Woody Allen has no one to blame but himself for his failed deal with Amazon, according to Amazon. In a new complaint, the companys legal team argued that Allens controversial remarks about the #MeToo movement led to the studio cutting ties with the filmmaker, who had a four-picture deal with the streamer. The company recently backed out of the deal; Allen retaliated by filing a $68 million lawsuit for breach of contract.
In Amazons filing (which can be read here), attorney Robert N. Klieger writes that “Allens actions and their cascading consequences ensured that Amazon could never possibly receive the benefit of its four-picture agreement (despite already having paid Allen a $10 million advance upon signing).” As an example, Amazon notes that Allen and Amazon “entered into an agreement” for the four-picture deal in August 2017. A couple months later, Allens estranged son, Ronan Farrow, released a watershed report on sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein (who has denied all claims of nonconsensual acts), which led, in part, to the renewed #MeToo movement.
“Despite immediate consensus on the importance of acknowledging and addressing this issue, Allen made a series of public comments suggesting that he failed to grasp the gravity of the issues or the implications for his own career,” the complaint continues. Amazon cites interviews Allen gave, in which he called the Weinstein controversy “very sad for everybody involved,” and warned of it leading to “a witch-hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere.” Amazon notes that Allen made those comments “just as Amazon and Allen were preparing to promote Wonder Wheel”; by making those remarks, he sabotaged the films release, the company argued.
The company also notes that Allen later “doubled down” on his comments. In a June 2018 interview, Allen called himself “the poster boy for the #MeToo movement, because I have worked in movies for 50 years. Ive worked with hundreds of actresses, hundreds, and not a single one—big ones, famous ones, ones starting out—have ever, ever, not a single one, ever suggested any kind of impropriety at all.”
Amazon also apparently alerted Allen that very month that his upcoming film, A Rainy Day in New York, would not be distributed because of “supervening events, including renewed allegations against Mr. Allen, his own controversial comments, and the increasing refusal of top talent to work with or be associated with him in any way.”
The allegation Amazon referenced is a claim that has been made repeatedly by Dylan Farrow, the directors estranged daughter. She has alleged for years that Allen sexually molested her as a child; Allen has repeatedly denied the allegations. In the wake of the #MeToo movement and the foundation of Times Up, multiple actors—including Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, and Michael Caine—have all said they would refuse to work with Allen in the future. Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Hall, and Griffin Newman, all of whom starred in A Rainy Day, donated their salaries from the film to organizations like RAINN and Times Up.
Representatives for Allen have not yet responded to Vanity Fairs request for comment.
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