Oscar-winning writer-director Woody Allen and Kate Winslet, the star of his latest film, “Wonder Wheel,” which closed the 55th New York Film Festival Saturday, each spoke out over the weekend about disgraced studio chief Harvey Weinstein, for whom each has made films.
Allen, 81, told the BBC Sunday that, “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. There’s no winners in that, it’s just very, very sad and tragic for those poor women that had to go through that.” Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway” (1994), “Mighty Aphrodite” (1995), which received a screenwriting Oscar nomination, and “Everyone Says I Love You” (1996) were distributed and partially financed by Miramax. The Weinstein Company did likewise with “Cassandra’s Dream” (2007) and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008).
Allen added, “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. But sure, you hope that something like this could be transformed into a benefit for people rather than just a sad or tragic situation.”
Meanwhile, seven-time Oscar-nominee Kate Winslet, 42, explained why she famously declined to thank Weinstein in her Best Actress acceptance speech for “The Reader” (2008), which was financed and distributed by The Weinstein Co. “That was deliberate. That was absolutely deliberate,” Winslet told the Los Angeles Times Saturday.
“I remember being told. ‘Make sure you thank Harvey if you win.’ And I remember turning around and saying, ‘No I won’t. No I won’t.’ And it was nothing to do with not being grateful,” she told the paper. “If people aren’t well-behaved, why would I thank him?,” she asked, alluding to the decades’ worth of sexual-abuse allegations leveled against Weinstein, as documented in lengthy New York Times and New Yorker features. “The fact that I’m never going to have to deal with Harvey Weinstein again as long as I live is one of the best things that’s ever happened and I’m sure the feeling is universal.”
She added, “For my whole career, Harvey Weinstein, whenever I’ve bumped into him, he’d grab my arm and say, ‘Don’t forget who gave you your first movie,’ ” 1994’s “Heavenly Creatures,” distributed in the United States by Weinstein’s predecessor company, Miramax. “Like I owe him everything. Then later, with ‘The Reader,’ same thing, ‘I’m gonna get you that Oscar nomination, I’m gonna get you a win, I’m gonna win for you.’ But that’s how he operated. He was bullying and nasty.”