Amazon terminated its four movie deal with Allen in 2018

By Alexia Fernández
February 07, 2019 06:21 PM

Woody Allen is suing Amazon for $68 million claiming the streaming giant “backed out of” four movie deals due to a previous allegation of sexual assault against the director made by his daughter Dylan Farrow.

“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,” the lawsuit alleges according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

The Blue Jasmine director claims Amazon refused to release his film A Rainy Day in New York, alleging the streaming company gave vague reasons for dropping the project and his three other movies from development.

Amazon is not commenting at this time.

In his complaint, Allen references other controversies Amazon has faced during the #MeToo movement.

He claims his representatives met with Amazon executives in December 2017 to “discuss the negative publicity and reputational harm Amazon Studios had received because of allegations made against” former president Roy Price, who was accused of sexually harassing a coworker.

The meeting also entailed a discussion about Amazon’s “association with Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company,” according to the lawsuit.

Woody Allen
| Credit: Gabriel Grams/Getty

Amazon’s general counsel Ajay Patel allegedly told Allen’s reps in January 2018 A Rainy Day in New York would be released but asked them to “push back” the release date to 2019, which Allen agreed to do.

In June 2018, Allen claims Patel terminated his film contract with Amazon, telling him, “Amazon does not intend to distribute” any of his films and giving no further reason, according to the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, Allen and his production company, Gravier Productions, said they pressed Amazon for more information regarding the decision, with Amazon claiming the termination came due to “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.”

Allen now seeks a minimum of $68 million.

Just Law, who stars in A Rainy Day in New York, previously told The New York Timesit’s a terrible shame” the film was shelved. “I’d love to see it. People worked really hard and put a lot in, obviously himself included,” he said.

The Annie Hall director has been defended by those close to him, including his wife Soon-Yi Previn who told New York Magazine in September, “What’s happened to Woody is so upsetting, so unjust,” in regards to the backlash he received following Farrow’s allegation.