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Woody Allen on wrong side of sexual harassment issue, theater says as it cancels play

Woody Allen speaks at the "Cafe Society" press conference as part of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, in 2016. An Allen play is being pulled from the Bainbridge Performing Arts’ 2017-18 lineup after the director’s controversial comments on sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein.
Woody Allen speaks at the "Cafe Society" press conference as part of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, in 2016. An Allen play is being pulled from the Bainbridge Performing Arts’ 2017-18 lineup after the director’s controversial comments on sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein. TNS

A Woody Allen play is being pulled from the Bainbridge Performing Arts’ lineup after the director’s controversial comments on sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein.

The company announced Sunday morning it is canceling planned May 2018 performances of “Bullets Over Broadway,” Allen’s Academy Award-winning film that he later adapted into a play.

In a statement released by the company, executive director Dominique Cantwell said the decision is a “matter of principle.”

Cantwell added, “Given our national conversation about how women are treated or mistreated by men in positions of power, and given that Woody Allen has placed himself very publicly on what we consider the opposing side of the issue and has been advocating against a ‘witch hunt’ of the men perpetrating this culture of abuse, we have decided that we cannot promote or support him by paying royalties for his work.”

Bainbridge Performing Arts’ statement says it “hopes to choose a new title for May that reflects the organization’s values and mission and shows solidarity with those who have been affected by the impact of abuse.”

Allen, who worked on several films with Weinstein, drew criticism for a BBC interview earlier this month when he said, “The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved. ... Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that (his) life is so messed up.”

Allen expanded on his comments later in an interview with Variety magazine, stating, “When I said I felt sad for Harvey Weinstein I thought it was clear the meaning was because he is a sad, sick man. I was surprised it was treated differently. Lest there be any ambiguity, this statement clarifies my intention and feelings.”

In the Bainbridge company’s statement, Cantwell said, “An end to complacency begins by making difficult, but meaningful choices to break the cycle.”

“Believing that our societal silence on the issue is part of the problem, BPA has determined to take a public stand, reflecting that what we do matters,” the statement reads, “our choices at the personal, business, and community levels bear consequence in the society that we co-create.”

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