Amazon Studios have defended their decision to abandon a pre-agreed film deal with Woody Allen amid the #MeToo controversy.
The battle has moved into the courtroom as Allen made his decision to sue the studio for $68million (£53m) over the decision to terminate their exclusive film deal.
It was back in 2016 that Amazon signed Allen to a five-film deal, a time when the longstanding allegations of sexual assault made against Allen by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow began to resurface.
Allen continued to deny the claims made by Farrow and, as part of his deal with Amazon, completed his first film Wonder Wheel starring Jim Belushi, Kate Winslet, Juno Temple, and Justin Timberlake. The film flopped drastically and didn’t come close to recouping the budget of $25million.
Undeterred by the disappointment, the director continued to start work on the second film which was given the working title of A Rainy Day in New York and again included a star-studded cast with Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez and Jude Law all involved. However, despite completing the film in 2017 and including a somewhat controversial sex scene between a 44-year-old man and 15-year-old girl, Amazon decided to ‘indefinitely shelve’ the film and call time on their partnership with Allen.
Now, Amazon has now asked New York judge to throw out large sections of Allen’s case against them, saying that their decision was “justified in terminating its relationship with Allen.”
The studio goes on to point out the comments the director controversially made after the allegations against Harvey Weinstein revealed, somewhat sympathising with the shamed Hollywood mogul. Because of that, Amazon has argued that Allen “ failed to grasp the gravity of the issues.”
The court documents reveal that the studio labelled the reaction to Allen’s comments as “swift and damning” with “scores of actors and actresses express[ing] profound regret” over having worked with him.
The likes of Timothée Chalamet, Kate Winslet, Greta Gerwig and more have expressed their regret having worked with Allen in the past.