In the aftermath of sexual harassment allegations against former Amazon Studios head Roy Price, Amazon Studios continues to jettison planned publicity opportunities. Vanished from the schedule of Saturday’s Producers Guild of America conference “Produced By: New York” is “360 Profile: Amazon Studios,” which was to feature the company’s Head of Motion Picture Production, Ted Hope, and Joe Lewis, the now-former Head of Comedy, Drama, and VR.
The PGA announced the panel September 14 as part of its conference programming. By October 22, Lewis was still a top Amazon executive — but the panel was no longer part of the schedule. (Variety confirmed his departure Oct. 23; the next day, Amazon’s head of unscripted programming, Conrad Riggs, also left the company).
This comes at what should be a key moment for Amazon, which is now launching its in-house distribution arm with Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel.” Amazon representatives declined to confirm the cancellation by press time. However, a “Produced By: New York” publicist wrote in an email: “From my understanding the Amazon 360 panel is no longer happening.”
On October 13, a day after Amazon announced Price’s then-leave of absence, the studio also cancelled the New York Film Festival’s closing-night red carpet for the world premiere of “Wonder Wheel.” Later that weekend, “Wonder Wheel” Oscar hopeful Kate Winslet did not take audience questions following her scheduled NYFF talk, and Amazon tightened the guest list for the film’s Tavern on the Green after-party. NYFF was originally expected to be an Amazon triumph, as the studio provided the festival’s three headlining films (including opener “Last Flag Flying” and centerpiece “Wonderstruck”).
Now in its fourth year, “Produced By: New York,” will assemble several current award season hopefuls at Manhattan’s Time Warner Center, among them “Mudbound” director Dee Rees, “The Shape of Water” producer J. Miles Dale, “Wonderstruck” cinematographer Ed Lachman, “Wonder Wheel” production designer Santo Loquasto, “Call Me by Your Name” actor Timothée Chalamet, and “Molly’s Game” actress Jessica Chastain.
The PGA voted unanimously Oct. 16 to begin termination proceedings against Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein for his own harassment allegations, and will reveal their final decision Nov. 6. As part of the Weinstein fallout, Amazon abandoned director David O. Russell’s forthcoming $160 million series starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, a Weinstein Company co-production.