February 17, 2019
Latest News

Woody Allen sues Amazon on contract

 US director Woody Allen arrives for the screening of 'Cafe Society' and the Opening Ceremony of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 11, 2016 EPA-EFE FILE/JULIEN WARNAND

US director Woody Allen arrives for the screening of 'Cafe Society' and the Opening Ceremony of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 11, 2016 EPA-EFE FILE/JULIEN WARNAND

Madrid, Feb 8 (efe-epa).- Filmmaker Woody Allen sued Amazon Studios, claiming breach of contract for refusing to distribute his most recent movie, "A Rainy Day in New York," and terminating a four-picture production and distribution deal without cause, according to a report from the Dow Jones Newswires made available to EFE on Friday.

In a suit filed Thursday in federal court in the Southern District of New York seeking more than $68 million in damages, Allen said Amazon backed out of his deal last June after an old accusation that the director and actor had molested his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, in 1992 resurfaced as the #MeToo movement was gathering steam.

"Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year-old baseless allegation against Allen, but that allegation was already well-known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Allen -- and in any event, it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract," the suit said.

In recent years, Farrow has become more vocal about her accusation against Allen and in a 2014 New York Times piece criticized those who have worked with him.

Since her column and a 2018 television interview with Farrow on "CBS This Morning" detailing the allegation, some actors and actresses have publicly expressed remorse about appearing in Allen's movies.

Allen has continued to deny the accusation by Farrow and her mother, Mia Farrow, who was his longtime partner. Allen was investigated by the Connecticut State Attorney but wasn't charged.

Allen's suit alleges that cracks in his relationship with Amazon started to appear in late 2017 after Roy Price resigned as president of Amazon Studios in the wake of harassment allegations made against him by a producer on an Amazon show. Price was also under fire for his business ties to movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault. Both Messrs. Price and Weinstein have disputed those allegations.

In the suit, Allen said Amazon executives reached out to his representatives in December 2017 "and discussed the negative publicity and reputation harm Amazon Studios had received because of allegations" made against Price and its association with Weinstein. An agreement was reached to push the release of "A Rainy Day in New York" to 2019 from 2018.

However, last June, Amazon Studios Associate General Counsel Ajay Patel emailed Allen's representatives a termination notice. Amazon, the suit said, didn't provide any "legal or factual basis" for the termination.

"I don't know whether you'd call this hubris or just shortsightedness on Amazon's part -- but this is clearly not an acceptable way to behave in the business world," said Allen's attorney, John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

Pressed by Allen's camp as to why the deal was terminated, Amazon's Patel said it had become "untenable" because of "supervening events, including renewed allegations against 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," according to the suit.

Amazon, the suit said, didn't respond to Allen's request to explain what it was referring to by "renewed allegations," "controversial comments" and "top talent."

An Amazon Studios spokeswoman declined to comment. Amazon Studios is a unit of Amazon.com.

A winner of multiple Oscars, Allen has been in professional limbo since Amazon ended his deal, and he is looking for a new distributor of his films.

The relationship between Amazon Studios and Allen dates back to 2014 when he reached a deal with the retail giant's then-fledgling streaming service to distribute the limited series "Crisis in Six Scenes."

In 2016, Amazon made its first movie deal with Allen and his production company Gravier Productions, a distribution partnership for his movie "Cafe Society." That was followed by another distribution deal for his film "Wonder Wheel."

In August 2017, Amazon signed a multi-picture agreement with Allen, and Price said at the time that the auteur was "one of the most dynamic and compelling filmmakers of our time."

Under the terms of the deal outlined in the suit, Amazon agreed to pay Allen's Gravier Productions a minimum guarantee of $9 million a movie as well as distribute them in major-market theaters in the US for 90 days and a minimum of 500 screens.

Amazon also said it would pay Gravier a minimum guarantee equal to the gross budget of each of Allen's films between $25 million and $27.5 million.

By Joe Flint

News history
Trump meets with US trade delegation after Beijing talks

Washington, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States met Saturday with the team of negotiators who traveled this week to Beijing for a new...

