Woody Allen filed a lawsuit against Amazon claiming breach of contract, per The Hollywood Reporter. The actor, writer, and director claimed that the company attempted to terminate its relationship with the director in the summer of 2018 despite having prior knowledge of Allen's 1992 allegation of sexual assault.
The lawsuit asserts: "Seeking to capitalise on Mr. Allen's international stature, talent, and track record, Amazon — a technology giant but Hollywood novice — sought to develop its nascent entertainment studio by entering into a series of deals with Mr. Allen and his company, Gravier, promising to finance and distribute his future films and to be his 'home' for the rest of his career."
In June of 2018, after scrutiny of Allen's past reached a peak, Amazon reportedly attempted to reverse its distribution agreements with Allen. The lawsuit claims that Amazon had four deals with Allen, all of which were for films. The lawsuit continues, "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." When the streaming company did terminate the contract, Allen and his camp sought answers, to which the company allegedly gave a "vague statement" about "renewed allegations against Mr. Allen." That is possibly a reference to the renewed discussion in the allegation that Allen sexually assaulted Dylan Farrow in 1992.
The lawsuit claims that Allen's 2016 movie Café Society helped "jump-start" Amazon's nascent film business in addition to the 2017 film Wonder Wheel, which starred Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake.
A representative for Amazon declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The first film in the four-contract deal was A Rainy Day in New York, a movie that Allen filmed in the summer of 2017 with Timothée Chalamet and Selena Gomez. In January of 2018, the New York Times reported that Amazon was having "serious conversations about ending its relationship" with the director. That same month, Timothée Chalamet announced that he would be donating his salary from the film to charity. By August, Page Six reported that the movie likely wouldn't see the light of day, and an Amazon rep confirmed at the time that no release date for the move was set. As of January 2019, a trailer or release date has yet to materialize.
The other mostly forgotten collaboration between Amazon and Allen was the series Crisis in Six Scenes, a miniseries that starred Rachel Brosnahan, John Magaro, Miley Cyrus, and Allen himself. The show debuted to abysmal reviews — the Times called it a "Mere Ghost of Woody Allen Past" — and even Allen appeared to hate it. "[The show] was a catastrophic mistake," he told the Los Angeles Times in 2015. "I don't know what I'm doing. I'm floundering. I expect this to be a cosmic embarrassment." The lawsuit claims that this series generated "significant publicity for [Amazon's] fledgling streaming service" in addition to "significant publicity due to Mr. Allen and the talent appearing in the series."