This will lead to a witch hunt: Woody Allen defends Harvey Weinstein after sexual assault allegations
Woody Allen tells BBC, ‘You … 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.’
American filmmaker Woody Allen has said he is “sad” for Harvey Weinstein’s “messed up” life as the producer faced numerous allegations of sexual assault. Nearly three dozen women, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have come forward with instances of inappropriate behaviour from Weinstein, who was fired from his own production house, The Weinstein Company.
Allen said he had heard rumours but not “these horror stories” after a number of women came forward to accuse Weinstein of assault, reports bbc.com.
Weinstein was voted off the board behind the Oscars on Saturday as a result of the allegations. “You … 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 said.
“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 you do hear a million fanciful rumours all the time. And some turn out to be true and some - many - are just stories about this actress, or that actor,” Allen told bbc.com.
“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,” he added.
Allen faced his own sex claims; accused of molesting his adopted daughter, Dylan Faroow - a claim he has always denied. Dylan’s brother Ronan Farrow — a journalist who published a number of the allegations against Weinstein in the New Yorker last week — has supported her claims. Allen has denied the accusations.
Weinstein has been credited with reviving Allen’s career after the director was accused of abusing Dylan Farrow, his daughter with actress Mia Farrow. But despite working with Weinstein on a number of films, including the Oscar-winning Mighty Aphrodite, Allen said he had never heard of any allegations of rape and sexual assault.
Allen said he hoped the revelations, which emerged after an investigation by the New York Times, would 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. There are no winners in that. But sure, you hope that something like this could be transformed into a benefit for people rather than just a sad or tragic situation.”
Among those who investigated Weinstein were Allen’s own son, Ronan Farrow, who spoke to 13 women who said the producer had sexually harassed or assaulted them.
Weinstein, 65, insists any sexual contacts he had were consensual.
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