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Woody Allen: ‘I’ve Done Everything the #MeToo Movement Would Love to Achieve’

The director defended his past while remaining optimistic that "A Rainy Day in New York" may still get a U.S. release.

Director Woody Allen attends a press conference at La Scala opera house, in Milan, Italy,. Woody Allen is directing Puccini's ' Gianni Schicchi ' opera, which opens Saturday in Milan. The opera premiered in Los Angeles and it's making its debut at La ScalaLa Scala Woody Allen, Milan, Italy - 02 Jul 2019

Woody Allen

Luca Bruno/AP/Shutterstock

Spurred on by Scarlett Johansson’s defense of him, which recently made headlines, Woody Allen responded yet again to allegations of sexual assault made against him and the backlash he and his films have faced. In an interview with France24 in support of the French release of his latest film “A Rainy Day in New York,” Allen touted his position as a longtime employer of women, even going so far as to claim he represents a positive outcome of the #MeToo movement.

“I’ve worked with hundreds of actresses [and] not one of them has ever complained about me, not a single complaint. I’ve worked with, employed women in the top capacity, in every capacity, for years and we’ve always paid them exactly the equal of men,” he said. “I’ve done everything that the #MeToo movement would love to achieve.”

The comments come just days after Allen’s one-time muse spoke out in support of the filmmaker in a recent interview. Johansson said she believes Allen, who has long denied allegations of sexual abuse made against him by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, which date back to 1992. Johansson’s remarks were met with widespread criticism just as Oscar buzz for her work in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” is beginning to build.

“I love Woody. I believe him, and I would work with him anytime,” Johansson said. “I see Woody whenever I can, and I have had a lot of conversations with him about it. I have been very direct with him, and he’s very direct with me. He maintains his innocence, and I believe him.”

“A Rainy Day in New York” is headed for theaters in a handful of European countries, including Greece, the Netherlands, and Poland. While the film was originally slated to open in the U.S. from Amazon Studios as part of their four-picture production pact with the disgraced auteur, Amazon dropped the film in the wake of increased attention paid to Allen’s sexual assault allegations. For his part, the director was optimistic that the film could still reach U.S. audiences.

“To me the movie is being released all over the world,” he said. “If people enjoy the movie, I think it will eventually be released in the U.S.”

Allen added that he is unfazed by his shunning by U.S. media and distributors.

“I couldn’t care less. I’ve never worked in Hollywood. I’ve always worked in New York and it doesn’t matter to me for a second. If tomorrow nobody would finance my films and nobody would finance my theater plays or nobody would publish my books, I’d still get up and write because that’s what I do. So I will always work. What happens to it commercially is another matter.”

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