Woody Allen is saddened by the allegations against disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
The Hollywood executive was fired from The Weinstein Company after several sexual harassment and abuse allegations were detailed in a New York Times article and a subsequent New Yorker piece. Since news of the allegations broke last week (ends06Oct17), Weinstein has faced accusations of inappropriate behaviour from over 30 women.
Allen has worked with Weinstein on several movie projects including Mighty Aphrodite and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but the filmmaker insists he never heard about any serious allegations against him.
“No one ever came to me or told me horror stories with any real seriousness,” he tells the BBC. “And they wouldn’t, because you are not interested in it. You are interested in making your movie. But you do hear a million fanciful rumours all the time. And some turn out to be true and some – many – are just stories about this actress, or that actor.”
The 81-year-old finds the situation “tragic” for everyone involved, but he warns against creating a witch hunt.
“The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved,” he says. “Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that his life is so messed up. There’s no winners in that, it’s just very, very sad and tragic for those poor women that had to go through that.”
“You also don’t want it to lead to a witch hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself,” he adds. “That’s not right either. But sure, you hope that something like this could be transformed into a benefit for people rather than just a sad or tragic situation.”
The New Yorker article, which detailed accusations from 13 women, was written by Allen’s son with Mia Farrow, Ronan Farrow.
In 1992, Mia alleged her adopted daughter Dylan O’ Sullivan Farrow, then aged seven, told her she had been sexually abused by Allen. He denied the allegations and sued Mia for full custody of his and Mia’s three children, claiming the Rosemary’s Baby actress was making up the sexual abuse claims. In 2014, Dylan published an open letter in The New York Times detailing the alleged abuse that had occurred when she was a child.
Ronan also wrote a guest column published in The Hollywood Reporter last year (16) about the allegations his sister lodged against Allen and has been a vocal supporter of Dylan.