Bainbridge Performing Arts announced Sunday it was pulling the Woody Allen-written musical “Bullets Over Broadway” from BPA’s season lineup next year in response to the controversial director’s statements to BBC earlier this month that defended Harvey Weinstein.
Weinstein, a movie producer, has faced a flood of accusations of sexual harassment, assault and rape from women in the film industry in recent weeks. He was fired earlier this month from his movie studio and was kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and Weinstein is currently under investigation by police in New York and Los Angeles.
Allen had been quoted as warning against a “witch hunt” of other men accused of inappropriate behavior toward women in response to the Weinstein allegations. (Allen and Weinstein have a long history; Weinstein’s film company Miramax had distributed Allen’s film of “Bullets Over Broadway” in 1994 after Allen had been accused the year before of sexually abusing his 7-year-old daughter.)
The musical “Bullets Over Broadway” had been planned for performances at BPA from May 4 through May 20. Joanna Hardie had been selected to direct.
Dominique Cantwell, BPA’s executive director, said canceling “Bullets Over Broadway” was a “matter of principle.”
“Given our national conversation about how women are treated or mistreated by men in positions of power, and given that Woody Allen has placed himself very publicly on what we consider the opposing side of the issue and has been advocating against a ‘witch hunt’ of the men perpetrating this culture of abuse, we have decided that we cannot promote or support him by paying royalties for his work,” Cantwell said.
In its announcement, BPA also said: “As a company largely made up of strong women, BPA hopes to choose a new title for May that reflects the organization’s values and mission and shows solidarity with those who have been affected by the impact of abuse.”
“An end to complacency begins by making difficult, but meaningful choices to break the cycle,” Cantwell added.
BPA also said: “Believing that our societal silence on the issue is part of the problem, BPA has determined to take a public stand, reflecting that what we do matters – our choices at the personal, business, and community levels bear consequence in the society that we co-create.”