Woody Allen sues Amazon for backing out of distribution deals

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Filmmaker Woody Allen has filed a $68 million suit against Amazon for breach of contract, accusing the streaming giant of canceling a film deal because of a "baseless" decades-old allegation that he sexually abused his daughter.

He is seeking that $9 million along with minimum guarantees owed him for 3 other films, totaling "in excess of $68,000,000", according to a complaint filed Thursday, February 7 in federal court in NY and obtained by AFP.

Based on that conversation, Allen says that he finished A Rainy Day in NY and then started production on other projects because, as he claims to have understood, Amazon was simply pushing the film's release date.

Amazon backed out of the deals, purporting to terminate them without any legal basis for doing so, while knowing that its actions would cause substantial damage to Mr. Allen, Gravier, investors and the artists and crew involved in making the films.

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You can believe everything said about Allen by his children (his son, Ronan Farrow, has supported Dylan throughout her attempts to have her accusations against her father taken seriously).

In June 2018, Patel allegedly sent an email saying Amazon was terminating the agreement, without providing a reason.

The multi-part agreement, valued between $68 million and $73 million, would require Allen to write and direct several film and television installments for the streamer, including the mini-series Crisis in Six Scenes, which Amazon released in 2016 to miserable reviews.

Allegations against Allen were discussed and it was agreed that "A Rainy Day in New York" would be delayed until 2019. Some of its cast members, including Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Hall and Selena Gomez, later issued public statements of regret for having worked with Allen and donated their salaries to organisations set up to address allegations of institutionalised sexual abuse and harassment.

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Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. As a result of the renewed scrutiny on the director, the first film in the partnership, Wonder Wheel, had trouble finding willing distributors, and eventually flopped when it finally did see release.

However, the suits claims that in June 2018, Amazon contacted Allen to say that it would not distribute the film, nor any of the remaining films including in the four-film deal.

Law&Crime reached out to Amazon for comment.

Allen's lawyers said none of this justified the cancellation.

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"A Rainy Day in New York" was shot in 2017.

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