Woody Allen Defends Harvey Weinstein, Says He Is 'Sad' For the Movie Mogul (UPDATE)

The 81-year old director, who has his own history with sexual assault allegations, decided to speak out on the Weinstein scandal.

Woody Allen and Harvey Weinstein
Image via Getty/Kevin Winter
Woody Allen and Harvey Weinstein

UPDATE 10/15/2017 9:28PM: Woody Allen released a statement to Variety in which he clarified his statements regarding Weinstein, calling him a "sad, sick man."

"When I said I felt sad for Harvey Weinstein I thought it was clear the meaning was because he is a sad, sick man," Allen stated. "I was surprised it was treated differently. Lest there be any ambiguity, this statement clarifies my intention and feelings."

Original story is below.

Woody Allen is the latest Hollywood veteran to speak out about the dozens of accusations facing Harvey Weinstein's decades-long history of alleged sexual assault. Allen admitted that he was "sad" about the movie mogul's situation, referring to how Harvey's life "is so messed up."

When speaking with BBC, Allen noted, "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, who has worked together on numerous projects with Weinstein, including the Oscar-winning Mighty Aphrodite, said that he had never heard of news regarding the producer's sexual assault allegations.


More so than other celebrities who have come forward to comment on or expose Weinstein's despicable behavior, Allen has a long sordid history regarding the maltreatment of women. The 81-year old director, was accused of sexual assault by his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow in 2014. Farrow, who attempted to bring attention to her father's crimes on various mainstream platforms, was turned away by numerous sources. Allen's influence in the entertainment world made news outlets apprehensive to publish any serious allegations against the household name.

However, if Allen's films are any testament to his character, it's quite obvious that he has spent the better part of his career upholding a misogynist mold of femininity. By only casting women in explicitly naive roles, Allen has notoriously used the female characters in his films as pawns in an effort to highlight the heroic nature of the male lead. By examining every Woody Allen movie since before "Annie Hall" Allen's normalization of sexist social norms and his treatment of his female counterparts becomes readily apparent. 

Allen's estranged son Rowan Farrow, in his expose published by The New Yorker, was one of the leading journalists to bring the extent of Weinstein's sordid history of sexual assault to the forefront of mainstream media coverage. Farrow has also addressed his father's history with sexual assault. In a guest column published by The Hollywood Reporter in 2016, Farrow spoke of his father's peculiar behavior towards his sister Dylan, and how the media ignored her claims until her open letter in The New York Times made it impossible to do so. 

It wasn't particularly surprising when Allen then implicitly expressed his own concerns regarding what will come out of the Weinstein scandal. The director told BBC, "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." As a man who has spent decades being criticized for his behavior towards women, Allen is likely fearful of how other predatory men such as himself, will be affected by the Weinstein exposé.

Allen concluded his cowardly appeasement by reflecting on what actions he hopes these accusations will spearhead. "But sure, you hope that something like this could be transformed into a benefit for people rather than just a sad or tragic situation.” Although it shouldn't have taken the suffering of dozens of women to underline Harvey's despicable actions, this hopefully will send a message to all the white men who use their influence in Hollywood to exploit women in the industry: You must and will be held accountable, one way or another. 

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