Several weeks ago Woody Allen filed a $68 million lawsuit against Amazon for failing to release A Rainy Day in New York.
It’s common knowledge that Amazon welshed on their distribution deal with Allen because they were terrified of angering the #MeToo community in the wake of Dylan Farrow‘s #MeToo reboot of her 1992 sexual-assault allegation.
Allen contended in his lawsuit that Dylan’s accusation is “baseless,” as the facts overwhelmingly indicate. Alas, Amazon execs didn’t care about the facts and history or the holes in Dylan’s account or Moses Farrow’s May 2018 essay or anything else.
Facts, logic and likelihood be damned. Amazon only knew that the #MeToo community wanted Allen dead, and that they’d never forgive Amazon if it went ahead and distributed Rainy Day regardless.
Two days ago Amazon filed a mind-boggling response to Allen’s lawsuit. Attorneys claimed that Allen’s public comments about the #MeToo movement, one of which expressed concern about a possible “witch hunt atmosphere,” made it “impractical” to release and promote A Rainy Day in New York.
Amazon execs were persuaded that the film couldn’t possibly succeed because, attorneys stated, Allen’s remarks “sabotaged” its efforts to promote Wonder Wheel.**
Allen is hardly the only person to express concern about a Crucible-like atmosphere coming out of #MeToo allegations. Bill Maher and N.Y. Times columnist Bari Weiss have shared the same thought, but Amazon is nonetheless saying that because Allen didn’t weep and theatrically “confess” and throw himself upon the church steps and beg for mercy…because he stood his ground and repeated the verified facts and refused to abase himself before the #MeToo mob, they were justified in refusing to honor the deal.
Allen’s February lawsuit states that Amazon was “well aware of the allegations” against him when it signed him to the agreement and that these accusations are without the slightest factual merit. Again — Amazon bailed because a few actors who’d previously worked with Allen said that they wouldn’t go there again, including Greta Gerwig and Rainy Day star Timothee Chalamet.
** Wonder Wheel didn’t die because of the #MeToo climate. It died because it felt oddly labored and out of time. It was warmed-over Tennessee Williams with a delusional and unsympathetic lead character (Kate Winslet‘s Ginny) and because it ended on a note of tragic despair.
From my 10.13.17 review: “It’s basically a thrown-together stew of familiar Allen-esque elements and influences — a little Chekhov-Seagull action, a little re-frying of Blue Jasmine desperation mixed with A Streetcar Named Desire, a dash of Mary Beth Hurt‘s ‘Joey’ character in Interiors, some gangster seasoning from Bullets over Broadway plus some onions, garlic, celery and sauteed peppers and a little Crimes and Misdemeanors.”