Woody Allen: You Don’t Want a Hollywood ‘Witch Hunt’ in Wake of Harvey Weinstein Scandal

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Woody Allen has publicly weighed in on the sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, calling the reports “sad” for all who have been impacted — including the embattled Hollywood producer.

“The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved,” Allen told the BBC. “Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that [his] life is so messed up.There’s no winners in that, it’s just very, very sad and tragic for those poor women that had to go through that.”

Allen did, however, express reservations that Weinstein’s behavior could lead to a “witch hunt” of sorts. “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,” he said.

Earlier this month, the New York Times published an explosive report detailing three decades of sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein, causing his company to terminate him three days later. Shortly after, the Times published more reports of sexual harassment against Weinstein, this time from high-profile figures like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. That same day, the New Yorker published its own report, with three women claiming Weinstein had raped them. A spokesperson for Weinstein denied “any allegations of non-consensual sex” in response to both reports.

Allen has a connection to this story that stems beyond his work with Weinstein in Hollywood — his son, Ronan Farrow, authored and reported the story in the New Yorker. Nearly three decades ago, Allen was accused of sexually molesting Ronan’s sibling Dylan, who spoke out about the situation in 2014. Allen always denied the claims and was never charged.

Allen also told the BBC that, while rumors always percolate in Hollywood, he had never heard anything about Weinstein like the allegations that have emerged. “No one ever came to me or told me horror stories with any real seriousness,” he told the BBC. “And they wouldn’t, because you are not interested in it. You are interested in making your movie.”



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Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com