It somewhat pains me to deliver the latest bad news about Kate Winslet: she desperately wants to avoid talking about the extensive sexual abuse allegations against Woody Allen, the director of her new film Wonder Wheel.
The Academy Award-winning actress is on the cover of Variety promoting that movie, where she plays a “deeply troubled housewife.” But in the accompanying interview, which was published online on Tuesday, Winslet made clear that she is NOT to be asked about Allen in his capacity as an alleged criminal.
From the interview:
There’s been a discussion about actors in Woody Allen’s movies as a result of the allegations against him. Did that factor in your decision to star in his new film?
Um. [Winslet narrates her own silence.] “She pauses.” It’s just a difficult discussion. I’d rather respectfully not enter it today.
There was criticism on social media of an interview you gave to The New York Times, where you said Allen provided “an extraordinary working experience.”
I don’t read how people respond to things. We’re always as actors going to say the wrong thing. I think it’s better to respectfully step away from the discussion.
It’s not a surprising turn of events from Winslet. She previously landed in hot water for defending the director in an interview with The New York Times, when she equivocated about 2014 allegations from Dylan Farrow—one of Allen’s children with his ex-wife, the actress Mia Farrow—that he sexually abused her as a small child. “I don’t know anything about that family,” she said, adding, “I don’t know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false.” She then went on to defend the director Roman Polanski, who she worked with on the 2011 film Carnage and fled the U.S. after being convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl.
If Harvey Weinstein’s downfall has taught us anything, it’s how scores of Hollywood’s most powerful people buy into a code of silence that protects abusers. It’s easier to keep your head down and play nice rather than risk upsetting the cadre of powerful men who run the entertainment industry. Kate Winslet, a veteran of the A-List, seems to know that better than anyone.