“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 in a statement to Variety. “I was surprised it was treated differently. Lest there be any ambiguity, this statement clarifies my intention and feelings.”
EARLIER: Woody Allen has told the BBC that he’s “sad” over the “tragic” Harvey Weinstein situation, as the disgraced mogul faces a barrage of allegations of sexual assault. Speaking to the BBC, Allen said that although he had previously worked with Weinstein (Mighty Aphrodite, Bullets Over Broadway), “No one ever came to me or told me horror stories with any real seriousness. And they wouldn’t, because you are not interested in it. You are interested in making your movie.”
But, he added, “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… The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved. 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.”
On Saturday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to expel Weinstein from its ranks, “to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues, but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”
Also on Saturday, the New York Film Festival hosted the premiere of Allen’s Wonder Wheel in New York. The red carpet, however, was canceled in the wake of revelations that Amazon’s TV chief, Roy Price, was put on an indefinite leave of absence following sexual harassment allegations. Wonder Wheel is the first theatrical release from Amazon Studios. The premiere came after Ronan Farrow and The New Yorker broke a story last week about sexual harassment and rape allegations against Weinstein. Farrow (son of Mia) has been very vocal about Allen allegedly sexually abusing his adoptive daughter — a claim Allen has always strongly denied.
Allen told the BBC he hoped the revelations about Weinstein will lead to “some amelioration,” but said, “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. 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.”