Top Hollywood directors are worried that the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal will drive unwanted attention toward their industry.
Oscar-winning director Woody Allen said he feels “sad” for Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, according to The BBC. Woody Allen has worked with Harvey Weinstein on multiple projects, including Oscar-winning films Bullets over Broadway and Mighty Aphrodite.
Earlier this month, The New York Times published an article detailing the allegations of multiple women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault, and rape. The New York Times reported that Weinstein has paid at least eight settlements to women. Harvey Weinstein denies any allegations of nonconsensual sex.
Since the release of The New York Times article, more women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Weinstein has since been removed from the board of The Weinstein Company, which he founded with his brother, Bob.
In an interview with The BBC, Woody Allen explained that, despite working with Weinstein on multiple projects, no woman has ever come to him with allegations against the big-time producer. “No-one ever came to me or told me horror stories with any real seriousness,” explained Allen. “And they wouldn’t, because you are not interested in it. You are interested in making your movie.”
Instead, Allen said he has only heard rumors of Weinstein’s misconduct. “But you do hear a million fanciful rumors all the time. And some turn out to be true and some – many – are just stories about this actress, or that actor,” Allen explained. It is not clear if Allen ever confronted Weinstein over these so-called “rumors.”
Woody Allen has faced his own allegations of sexual harassment. In the early 1990s, Allen was accused of molesting his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, daughter of actress Mia Farrow. Allen has denied all allegations.
The allegations against Allen arose shortly after he separated from Mia Farrow. Farrow left Allen after she discovered that Allen was sleeping with Farrow’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, from Vietnam. Allen and Soon-Yi were later married.
After the lurid details of Allen’s affair became public, his career took a hit. Harvey Weinstein has been credited with reviving Allen’s reputation after the allegations of abuse emerged.
Now, Allen says he feels sorry for everyone involved in the Weinstein scandal. “The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved,” he said. “Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that [his] life is so messed up.”
Allen’s comments stirred controversy, with Donald Trump Jr. taking to Twitter to condemn the comments. “OMG… he feels ‘sad’ for Harvey? Are you fricken kidding me?” He tweeted.
Woody Allen said he felt sorry for Harvey Weinstein. Do you think Harvey Weinstein deserves sympathy?
Woody Allen has since clarified his comments, saying he was shocked by the negative reactions. “When I said I felt sad for Harvey Weinstein I thought it was clear the meaning was because he is a sad, sick man,” Allen said. “I was surprised it was treated differently. Lest there be any ambiguity, this statement clarifies my intention and feelings.”
However, in The BBC interview, Woody Allen said he was most concerned that this will evolve into “a witch hunt atmosphere” where “every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself.” Perhaps Woody Allen is worried such a culture might put more emphasis on the allegations against him.