In the wake of the Time’s Up campaign, allegations of sexual assault against Woody Allen have resurfaced, and now sources inside Amazon Studios say the company is quietly considering how to proceed with Allen’s new film, A Rainy Day in New York.
Accusations against Allen date back 25 years, when his daughter, Dylan Farrow, said that the iconic director molested her. Somehow, Allen weathered the publicity fallout, and his career has continued virtually undisturbed by Farrow’s story. Yet as the Me Too movement has gained steam, many actors, producers, and now even studios, are reconsidering their relationship with Allen.
After Farrow published an op-ed in The LA Times titled, “Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen?”, actors began to disavow Allen and apologize for having worked with him. Two of the stars of A Rainy Day in New York donated their salaries from the film to charities related to sexual discrimination and violence. PEOPLE even reported that Selena Gomez had anonymously donated an amount exceeding her earnings from the film to the Time’s Up legal defense fund.
Amazon has declined to comment directly on their plans for the film, yet a few insiders spoke with Vulture. One told reporters that the studio is feeling pressure to “make a statement that ‘We don’t tolerate sexual harassment’ ” by not releasing A Rainy Day, after the studio’s president resigned amidst sexual misconduct allegations in October.
“Amazon can definitely afford to eat the cost of that movie,” a marketing executive confided in reporters. “They can show the community who they are by being aggressive. And the producers would never sue. You’d look like a f—ing moron if you sue for damages.”
Others said that they guessed the company would cancel A Rainy Day’s theatrical release and put it up online for Amazon Prime members instead. They forecast very little backlash for the company if they simply didn’t promote the movie.
“If I’m handling this internally, I say, ‘Let’s hold our water. Let’s not date this thing yet. Let’s see if this thing blows over. America forgets everything anyway,’ ” says an insider close to the entertainment industry. “Woody would not have signed a contract with Amazon that did not guarantee theatrical distribution. But they could say, ‘Woody, we have a problem. We need to renegotiate.’ ”
One studio executive couldn’t help but differentiate Allen from the other Hollywood heavy-hitters that have been taken down by the Me Too movement.
“Look, these allegations have haunted this guy for decades and this is a very different time and cultural moment unlike any before it,” they said. “My very jaded perspective is that his fans are older and those who go see his films are very set in their ways. This is going to be a horrible analogy but it’s like the Alabama voters who turned out for Roy Moore. Woody will always have his fans no matter what.”