In 2009, Kate Winslet won an Oscar for her role in The Reader. Out of the 19 people she thanked by name in her acceptance speech, Harvey Weinstein, who was one of the film's producers, was not among them. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Winslet says this omission was deliberate.
“I remember being told. ‘Make sure you thank Harvey if you win,'" she recounts. "And I remember turning around and saying, ‘No I won’t. No, I won’t.’ And it was nothing to do with not being grateful. If people aren’t well-behaved, why would I thank him?” The award-winning actress calls Weinstein a bully, saying he was "always very, very hard to deal with." She went on to recount numerous instances where Weinstein exhibited "disgraceful, despicable behavior" professionally. It included seemingly small things such as the now-ousted mogul calling her agent, a woman, vulgar names over the phone to pulling funding on The Reader four days early despite needing to shoot key scenes.
Winslet recalled the imposed sense of obligation she felt from Weinstein to express her gratitude to him. Her first movie, Heavenly Creatures, was produced by Weinstein's Miramax Films. “For my whole career, Harvey Weinstein, whenever I’ve bumped into him, he’d grab my arm and say, ‘Don’t forget who gave you your first movie.’ Like I owe him everything," she continued. "Then later, with The Reader, same thing, ‘I’m gonna get you that Oscar nomination, I’m gonna get you a win, I’m gonna win for you.’” It was clear Winslet limited herself to only a select few stories of the producer's unprofessional behavior with the actors, producers, and other staff involved with the movie.
When the news broke last week, Winslet was among the first to condemn the actions of Harvey Weinstein while thanking the women who came forward. In her interview with the Los Angeles Times, she made it clear that she believed Weinstein should face the full extent of the law for his actions calling his behavior and treatment of women "utterly unacceptable."
“The fact that I’m never going to have to deal with Harvey Weinstein again as long as I live is one of the best things that’s ever happened and I'm sure the feeling is universal,” Winslet added.
It seems like a straightforward answer; however, it gets complicated when you take into account her comments during an interview on working with Woody Allen on the recently released film Wonder Wheel.
In 2013, Allen was accused of sexual abuse by his daughter, Dylan Farrow. Many actors in Hollywood have been split over whether to continue working with the director in light of the accusations. When asked by The New York Times in September of this year whether the allegations against Allen made her hesitant to work with him, Winslet said:
"Of course one thinks about it. But at the same time, I didn’t know Woody and I don’t know anything about that family. As the actor in the film, you just have to step away and say, I don’t know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false. Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person. Woody Allen is an incredible director. So is Roman Polanski. I had an extraordinary working experience with both of those men, and that’s the truth."
Wonder Wheel ended up canceling its premiere this weekend, but it wasn't because of the allegations against Woody Allen. Instead, it was because of the news that Roy Price, president of the film's distributor, Amazon Studios, was recently suspended over allegations of sexual misconduct.
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