These days, Arsenio Hall looks more and more like a talk-show host under siege. Still reeling from the controversial booking of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in February, his show became the target of sexual-harassment suits filed recently-more than a dozen actors are claiming they were sexually battered by one of his show’s writers, Lawrence Amoros, during bogus auditions for a supposed ”Buttmaster” skit.
Neither Paramount nor Hall will comment on the suits, except to say that Amoros has been fired. But it couldn’t have happened at a worse time: The Farrakhan appearance outraged many in Hollywood, and Hall’s average ratings were at an all time low this past February.
Meanwhile, Paramount enters into negotiations this month with the 160 stations that still carry Arsenio, and analysts predict that if there aren’t enough renewals, his show won’t go on. ”Arsenio has been in a decline for a while now,” says one insider. ”The question is, when will Paramount finally pull the plug?”