Chile, the perfect window on 2019's total eclipse of the sun

By Alberto Valdes Gomez

Bruno Ganz, actor who played empathic angel, Hitler in Downfall, dies aged 77

Geneva, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- Bruno Ganz, the actor who rose to fame for his portrayal of an angel yearning to experience the feeling of mortality and also...

Panama Canal names new chief administrator

Panama City, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) on Friday selected a new chief administrator for the inter-oceanic waterway for the...

Mexican gov't unveils $5.5 bn package to support ailing Pemex

Mexico City, Feb 15 (EFE).- Mexico's government on Friday unveiled a 107-billion-peso ($5.5-billion) aid package in 2019 for state oil company Petroleos...

Trump says trade talks with China are going well

Washington, Feb 15 (epa-efe).- US President Donald Trump said here Friday that talks with China on a wide-ranging trade agreement were going "extremely well."

Kazakhstan ready to share oil and gas know-how with Central Asian neighbors

Astana, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- Kazakhstan's oil and gas industry plans to share its know-how with its neighbors in Central Asia in a bid to create a stable...

Brazilian economic activity expands 1.15 pct. in 2018

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Brazil's economic activity expanded 1.15 percent last year with respect to 2017, a sign that the South American giant is...

Turkish media is losing influence over people, says academic

Ankara, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Turkish media is losing its power to influence people and the news that is heard or read by at least half of the population is...

8 Vale employees arrested over Brazil mine dam disaster

Sao Paulo, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Eight employees of Brazilian mining giant Vale were arrested Friday as part of an investigation into a mine tailings dam...

China, US finish third round of trade negotiations, claim progress

Beijing, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- The third round of negotiations between representatives of China and the United States to resolve an ongoing trade conflict...

Chinese inflation rises 1.7 percent in January

Beijing, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- China's main inflation indicator, the Consumer Price Index, rose 1.7 percent year on year in January, marking its third...

China exempts 14 Brazilian firms from anti-dumping tariffs

Shanghai, China, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- China on Friday imposed anti-dumping duties on chicken imports from Brazil but exempted 14 firms in exchange for a price...

Huawei accuses US of orchestrating geopolitical campaign against it

Beijing, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- One of Huawei's three rotating chairmen accused the United States of creating a geopolitical campaign against the Chinese...

Argentina records yearly inflation of 49.3 percent, highest since 1991

Buenos Aires, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- Inflation in Argentina rose to 49.3 percent year-on-year in January, according to data released Thursday by the National...

Panamanian state bank sounds alarm

Panama City, Feb 14 (epa-efe).- The state-owned Banco Nacional de Panama (BNP) said Thursday that a billion-dollar lawsuit filed by business magnate Abdul...

Brazil's Vale rejects blame for deadly disaster

Brasilia, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- The CEO of Brazilian mining giant Vale said here Thursday that his company should not be condemned for last month's collapse of...

Amazon scraps plans to open new headquarters in New York City

New York, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday it has canceled plans to build a new headquarters in New York City, citing a...

Mexico's Caribbean region needs to win back tourists

Cancun, Mexico, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- The state of Quintana Roo, home to Mexico's most popular Caribbean tourist destinations, faces the challenge of...

23 miners feared dead in Zimbabwe after gold mines flood

Harare, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- At least 23 miners are feared dead in central Zimbabwe after a dam wall broke and flooded the shafts of two gold mines in which...

Airbus A-380: the double-decker giant of the skies that never really took off

ParĂ­s, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- The A-380, a mammoth double-decker commercial airliner, was supposed to revolutionize the way people flew to far-off...

Renault profit slumps on lower Nissan contribution

Paris, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- Renault SA's new chief executive plans to stick to the strategy set by his predecessor, after last year's profit dropped due to...

Popularity of Valentine's Day chocolate tradition dips in Japan

Tokyo, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- Chocolate is synonymous with Valentine's Day all over the world, but in Japan, where the sector generates around 20 percent of its...

Valentine's Day in Beijing

New York, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- In New York City restaurants, the party-of-one is becoming a cause for celebration, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.