HBO Max pulls new James Veitch comedy special in wake of renewed sexual assault allegations

James Veitch’s new comedy special for HBO Max is no longer available on HBO Max, after renewed allegations of rape, sexual assault and misconduct were levied against the comedian by former Sarah Lawrence College students who had interacted with him while he was a grad student there.

A spokesperson for HBO Max told The Comic’s Comic today: “We were deeply disturbed to learn of these allegations of unacceptable behavior by James Veitch and will be removing the special from our platform for now.” Conan O’Brien’s production company, which produced Veitch’s special, added: “Team Coco takes these allegations very seriously and supports HBO Max’s decision.”

Veitch has had no comment, other than a veiled Tweet on Monday, which read: “Schrödinger’s special”

The allegations against Veitch were published today in The Hollywood Reporter.

Kim Masters at THR interviewed several women who had attended Sarah Lawrence, ages 19 to 22, during the years 2008-2010. Veitch, now 40, would’ve been 28-30 in that timeframe. They shared similar stories on private Facebook groups and also with Masters about Veitch attempting to take advantage of them sexually after first drinking with them, with some women fleeing and others claiming he did have sex with them without their consent. They also told THR that they had not reported these allegations of sexual misconduct to Sarah Lawrence officials. The only reported interaction between the college and Veitch happened in the spring of 2009, during which time he was directing the student production of the musical Urinetown. In that instance, Veitch apparently had been recording arguments with some of the female students and then playing them later to audiences in attempts to humiliate them.

One of those theater students, Kristen Gull, went into comedy and was performing on a house improv team at the Pack Theater in Los Angeles before the pandemic. Gull told THR that she had met Veitch during her freshman orientation and had rebuffed his attempts to kiss her after supplying her with alcohol. She tried calling out Team Coco two years ago when she first saw Veitch perform on Conan.

Two other Sarah Lawrence alums sent letters in August to HBO Max, Team Coco and WME to complain about Veitch’s alleged misconduct. WME has since dropped Veitch, according to THR. And he’s reportedly getting edited out of a future Quibi talk show project.

Veitch’s comedy special, filmed back in 2018, did debut on HBO Max on Aug. 20 before disappearing at the end of August.

A line that stood out to me in that hour came when Veitch admitted: “I don’t think I’m meant to be an adult.” His comedy is very juvenile prankster, as I wrote about in Decider.

According to several young women who interacted with Veitch while at Sarah Lawrence, his pranks were downright criminal, too.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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