Steven Spielberg sidestepped a question about the new sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein on Thursday, though he noted that he has a lot of opinions on the matter.
The director was interviewed at the premiere of the new documentary Spielberg, which is directed by Susan Lacy and will air on HBO on Oct. 7. He basically dodged the question about what he thinks about the new Weinstein investigation from The New York Times, saying that it’s not relevant to the premiere of the movie.
“For one thing, I think that is a subject that is not on keynote for what we’re talking about here tonight,” Spielberg said. “It’s a subject I don’t shy from, but it’s not relevant to what we’re discussing about Susan’s movie today. I have a lot of opinions about that, but not for this event tonight.”
When Spielberg noted that he has a lot of opinions about the Harvey Weinstein story, director Susan Lacy laughed and said, “as we all do, but not for tonight.”
Steven Spielberg and Harvey Weinstein have not worked together before, though they’ve known one another for years and have had a somewhat adversarial relationship. This was most famously the case at the 1999 Academy Awards, when Weinstein’s movie Shakespeare in Love beat Spielberg’s movie Saving Private Ryan. The campaign for Best Picture that year was quite intense, and Weinstein has said that an encounter with Spielberg after the ceremony was far from cordial.
“When I saw Spielberg later, I don’t think it was a lovefest,” Weinstein said. “That was a tough one.”
Apparently, Spielberg and Weinstein considered working together in recent years on a movie based on the kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But Spielberg ultimately decided to make his own movie about this, resulting in two competing films in the works based on the same story, something Weinstein couldn’t have been happy about.
On Thursday, The New York Times published an in-depth report on Harvey Weinstein’s history of being accused of sexual harassment, with actress Ashley Judd going on the record in the piece. Actress Rose McGowan has also strongly implied that Weinstein raped her in the 1990s, and the New York Times article alleges that Weinstein settled with her back then. Since this article came out, some in Hollywood have applauded the women coming forward with their stories.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) October 6, 2017
The woman who chose to speak about their experience of harassment by Harvey Weinstein deserve our awe. It's not fun or easy. It's brave.
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) October 5, 2017
As always, I stand with the brave survivors of sexual assault and harassment. It's not your fault. I believe you.
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) October 5, 2017
At the movie premiere this week, Spielberg suggested that the Harvey Weinstein allegations are something he’d be open to discussing in the future. If that does happen, one of the most influential directors in Hollywood speaking out against one of the most influential producers in Hollywood would be a big deal. But it remains to be seen whether other big directors who frequently collaborate with Harvey Weinstein, including Quentin Tarantino, will begin to distance themselves from him.