Monday 26 August 2019

Paddington 2 hoping to find ‘a better home’ away from the Weinsteins, producer says

Producer David Heyman condemned the alleged sexual abusers of Hollywood, claiming: “Whenever power exists, there is abuse.”

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Worldwide Fan Event – London
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Worldwide Fan Event – London

By Jack Hardy

The producer of Paddington 2 is still battling to break the bear “out of prison” by severing ties with the company co-founded by Harvey Weinstein.

David Heyman has said the hunt for an “alternative” distributor to The Weinstein Company was continuing just days away from the film’s UK release.

The animated sequel became an unlikely flashpoint of tensions in the Hollywood sex scandal when Mr Heyman signalled his desire to disavow the Weinstein name last month.

Harvey Weinstein has been accused of rape, sexual assault and harassment by scores of actresses across the film industry.

Paddington 2 Premiere – London

The influential film studio Weinstein helped establish was due to distribute Paddington 2 in North America.

Speaking at the film’s premiere at the British Film Institute in London, Mr Heyman told the Press Association: “The Weinsteins have had nothing to do with the film, so it hasn’t interfered with the making of it at all.

“Of course, I don’t really want to talk about the Weinsteins at this moment, I want to focus on the film, that being said we are looking for alternative distributors right now, all options are being explored.

“We are trying to break Paddington out of prison and find him a better home.”

Harvey Weinstein allegations

Harvey Weinstein was sacked from his own studio, run with his brother, when allegations against him began to snowball last month.

The film producer is the subject of criminal investigations in Los Angeles, New York and London, but Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” allegations of non-consensual sex.

Heyman, who also produced the Harry Potter films, said he hoped the saga would herald a sea change in the behaviour of Hollywood’s most powerful.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows premiere – London

He said: “The good news about this story, if there is good news, is that it is out of the closet.

“Clearly, it’s been going on, this mistreatment of women, mistreatment of men too, inappropriate behaviour, bullying, abuse, has been going on not just in the film industries, in many industries.

“Whenever power exists, there is abuse and the hope is that the conversation that has now begun will lead to change.”

Paddington 2 opens in cinemas on November 10.

PA Media

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