Woody Allen is currently suing Amazon for a breach in contract, stating that the reason Amazon won’t produce his movies is because of “a 25-year-old, baseless allegation.” Reminder that those allegations are from his daughter, Dylan Farrow, who has maintained that Allen sexually abused her as a child.
According to Variety, Allen is claiming that the company wouldn’t give him a reason for the termination of his contract after he completed one of the four pictures he was contracted for. Amazon has a different story. As Variety reports:
The suit alleges that [Amazon general counsel Ajay] Patel sent a notice in June 2018 terminating the four-picture agreement, saying that Amazon had no intention to distribute any of the films. According to the suit, Patel did not provide a reason for terminating the deal.
Subsequently, Amazon’s representatives stated they were canceling the agreement, due to “supervening events, including renewed allegations against Mr. Allen, his own controversial comments, and the increasing refusal of top talent to work with or be associated with him in any way, all of which have frustrated the purpose of the Agreement.”
There is an important aspect of this story we need to talk about: Allen’s disregard for Hollywood’s reappraisal of Dylan Farrow’s claims in a #MeToo era, and how, at the end of the day, no one wants to work with him anymore.
The Amazon notice highlighted “the increasing refusal of top talent to work with or be associated with him in any way,” which is basically stating that talent either doesn’t want to work with him or, if they already had, were giving their paychecks back in order to not be connected back to the project. Timothée Chalamet, who worked with Allen on Rainy Day in New York (the film Amazon is now not letting see the light of day), has promised his salary from the film to charity after working with Allen.
For years, Dylan Farrow has been speaking out against Allen and his alleged abuse, backed by both her brother Ronan and mother, Mia Farrow. Part of Allen’s defense against the Amazon deal was that they knew of the allegations back then and still signed the deal with him.
That’s on Amazon, just as it’s on the rest of Hollywood who happily did business with Allen for years despite Dylan Farrow’s claims. These allegations have been public knowledge for quite some time—and every time there is a new Woody Allen movie, we revisit those who willingly worked with Woody Allen despite knowing of Dylan Farrow’s story. Every time, we yell about how these actors and producers continue to work with him. At least some of the yelling has finally seemed to start resonating with Hollywood’s bottom line.
Now that Amazon is taking a stand against Allen, it is almost a little too late. They still signed a deal with him in 2016, and they may only be paying attention now because by 2017, the company took heat from their association with Harvey Weinstein. This feels like a face-saving measure after public attitudes shifted, not because they cared that Allen had a reputation of assault. If that had been the case, the contract should never have been drawn up to begin with.
This is an entire mess. Yeah, I’m glad that Woody Allen is crying in a room somewhere filled with lawyers because Amazon canceled his deal, but also the deal shouldn’t have existed in the first place. Hopefully, Allen never gets that money, but maybe Amazon will learn their lesson from this entire situation. Maybe?
(image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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