The episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown featuring actress and director Asia Argento have been pulled from CNN’s streaming service CNN Go, Buzzfeed News reports. Argento, who was dating Bourdain at the time of his death by suicide earlier in the summer, rose to prominence in the #MeToo movement as one of the many women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault last fall. But several weeks ago, the New York Times reported that Argento herself was accused of sexual assault by actor and musician Jimmy Bennett, to whom she’d agreed to pay a $380,000 settlement. Bennett was seventeen at the time of his alleged encounter with Argento, below the age of consent in California. Argento has denied Bennett’s allegations, although TMZ has since published a photo of the two together in bed, as well as leaked text messages in which she seems to admit to having sex with Bennett.
Since Argento’s settlement with Bennett became public knowledge, the actress has been fired as a judge on X Factor Italy, although the episodes she has already shot will be aired to avoid punishing the show’s contestants for her alleged misconduct. Now, CNN is also responding. “In light of the recent news reports about Asia Argento, CNN will discontinue airing past episodes of Parts Unknown that included her, until further notice,” a spokesperson told Buzzfeed News.
Argento and Parts Unknown host Anthony Bourdain met while he was filming an episode from 2016 set in Rome for the show’s eighth season; she later appeared in a 2018 episode about Hong Kong, which she also directed. Both are now gone from CNN Go, as is an episode set in Buenos Aires which dealt with Bourdain’s depression, although CNN didn’t immediately offer an explanation for pulling the Buenos Aires episode. All three episodes were still available to purchase from iTunes, at least for the time being. Netflix, which offers the first eight seasons of the show, still has both the season seven Buenos Aires episode and the season eight Rome episode; Argento’s Hong Kong episode is from the eleventh season and wasn’t on the service to begin with. Given the increasingly fragmented nature of film and television distribution, Parts Unknown will probably not be the last show to be pulled from some venues but not others, as individual companies have to make their own calls on what work from artists who have been engulfed in scandal to show and where to show it.