Actor Jeremy Piven of Entourage fame concluded his stint as host of a charity event last weekend by saying “Fuck you all” to the audience after not everyone appreciated his vulgar jokes, the Daily Mail claims.
Piven seemed to have trouble understanding why his material—jokes about sex acts and rehearsing sexually-explicit material with his mother, as well sexual innuendos like asking the audience if he should “go deeper”—was met with such a tepid response at the event which benefited domestic abuse and human trafficking victims, many of whom were sitting in the audience. One of Piven’s jokes involved rehearsing a scene from Entourage with his mother, wherein Piven’s character Ari Gold had to deliver the line, “Have you had so much cum squirted in your face that you can't see what’s right in front of you?” Piven’s mother, he claimed, had some notes. “My mom says, ‘Go again. Let’s go again. I need you to commit more to the cum,’” he gleefully told audience members.
During his set at the event, Piven also bemoaned his reputation as a “douchebag,” which he attributes to his role as sleazy Hollywood agent Ari Gold on HBO’s Entourage. He claimed he recently met a fan who told him, “‘Bro I’m a big fan. I’m a douchebag because of you.’” Piven, notoriously touchy about his reputation as an asshole, then complained, “‘Do they go up to the great Bryan Cranston, Walter White, and say, ‘I sell meth and kill people because of you?’ No, they don’t. Do they go up to Kim Kardashian and say, ‘I do absolutely nothing because of you?’”
According to a guest at the event quoted in the Mail’s article, Piven seemed to treat his appearance at the gala as a rehearsal for his new career as a stand-up comedian.
Per the Daily Mail, Piven soon grew exasperated with the crowd’s lackluster response. “This is a tough room, by the way. Tough room,” he reportedly said. “Oh, I knew it. I knew it. I just decided I’m doing a two hour set because you’re not giving me love. So fuck you all.”
Juliette Harris, an event organizer for the L.A.-based charity Face Forward, told The Daily Beast that Piven’s use of expletives was meant to be self-deprecating, not offensive. She claims that Piven’s jokes were taken out of context, and emphasized the actor’s generosity in canceling a sold-out appearance at a comedy club to host the event. “He did not flop,” Harris explained. “He did not shout at victims.” She reiterated multiple times that Piven’s material “wasn’t offensive to anyone,” and said that he even stopped to take photos with victims after the event.
“He did a great job. Nothing was offensive, nobody was offended,” Harris said, adding that several domestic abuse survivors in the audience had enjoyed Piven’s set, and that the actor ended up raising $500,000 for Face Forward.
Aside from vulgar jokes, the decision to include Piven at all as an entertainer proved contentious. The actor was accused by several women late last year of unwanted groping and “predatory” behavior; actress and TV personality Ariane Bellamar claims Piven grabbed her breasts and buttocks while on the set of Entourage, and former Smallville actress Cassidy Freeman alleged via Instagram that Piven attempted to prey on her when she was “far too young.”
Piven, for his part, denied the claims. In a statement, Piven said the incidents in question “did not happen,” but that “it takes a great deal of courage for victims to come forward with their histories, and my hope is that the allegations about me that didn’t happen, do not detract from stories that should be heard.”
Despite his denials, Piven was unceremoniously fired from the CBS drama he had been starring in, Wisdom of the Crowd. The Mail claims that erstwhile CBS network chairman Les Moonves—himself currently under fire for years of alleged sexual misconduct—was responsible for Piven’s removal from the show.
A tweet from Piven several days after last weekend’s charity event showed no suggestion of the actor’s discontent with audience members. He called Face Forward a “brilliant cause,” and thanked everyone who attended the event and raised money.
While this most recent appearance will likely only add to Piven’s reputation as a boorish brute, it’s worth noting that the actor takes his social standing very, very personally. In an interview with The Daily Beast last year, Piven remarked, “It’s really disturbing to me when someone comes up to me and says, ‘Hey bro, I’m a douchebag because of you.’ It hurts my soul.”
Update: This story has been updated with comment from an organizer for L.A.-based charity Face Forward.