Woody Allen appeared to have defended Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul accused of decades’ worth of sexual assaults.


The director and producer have worked together on multiple projects, and Allen at first warned against a “witch hunt atmosphere” brewing. “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,” Allen told the BBC. “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… 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,” he continued.

Allen was met with backlash at the comments, especially as a man accused of sexual assault in the past himself. In 1993, the director was accused of sexually abusing his 7-year-old adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow. His reputation took a hit at the time, but Weinstein pulled Allen out of it by agreeing to produce his 1994 film Bullets Over Broadway. The film earned seven Oscar nods, and Allen and Weinstein made several movies together in the following years.

One of those films was Mighty Aphrodite, which actress Mira Sorvino acted in. It was while promoting that film that she said Weinstein sexually harassed her in 1995. She detailed her account of the incident to Ronan Farrow, Allen’s own son, which he published in his New Yorker report on Weinstein’s harassment and rape allegations.

On Sunday, Allen clarified his comments on the Weinstein scandal in a statement to Variety. “When I said I felt sad for Harvey Weinstein I thought it was clear the meaning was because he is a sad, sick man,” his statement reads. “I was surprised it was treated differently. Lest there be any ambiguity, this statement clarifies my intention and feelings.”

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