Susan Sarandon, Ben Stiller to replace Paul Haggis at Artists for Peace and Justice
Organization says it accepted Canadian screenwriter Haggis's resignation last week
Susan Sarandon and Ben Stiller will replace award-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis as Artists for Peace and Justice's new board co-chairs, the organization announced Wednesday.
"The work of Artists for Peace and Justice, so essential to the present and futures of thousands of children in Haiti, has been a part of our lives for years," Sarandon and Stiller said in the statement.
"As supporters of APJ's mission to foster economic growth and empower local communities, we are honoured to be joint co-chair's of the board of directors for APJ to help steward the mission of the organization into the future."
Haggis, a native of London, Ont., founded the Haiti-focused Artists for Peace and Justice but has recently faced sexual misconduct allegations.
The organization said it accepted Haggis's resignation last week.
"We thank him for his vision and years of dedication to the cause," Artists for Peace and Justice said in a release.
Allegations of sexual misconduct
A lawsuit was recently filed charging Haggis with raping a publicist, which prompted three additional women to come forward with their own sexual misconduct accusations against the Oscar-winning filmmaker, including another publicist who says he forced her to perform oral sex, then raped her.
The lawsuit was amended to include allegations of sexual misconduct toward those three additional women, who have chosen to remain anonymous. In the lawsuit, obtained by CBC News, the women are referred to as Jane Doe #1, Jane Doe #2 and Jane Doe #3.
When asked about the new accusations, Christine Lepera, the lawyer for the 64-year-old screenwriter of Million Dollar Baby and Crash, said, "He didn't rape anybody."
Haggis has vehemently denied all allegations and is scheduled for a deposition with lawyers on Jan. 29.
After years of working in television, Haggis broke out in the mid-2000s when he became the first screenwriter to pen back-to-back best picture winners, Million Dollar Baby and Crash, which he also directed. He also gained attention for his defection from Scientology in 2009, and public criticism of the religion in a 2011 New Yorker article, a book and an HBO documentary.
Haggis has presented himself as an advocate of the underdog in his films, addressing racism, euthanasia and war. He also is known for his involvement with charities, including the Haiti-focused Artists for Peace and Justice, and his condemnation of Harvey Weinstein.
With files from The Associated Press