NEWYORK (AP) – Woody Allen has broken his contract for four films with the online giant by making statements about the #MeToo move that has compromised the prospects for promoting his films, an Amazon lawyer said Friday.
Attorney Robert Klieger told US District Judge Denise Cote that the company was protected after Allen "publicly commented that the minimum was insensitive to the #MeToo movement."
The hearing was related to a lawsuit filed by Allen in February seeking at least $ 68 million in damages. The lawsuit stated that Amazon had terminated its contract in 2017 in June without ever releasing a completed film, "A Rainy Day in New York".
Allen was not in court. John Quinn, his attorney, told the judge that the Seattle-based Amazon company had initially claimed that it was terminating the deal because of allegations against Allen, and not because of his claims. recent statements.
"The unfounded allegations against Mr. Allen are decades old," Quinn said. He added that the claims were well known when Amazon signed his contract with Allen in August 2017.
Allen's adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, said in 1992 that Allen assaulted her in an attic at the age of seven. Allen denied it many times.
In 2014, Farrow wrote about the allegations and subsequently appeared for the first time in an interview earlier this year.
Quinn said that Amazon had since changed the explanation of the termination of the contract by accusing Allen of making statements that the #MeToo movement should not become a witch hunt.
The lawyer said the company also quoted claims that people in the industry would not work with Allen.
Whatever it is, said Quinn, Allen had planned to produce a new film this summer.
In court documents, Amazon said Allen's son, Ronan Farrow, had published an article in The New Yorker just weeks after signing the contract with Allen. The article described in detail cases of sexual misconduct against film producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein denied having any non-consensual sexual behavior.
"The article has become the catalyst for a broad judgment on the persistence of sexual harassment in the entertainment and other industries," Amazon's lawyers wrote.
They stated that Allen had then made a series of public comments "suggesting that he had not understood the seriousness of the problems or the implications for his own career".
They quoted several Allen quotes in a magazine article, including: "You do not want this to lead to a witch-hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every type of office that blinks from the walls of the house," he said. eye to a woman must suddenly call a lawyer. to defend oneself. "
They also noted that after Dylan Farrow's account of his recollections of sexual violence in January 2018, Allen had publicly refuted statements quoted in a newspaper article, labeled "cynical using" #MeToo to get his attention.
Klieger told Justice Allen that the public comments had resulted in controversy "in Hollywood and elsewhere".
The effect of comments means that images can no longer be made or promoted, Klieger said.
After hearing the two lawyers, the judge established a schedule of proceedings going up until next year.
Allen and possibly the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, among others, were likely to file depositions unless the case was resolved by private mediation in the coming weeks.