Warner Bros. Film Group CEO Michael De Luca claimed that the media and social media treatment of Olivia Wilde’s various scandals that surfaced during the promotion of Don’t Worry Darling was “sexist.”

Olivia Wilde as Bunny in Don’t Worry Darling (2022), Warner Bros. Pictures

In an exposé about the future of Warner Bros. Film Group, CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy were asked by Variety about the treatment of director and actress Olivia Wilde during the promotion of Don’t Worry Darling last year.

Wilde made headlines in September 2020 when Harry Styles joined the film after actor Shia LaBeouf left the project. Two months after Styles was announced to replace LaBeouf, Wilde announced she and her fiancé of seven years, Jason Sudeikis, were separating.

By January 2021 it was reported that Wilde and Styles appeared to be dating with a source telling People, “They were affectionate around their friends, held hands, and looked very happy. They have dated for a few weeks.”

Olivia Wilde as Bunny in Don’t Worry Darling (2022), Warner Bros. Pictures

RELATED: ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Director Olivia Wilde “Disappointed” That Media Cared More About Film’s On-Set Scandals Than Its Message

Rumors begin to swirl that Wilde left Sudeikis for Styles. However, Wilde rebuked those rumors telling Vanity Fair in October 2022, “The complete horseshit idea that I left Jason for Harry is completely inaccurate. Our relationship was over long before I met Harry. Like any relationship that ends, it doesn’t end overnight.”

She continued, “Unfortunately, Jason and I had a very bumpy road, and we officially dissolved the relationship towards the beginning of the pandemic. We were raising two kids during lockdown, so we co-parented through that time. Once it became clear that cohabitating was no longer beneficial for the children, it became the responsible thing to not, because we could be better parents as friends who live in different houses.”

Olivia Wilde as Bunny and Nick Kroll as Dean in Don’t Worry Darling (2022), Warner Bros. Pictures

Not only did Wilde find herself embroiled with rumors about Styles and Sudeikis, she was outed for lying about claiming to fire Shia LaBeouf from the film in order to protect Florence Pugh.

In an interview with Variety, Wilde said, “I say this as someone who is such an admirer of [LaBeouf’s] work. His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances. I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job.”

Olivia Wilde as Bunny in Don’t Worry Darling (2022), Warner Bros. Pictures

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“A lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me, in terms of his behavior,” continued Wilde. “I find myself just really wishing him health and evolution because I believe in restorative justice.”

She then asserted, “But for our film, what we really needed was an energy that was incredibly supportive. Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported.”

Olivia Wilde as Bunny in Don’t Worry Darling (2022), Warner Bros. Pictures

After Wilde’s comments were published by Variety, LaBeouf contacted the outlet and shared a letter he sent here wherein he charged, “I am a little confused about the narrative that I was fired, however. You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors & I couldn’t find time to rehearse. I have included as a reminder the screenshots of our text exchange on that day, and my text to Tobey.”

LaBeouf added, “I know that you are beginning your press run for DWD and that the news of my firing is attractive clickbait, as I am still persona-non-grata and may remain as such for the rest of my life. But, speaking of my daughter, I often think about the news articles she will read when she is literate. And though I owe, and will owe for the rest of my life, I only owe for my actions.

Shia LaBeouf as Padre Pio in Padre Pio (2023), Gravitas Ventures

RELATED: Shia LaBeouf Calls Out Olivia Wilde For Lying About His Exit From ‘Don’t Worry Darling’

“My failings with Twigs are fundamental and real, but they are not the narrative that has been presented,” LaBeouf wrote. “There is a time and a place to deal with such things, and I am trying to navigate a nuanced situation with respect for her and the truth, hence my silence. But this situation with your film and my “firing” will never have a court date with which to deal with the facts. If lies are repeated enough in the public they become truth. And so, it makes it that much harder for me to crawl out of the hole I have dug with my behaviors, to be able to provide for my family.”

He concluded, “Firing me never took place, Olivia. And while I fully understand the attractiveness of pushing that story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that brings. It is not the truth. So I am humbly asking, as a person with an eye toward making things right, that you correct the narrative as best you can. I hope none of this negatively effects you, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to be.”

Shia LaBeouf and Zak Gottsagen in The Peanut Butter Falcon via RoadsideFlix YouTube

According to Variety, LaBeouf also shared with them a video where Wilde appears to be trying to get LaBeouf to return to the film. She says, “I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this yet, and I, too, am heartbroken and I want to figure this out. You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo, and I want to know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us.

She then questioned, “If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace — and I respect your point of view, I respect hers — but if you guys can do it, what do you think? Is there hope? Will you let me know?”

Shia LaBeouf via Bishop Robert Barron YouTube

Commenting on all of this drama, De Luca declared it “sexist.” He told Variety, “That was just a bad PR head wind. I found it a little sexist because if a male director had a romance with someone on his cast? It happens all the time; no one cares.”

Abdy also added, “It’s an age-old story.”

De Luca’s claim is easily refuted given there were rumors back in 2021 that Taika Waititi was reprimanded by Marvel Studios after racy photos surfaced of him with Rita Ora and Tessa Thompson.

Michael De Luca via Awards Show Network YouTube

RELATED: Rumor: Taika Waititi Reprimanded By Marvel For Racy Photos With Rita Ora And Tessa Thompson

A report from The Daily Telegraph via The Independent claimed that “Marvel bosses have reportedly reprimanded the Kiwi filmmaker for the photograph.”

The Independent added “aninsider close to Thor: Love and Thunder’s production told the publication that the behaviour exhibiting the photo is ‘not exactly the image they’re looking to project in relation to one of their biggest franchises’.”

The source also detailed that Waititi “crossed a line” despite having a reputation for being a “party animal.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 23: Taika Waititi attends the Thor: Love and Thunder World Premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in [Hollywood], California on June 23, 2022. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)

What do you make of De Luca’s comments?

NEXT: Warner Bros. Discovery To Create New ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Films That Will “Honor The Past, Look To The Future, And Adhere To The Strongest Level Of Quality”

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    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.