Woody Allen doesn’t want Harvey Weinstein allegations to turn into ‘a witch hunt’

The Hollywood director and alleged sexual abuser has some thoughts on this "tragic" situation.

Woody Allen, left, poses with Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, in Los Angeles, Monday, Aug. 4, 2008. CREDIT: P Photo/Chris Pizzello
Woody Allen, left, poses with Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, in Los Angeles, Monday, Aug. 4, 2008. CREDIT: P Photo/Chris Pizzello

Harvey Weinstein, the once-almighty producer whom Meryl Streep jokingly called “God” in a Golden Globes acceptance speech, has gone from power player to pariah after two bombshell investigations by the New York Times and the New Yorker revealed decades of sexual harassment and assault allegations against him. In short order, Weinstein has been booted from of his namesake company, disowned by his own brother,  and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — essentially the governing body of Hollywood which awards the Oscars each year.

In the days since these allegations became public, more and more actors, directors, and entertainment industry types have released statements of their own. Many female celebrities, including Kate Beckinsale and Cara Delevingne, have detailed their own experiences of sexual predation at Weinstein’s hands; a number of actors, notably Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, whose careers were launched with the Weinstein-produced and Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting, have spoken out to support those who came forward and also insist that they definitely, totally, had zero knowledge of Weinstein’s egregious behavior (even though it has been reported that Weinstein’s abusive tendencies were an “open secret” in Hollywood.) And some actors, like Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek, have described the sexual harassment and abuse that they, too, faced.

In echoes of the Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes cases, the number of allegations continues to rise. If true, these accusations reveal a pattern of sexual abuse dating back decades, all but out in the open, by one of the most influential men in the entertainment industry. But one man is concerned that maybe we’re all getting a little bit carried away here, and that man is Woody Allen.


Allen, director and alleged sexual abuser of his daughter, Dylan Farrow, told the BBC that, while he hoped the investigations lead to “some amelioration,” he had another worry: “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.”

Allen called “the whole Harvey Weinstein thing” a situation that is “very sad for everybody involved. Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that is life is so messed up.”

“But sure, you hope that something like this could be transformed into a benefit for people rather than just a sad or tragic situation,” he said.

If Allen had any thoughts about the fact that the New Yorker investigation was reported by his son, Ronan Farrow, he did not share them with the BBC.

UPDATE (10/16/17): Woody Allen has clarified his comments in a statement issued to Variety. “When I said I felt sad for Harvey Weinstein, I thought it was clear the meaning was because he is a sad, sick man. I was surprised it was treated differently. Lest there be any ambiguity, this statement clarifies my intention and feelings.”