How a social media sisterhood unleashed a storm of allegations against James Toback

Warning: This story contains graphic details. Chantal Cousineau, originally from Ottawa, was one of the initial 38 women who came forward with allegations against Toback in a Los Angeles Times report on Oct. 22. That was just the start.

Director James Toback is the subject of multiple sexual harassment allegations. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/Associated Press)

It started with a simple hashtag.

Amid mounting allegations levied at Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and the online tidal wave of #metoo conversations about sexual harassment and assault, Canadian actress Chantal Cousineau used Twitter to share her own experience, adding the hashtag #jamestoback.

Cousineau soon found herself corresponding with dozens of women who allege they too have had run-ins with Toback, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Bugsy and the director of films such as Two Girls and a Guy and The Pick-up Artist.

Her tweets helped spark hundreds of other reports of accusations and caused the union that represents Canadian actors to reopen an investigation its current president concedes may have been lacking when initial reports were made.