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Abuse Scandal Rocks 'Saturday Night Live': Cast Members ‘CELEBRATE’ Toxic and 'Silencing' Culture, Claims Top Author

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Jun. 8 2023, Published 3:00 p.m. ET

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A shocking abuse scandal has rocked the set of Saturday Night Live, where author Maureen Ryan alleged a toxic culture was not only welcomed but "celebrated," RadarOnline.com has learned.

Ryan's exposé, Burn It Down: Power, Complicity, And A Call For Change In Hollywood, went behind the scenes of Lorne Michaels' decades-old show, where the star-studded cast's alleged bad behavior was no laughing matter.

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In Ryan's words, the SNL set was a place where "abuse and toxicity are not just permitted but often celebrated." One of the most disturbing allegations allegedly involved 17-year-old Jane Doe and then-cast member Horatio Sanz.

Doe's lawsuit alleged the comedian groomed and sexually assaulted her at multiple after-parties.

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horatio sanz
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Horatio Sanz

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Ryan sat down with Doe in May 2022 for her side of the story. Doe claimed she was groped by Sans "in full view of several SNL cast members."

"My control top pantyhose did more to keep me safe than any of those people that I idolized," she said in an excerpt from the book while claiming that cast members failed to intervene or protect her.

Given that almost two decades have passed since her alleged abuse, Doe branded her situation a "clearly unbalanced power dynamic."

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"Sanz was clearly pursuing me, physically pursuing me across years of these parties," Doe claimed.

"If I saw my colleague doing that with a teenage fan, I would absolutely intervene or I would go up the chain of command and I would want something to be done," Doe continued. "I would want it to be handled. And I don't think that that happened."

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Doe acknowledged that she was unsure if the lack of action was a result of silence from cast members or the environment that had been fostered on the set over the decades.

"Saturday Night Live selects employees who happen to be funny and also happen to be the type of people that aren't going to say anything when bad things happen to people — they're just going to keep their mouth closed," Doe explained to Ryan. "I don't know if Lorne just has such a stronghold on everyone."

Doe attempted to include Michaels, Jimmy Fallon, and Tracy Morgan — but both parties reached an agreement and the case was dismissed in November 2022.

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