As Hollywood becomes more self aware amid accusations of widespread Weinstein culture, Kate Winslet has stuck her neck out in defence of Woody Allen.
…And it didn’t go down well with Margot Robbie, who was sharing the sofa with the Titanic actress on The Envelope web series with the Los Angeles Times.
The exchange was a little more than awkward, and you can watch it below:
Margot Robbie’s facial expression as Kate Winslet talks working with Woody Allen. Never change, Margot. ??? pic.twitter.com/c2SZLaPUkj
— Dorian Skywalker (@DorianParksnRec) December 17, 2017
Winslet enthused about Allen’s talents, adding:
Woody Allen is an extraordinary writer.
He’s obviously known for having created extraordinary roles, very very powerful and complicated roles for women, for many many years.
Robbie was not the only woman on the sofa visibly displeased.
Saoirse Ronan could be nominated for an Oscar for her side-eye alone, and the smirk on the face of Jessica Chastain – who has previously said she will never work with Allen – says it all.
Although they all remained silent, a picture is worth a thousand words:
everyone's reactions when kate winslet started talking about working with woody allen lol pic.twitter.com/XUdFcFWfD6
— gabi (@harleivy) December 17, 2017
Woody Allen has garnered a reputation in Hollywood for tremendous talent, but problematic conduct, particularly after he said it was important to avoid ‘a witch hunt atmosphere’ where ‘every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself’ in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Weinstein was fired over allegations of sexual abuse, dating back throughout his career, including rape, sexual harassment, and most recently, death threats, which could land him five to 25 years in prison on sexual assault charges if tried in criminal court.
Allen also described Harvey Weinstein as a ‘sad, sick man’ in comments he later clarified to the BBC and said the situation was ‘tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that [his] life is so messed up.’
Although she is currently starring in Wonder Wheel, a Woody Allen film, and has worked with the director many times, Winslet’s praise of the director in the current climate is surprising.
Alongside his acting and directing credits, Allen is known for marrying his adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn and for allegedly abusing his daughter Dylan Farrow 25 years ago.
He has always denied the allegations.
Weinstein is often credited with reviving Allen’s career in the aftermath of the accusations.
Among those who investigated Weinstein this year were Allen’s own son, Ronan Farrow, who spoke to 13 women who said the producer had sexually harassed or assaulted them.
Weinstein, 65, who has been accused of various degrees of misconduct by Uma Thurman, Cara Delevignge, Salma Hayek, and Rose McGowan, among many more, insists any sexual contacts he had were consensual.
Meanwhile, as TIME announced the silence-breakers against sexual harassment to be their Persons of the Year, it is sad to see a pillar of the Hollywood community – and a well-respected female voice – speak out in such a blinkered manner to the recent implosion in the film industry.
Of course, a filmmakers’ personal life has no reflection in the quality of his work, but to consistently praise those against whom these types of allegations have been made could be damaging to the brave movement in speaking out against systematic abuse in Hollywood.