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Woody Allen Wants $68M From Amazon

Director sues over film deal that fell apart
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2019 4:32 PM CST
In this Nov. 14, 2017 file photo, director Woody Allen attends a special screening of "Wonder Wheel" in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Woody Allen is not happy that Amazon is refusing to distribute his latest film, and he's going to court over it. As the director has faced renewed scrutiny over daughter Dylan Farrow's allegations that he sexually abused her when she was seven, Amazon Studios had second thoughts about its multi-picture deal with Allen. In addition to its refusal to distribute A Rainy Day in New York, it backed out on its agreement to produce three additional films, and now Allen is suing for more than $68 million in damages, the Wall Street Journal reports. "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," says the suit, per Variety.

The suit claims that in late 2017, after Roy Price stepped down as head of Amazon Studios in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, Amazon executives approached Allen and the director agreed to push A Rainy Day in New York's release from 2018 to 2019, but that last June Amazon Studios terminated its deal with Allen entirely, with no "legal or factual basis." After Allen's camp pushed for a reason, the suit says, Amazon said the agreement was being canceled because of "supervening events, including renewed allegations against Mr. Allen, his own controversial comments, and the increasing refusal of top talent to work with or be associated with him in any way, all of which have frustrated the purpose of the Agreement." (This woman says she was Allen's secret teenage lover.)

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