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Director Alex Proyas Clarifies Controversial #MeToo Statements: Terry Gilliam Shouldn’t Be Lumped in With Other Disgraced Directors

The Australian's resume includes "The Crow," "Dark City," and "I, Robot."

Director Alex Proyas attends the "Gods of Egypt" premiere at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square, in New YorkNY Premiere of "Gods of Egypt", New York, USA - 24 Feb 2016

Director Alex Proyas attends the “Gods of Egypt” New York premiere

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Editor’s Note (March 27): When IndieWire first published this story, the full text of what Proyas wrote on Facebook was, “KILL ‘EM ALL! THE GUILTY & THE WITCH-HUNTED. Then you’ll have nothing left to watch other than the sanitised directed-by-committee crap you’ll so thoroughly deserve.”

He later amended the post to add an asterisk and the explanation, “I do not support criminal perpetrators like Polanski in any way. I support #metoo and abuse survivors. I do not believe Terry Gilliam should be lumped in with perpetrators for stating an opinion, however egregious. Clarification for those who might not get this.”

In a Facebook message to IndieWire, he wrote, “I would appreciate it if you could report what I did actually say in my Facebook rather than what you thought I was implying. I did not support Polanski or Woody Allen in any way. I believe Polanski committed a crime without any question. Nor did I say anything in opposition to #MeToo or Time’s Up, both of which I firmly support. I took exception to Terry Gilliam being lumped into the same category with perpetrators. I think that is wrong and needs to be called out.”

“I, Robot” and “Dark City” director Alex Proyas took to Facebook to criticize the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. His inspiration was a story in The Guardian, “The end of the auteur?”, which asks how best to approach work by filmmakers whose offscreen behavior has invited controversy.

Proyas began with sarcasm before turning indignant: “KILL ‘EM ALL! THE GUILTY & THE WITCH-HUNTED. Then you’ll have nothing left to watch other than the sanitised directed-by-committee crap you’ll so thoroughly deserve.”

Proyas’ original Facebook post


Among the filmmakers cited by Guardian writer Ryan Gilbey for potentially alienating his audience was Terry Gilliam. Earlier this month, the “Brazil” and “12 Monkeys” director called the current onslaught of sexual harassment and abuse allegations “ugly and simplistic,” explaining that we live in “a world of victims” and “mob rule,” and insisting that some of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims “knew what they were doing.”

In the comments section of his post, Proyas implied that Gilliam had been treated unfairly for these remarks, which were criticized by Judd Apatow, Sarah Silverman, and — most notably — his “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” actress Ellen Barkin, who tweeted, “My hard won advice: never get into an elevator alone with Terry Gilliam.”

Proyas has a reputation for being outspoken. In February 2016, during the promotional tour of his last film, “Gods of Egypt,” with Gerard Butler, he castigated its reviewers as people who “can rip into my movie while trying to make their mainly pale asses look so politically correct by screaming ‘white-wash!!!’ like the deranged idiots they all are.” Months earlier, Proyas had apologized for his casting choices, which he said “should have been more diverse.”

Hours after linking to the Guardian’s story on March 25, Proyas updated his Facebook bio to simply read, “SOMETIMES GUILTY OF THE CRIME OF AUTEURISM.”

Although Proyas currently lists CAA and Believe Media as his agency and his management company, both said he is no longer a client. Listed numbers for Proyas’ New South Wales, Australia-based production company, Mystery Clock Cinema, were not in service. IndieWire reached out to Proyas via Facebook and Twitter, and we will update this story if he responds.

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