Actor ‘regrets’ working on Woody Allen film, donates salary to anti-rape charity

Actor Griffin Newman has said he regrets working on a Woody Allen film and that he has donated his entire salary to an anti-sexual violence organisation.

Newman posted a series of tweets about his feelings working on the untitled Allen project – including that he believes the director to be “guilty” – prior to Allen speaking out about the ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal.

The actor said that the revelations in recent days, which have seen a number of women in the film industry accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment, prompted him to speak out and air his own “guilt”.

Woody Allen (Ian West/PA)

In a lengthy series of tweets, the 28-year-old US actor said that he does not have “evidence” of Allen’s guilt but shared an open letter penned by Allen’s adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow in The New York Times in 2014, which Newman said led him to make his decision.

Farrow had claimed that in 1992 at the family’s Connecticut home, Allen led her to a “dim, closet-like attic” and “then he sexually assaulted me”.

Allen was investigated over the 1992 accusation, but prosecutors elected not to charge him, and he has always vehemently denied the claims.

Newman wrote on Twitter: “I need to get this off my chest:”

Listing in bullet points, he added: “I worked on Woody Allen’s next movie. I believe he is guilty. I donated my entire salary to RAINN.”

The charity he said he has donated to is the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, America’s largest anti-sexual violence organisation and leading authority on sexual violence.

Newman continued: “It’s a one scene role. I spent a month debating whether or not to quit. I deeply regret my final decision.”

The actor, best known for appearing in Amazon series The Tick, said that he did not quit the job at the time because “my parents were incredibly proud” and “I felt there things to be gained from the experience on that set”.

He added: “I was a coward.”

Newman said: “It was an educational experience for all the wrong reasons. I learned conclusively that I cannot put my career over my morals again.

“I had been feeling this way for the last month, but the awful continuance revelations of the last week compounded my guilt ten fold.

“I’ve spent the last decade struggling as an actor, and learned to sideline my views because the thought of closing any doors was terrifying.

“I’ve been steadfast in what I stand for in my personal life and on Twitter, but would largely take the check and bite my tongue on set.”

Newman said that he “can’t keep professionally operating from a place of fear” and that he feels it is “time to show a courage in my actions mirroring my words without concession”.

“To anyone who thinks I took the easy way out by taking the job THEN denouncing it, I assure you that is the worst combination of choices,” he said, adding that he is “getting equal amounts of (separate) criticism for taking the job as believing that he’s guilty”.

Newman later went back to his Twitter thread to add some “addendums”, in which he clarified he was not “convinced of his guilt” by being on set, but that “it just made me feel like a hypocrite”.

He said, sharing a link to the 2014 article by Farrow: “People ask me for evidence of his guilt. I don’t have any. I just read this and know who I want to believe.”

“‘Why did it take you months to feel guilty?’ It didn’t. It took seconds. It just took me until now to verbalise it publicly,” Newman added.

Newman said he is “not looking to be celebrated” and said he did not speak out to get “free press” or “boost my career”.

Harvey Weinstein (John Stillwell/PA)

A number of actresses, including Hollywood stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have made accusations of sexual harassment against 65-year-old movie mogul Weinstein in recent days.

Through his spokeswoman, Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” any allegations of non-consensual sex after three actresses said he had raped them in an article in The New Yorker.

The Metropolitan Police are now investigating five allegations involving Weinstein, dating back to the late 1980s.

Allen had told the BBC on Sunday: “The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved.

“Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that his life is so messed up.

“There’s no winners in that, it’s just very, very sad and tragic for those poor women that had to go through that.”

The 81-year-old director later told Variety: “When I said I felt sad for Harvey Weinstein I thought it was clear, the meaning was because he is a sad, sick man.

“I was surprised it was treated differently. Lest there be any ambiguity, this statement clarifies my intention and feelings.”


 

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