In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that exposed the producer's history of sexual misconduct, many celebrities in Hollywood have criticized Weinstein for his actions. However, Woody Allen recently told BBC that he felt "sad" for Weinstein and even warned of a "witch hunt" that he believes will affect many men in Hollywood.
"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."
Allen's statements drew flak, with many bashing the Annie Hall director for seemingly protecting a sexual predator. His words caused concern for many particularly because Allen was accused of molesting his then seven-year old adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, during the '90s. However, the accusations were never proven to be true, and Allen continues to deny them to this very day.
National Organization for Women (NOW) president Toni Van Pelt was one of those to brutally rip into Allen's sympathetic defense of Weinstein, saying that the Manhattan director was helping enable a sickening culture of sexual abuse and harassment that has negatively affected the lives of many women working in the film industry.
"This is once again men protecting men. Men get permission from comments like Woody Allen made to continue to isolate women."
Following the outrage from Van Pelt and many others, Allen has since clarified his statement in a follow-up interview with 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."