Director Oliver Stone has condemned a rush to judgment on producer Harvey Weinstein and the allegations by many women of sexual harassment, charges that led to Weinstein being fired from the company that bears his name.
Speaking at the Busan International Film Festival, held in the large port city in South Korea, Stone responded to a question on Weinstein by stating, “I’m a believer that you wait until this thing gets to trial. I believe a man shouldn’t be condemned by a vigilante system. It’s not easy what he’s going through, either. He was a rival and I never did business with him. I’ve heard horror stories on everyone in the business. So I’m not going to comment on that. I’ll wait and see, which is the right thing to do.”
Stone also weighed in on North Korea. “The U.S. government must accept that North Korea has nuclear weapons.” He also called for the US to negotiate with the Kim Jong-un regime, and bring others to the table. “We must get China and Russia around the table. Or else this thing will not end well.”
Stone was president of the festival’s New Currents competition jury. The Academy Award-winning director led four jurors for the New Currents, a competitive section in Asia’s largest film festival, that introduces the works of up-and-coming Asian directors.
Stone has become an outspoken voice in Hollywood specifically when it comes to American culture, politics, and military. His most recent film Snowden followed the controversy and life surrounding American whistleblower Edward Snowden and his 2008 film W. was a satirical view on former U.S. President George W. Bush. .
The Busan International Film Festival has been having its fair share of trouble in the past year. In October 2016, BIFF came under fire when organizers were ordered by Busan government chiefs to cancel a screening of The Truth Shall Not Sink, a documentary which criticized the government’s failed rescue measures at the 2014 Seoul ferry disaster. This resulted in local filmmakers boycotting the event. Former fest head Lee Yong-Kwan was a big supporter of screening the film at the fest, which then resulted in his ousting from the event. Soon after, BIFF founder Kim Dong-Ho and fest director Kang Soo-Youn announced that they would also be leaving after this year’s edition.