Amazon Studios has filed a rebuttal to Woody Allen’s lawsuit in which the veteran filmmaker had alleged that the company breached their contract by refusing to distribute his latest film, A Rainy Day in New York.
It was reported in September 2018 that the film, which stars Timothee Chalamet, Selena Gomez, Elle Fanning, Rebecca Hall and Jude Law, has been shelved indefinitely by Amazon Studios.
The decision to shelve the project stemmed from the renewed focus on the director in the wake of Harvey Weinstein scandal and #MeToo movement. He has been accused of sexually assaulting his step-daughter Dylan Farrow when she was a seven-year-old in the early 1990s.
In the USD 68 million suit, which Allen filed in February this year, the filmmaker had claimed that Amazon gave only vague reasons for dropping the project and abandoning a four-film deal it struck with him.
“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,” the suit had alleged.
In its reply, the studio referred to Allen’s “witch-hunt atmosphere” comments that he had made in the aftermath of Harvey Weinstein scandal.
According to Variety, Amazon insists that the filmmaker’s comments showed that he “failed to grasp the gravity of the issues or the implications for his own career.”
“Understood in the broader context. Allen’s actions and their cascading consequences ensured that Amazon could never possibly receive the benefit of its four-picture agreement (despite already having paid Allen a 10 million-dollar advance upon signing),” Amazon’s lawyers said in the reply.
“As a result, Amazon was justified in terminating its relationship with Allen, and Plaintiffs ultimately will not recover any of the relief they seek,” they added.