Woody Allen sues Amazon for ending movie deal over sexual harassment allegations


The 83-year-old director filed a $68 million lawsuit Thursday against the company over the release of his most recent feature film, A Rainy Day in NY, starring Selena Gomez and Timothée Chalamet.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court in NY, calls Amazon a "technology giant but Hollywood novice".

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, says that Amazon knew about a "25-year-old" allegation before signing with Allen in 2017, but still used it as an excuse to back out of the deal. The suit also claims that there are "no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises".

Allen, 83, reached an agreement with Amazon in August 2017 to produce four movies for its "Prime Video" streaming service.

Farrow's allegations, which Allen has denied, have resurfaced since the beginning of the #MeToo movement.

In June previous year, the same month that Amazon apparently terminated his contract, Allen backed the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment - and said he should be its poster boy.

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She also publicly called out actors for working with or supporting Allen in the past. The executives said Amazon Studios' reputation had been harmed by its association with Harvey Weinstein, the target of several misconduct accusations, and by allegations against former Amazon Studios head Roy Price, according to the suit.

On June 29, 2018, the lawsuit says, Amazon told Allen that they were terminating their agreements with him and not distributing the movies covered by the deals.

Amazon took a couple years to transform into a full-fledged movie studio. As a result of the renewed scrutiny on the director, the first film in the partnership, Wonder Wheel, had trouble finding willing distributors, and eventually flopped when it finally did see release.

The first movie in the deal, "A Rainy Day in NY", has been completed for over six months - but Amazon has been hesitant to release it. In January 2018, the streamer's general counsel, Ajay Patel, proposed delaying the release of "A Rainy Day in New York" until 2019, which Allen accepted. "That is exactly what has happened", Allen's attorney John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP said in a statement sent to Law&Crime.

Undeterred by the disappointment, the director continued to start work on the second film which was given the working title of A Rainy Day in NY and again included a star-studded cast with Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez and Jude Law all involved.