Director Woody Allen is suing Amazon Studios for $68 million after the company withdrew from a five-picture deal in response to the sexual abuse allegations made against Allen by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. Farrow first came forward against Allen in 1992, when she was 7 years old.
Indiewire reports that Amazon has indefinitely shelved A Rainy Day in New York, his once-forthcoming film starring Timothée Chalamet (who later donated his salary to Time’s Up, RAINN, and New York City’s LGBT Center, though, less admirably, he reportedly made up a contractual agreement to justify why he hadn’t spoken up sooner), Selena Gomez (who said some stupid things about the universe working “in interesting ways” when confronted about working with Allen), and starring Jude Law as a middle-aged man who falls in love with Elle Fanning. In the film, Fanning portrays portrays a 15-year-old pretending to be 21. How novel!
Amazon pulled the plug on the project last summer when Dylan Farrow’s story began receiving new attention because of the #MeToo movement and her ongoing efforts to speak out about her experience. In his lawsuit, Allen refers to her accusations as “a 25-year old, baseless allegation.”
More from Allen’s lawsuit (via Variety):
“Amazon backed out of the deals, purporting to terminate them without any legal basis for doing so, while knowing that its actions would cause substantial damage to Mr. Allen... investors and the artists and crew involved in making the films. Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year old, baseless allegation against Mr. Allen, but that allegation was already well known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Mr. Allen—and, in any event it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract. There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises.”
Amazon has already released the first two films in Allen’s multi-picture deal, 2016's Cafe Society and 2017's Wonder Wheel. The conglomerate also produced his 2016 television series Crisis in Six Scenes. According to Indiewire, Amazon canceled Wonder Wheel’s New York Film Festival red carpet in 2017 “to reportedly avoid controversy.”
Amazon doesn’t look great here and we can only assume whether or not the company would’ve continued to work with Allen if his purported abuses weren’t brought back to the news cycle. Allen, however, is—at best—an asshole (at worst, he’s serial child abuser), so once again, we find ourselves rooting for absolutely no one.