Over a year after the #MeToo movement first gained traction in Hollywood, it appears as though it has finally caught up with one of the most polarizing figures in the industry.
Filmmaker Woody Allen is reportedly suing Amazon for breach of contract, alleging that the company’s studio unit reneged on a four-picture movie deal due to resurfaced sexual abuse allegations. Allen is seeking more than $68 million in damages.
According to the suit, filed Thursday in New York federal court, Amazon attempted to terminate its agreements with Allen last June. The complaint states:
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. There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises.
It was first announced in 2014 that Amazon had tapped Allen to write and direct a television series, titled Crisis in Six Scenes. This was shortly followed by a deal ensuring four feature-length films, including A Rainy Day in New York. This was after Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, wrote an open letter published in the New York Times that accused him of molesting her in 1992, when she was 7-years-old.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan follows more than two decades of modest commercial fortunes for many Allen films.
Allen has won four Oscars, including best director for 1977’s “Annie Hall,” which also won best picture. Several actresses have also won Oscars for his movies.
“Amazon cannot continue in business with Mr. Allen,” Amazon Studios associate general counsel Ajay Patel wrote in a June 19 email.
Allen’s lawyers said none of this justified the cancellation. Both emails were attached to the complaint.
Another major component in the case is that in accordance to the agreement, Allen and investors spent $20 million on the production of A Rainy Day in New York and that Amazon is now refusing to make guaranteed payments on the film.
Amazon Studios did not immediately respond to requests for comment.