quick question,” a female critic identified by the Daily Beast as Caroline asked Faraci in a now-deleted tweet. “Do you remember grabbing me by the pussy and bragging to our friends about it, telling them to smell your fingers?” Almost a year after Faraci’s removal, IndieWire reported in September that Faraci had been quietly rehired by Tim League and had been working for Alamo Drafthouse as recently as February 2017. In a Facebook post, League said he rehired Faraci to help with his recovery from substance abuse, and that Faraci wrote copy for Alamo Drafthouse and the Fantastic Fest festival guide. League apologized, but not before Fox Searchlight pulled its surefire awards contender Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri — whose plot deals with sexual assault — from Alamo Drafthouse’s annual Fantastic Fest.
This week, Ain’t It Cool News was dropped as a Fantastic Fest sponsor. Knowles, the founder, told IndieWire that he would not attend the festival, partly because of additional accusations that he’d harassed an ex-girlfriend. “There was a rumor about me and an ex-girlfriend that felt ugly,” Knowles said at the time. “They’re a complete fabrication and lie.”