Bad Santa Director Confirms Claim That Mira Sorvino Was Blacklisted

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Update, December 16 at 10 a.m. EST: Another director has backed up Peter Jackson's claims that Mira Sorvino was blacklisted by Harvey Weinstein after she allegedly rejected his sexual advances, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Terry Zwigoff tweeted that the Weinsteins discouraged his interest in casting the Oscar-winning actress in the 2003 comedy Bad Santa, which starred Billy Bob Thornton. Lauren Graham ended up playing the lead female role.
"I was interested in casting Mira Sorvino in BAD SANTA, but every time I mentioned her over the phone to the Weinsteins, I'd hear a CLICK," Zwigoff wrote. "What type of person just hangs up on you like that?! I guess we all know what type of person now. I'm really sorry Mira."
This story was originally published on December 15, 2017.
Back in October, actress Mira Sorvino figuratively put her hand up and said #metoo to the Harvey Weinstein allegations. Speaking with The New Yorker, she claimed that Weinstein massaged her inappropriately and chased her around a hotel room in 1995.
And this morning, after director Peter Jackson claimed that Weinstein blacklisted her and actress Ashley Judd, costing them both roles in The Lord of the Rings, Sorvino started to cry.
“Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying. There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure. Thank you Peter Jackson for being honest. I’m just heartsick,” Sorvino tweeted Friday.
Jackson recently told New Zealand based Stuff that Weinstein and his brother Bob are a pair of “second-rate Mafia bullies” who talked him out of casting both actresses in the blockbuster fantasy film series. Both Sorvino and Judd have accused Weinstein of sexual assault.
“I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998,” Jackson said. “At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us — but in hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing," he told Stuff.
Judd also commented on the news early this morning.
In the past, Sorvino said she suspected the movie mogul smeared her good name after she rejected his sexual advances. “There may have been other factors, but I definitely felt iced out and that my rejection of Harvey had something to do with it,” she told The New Yorker.
Following a New York Times exposé in October, 84 women have come forward with accusations of sexual assault and harassment by Weinstein. The movement set off a chain reaction that has reverberated in every corner of Hollywood, with dozens of prominent actors, directors, producers, and writers facing allegations of sexual misconduct. Just this week, Salma Hayek came forward with allegations Weinstein harassed her for years, forcing her to do an unnecessary nude scene after she rejected his advances. Weinstein has repeatedly denied these allegations and all claims of nonconsensual sex.
This is heartbreaking confirmation and a sharp rebuke for anyone who suggests women either keep their heads down or quit their jobs in the face of sexual misconduct. Sorvino, an Oscar-winning actress, was easily pushed aside as a contender by Jackson for what might have been the role of a lifetime. Women's careers and reputations can be maligned, destroyed even, at the whims of powerful men who speak in code, throwing out words like "difficult" to make sure these women don't get hired.
In a statement provided to Entertainment Weekly, representatives for Weinstein denied having any say in the casting choices for Lord of the Rings and justified his relationship with Sorvino by saying he cast her husband in a recent series he produced.
Refinery29 has reached out to Judd, Sorvino, and Weinstein for further comment.
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