Saturday 21 September 2019

Sir Kenneth Branagh ‘astonished and appalled’ at Harvey Weinstein allegations

Weinstein was due to produce Sir Kenneth’s adaptation of the Artemis Fowl novels.

Sir Kenneth Branagh
Sir Kenneth Branagh

By Sam Blewett, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Sir Kenneth Branagh, who was due to work on a film with Harvey Weinstein, has said he is “astonished and appalled” by the allegations against the disgraced producer.

Weinstein was due to produce the adaptation of the Artemis Fowl novels by the Northern Irish actor and director, who received one of his five Oscar nominations for a role in a film by the disgraced mogul.

But Disney sacked Weinstein, 65, from the project after dozens of women came forward to accuse him of sexual abuse and harassment.

Harvey Weinstein

“Like everybody else (I’ve felt) astonished and appalled,” Sir Kenneth, 56, told the Press Association in Los Angeles on Thursday.

“I salute everybody who has been brave enough to expose these kind of details so that appropriate action can be taken and potentially some significant social change can come positively out of a very painful and cruel situation.”

Sir Kenneth was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of Laurence Olivier in the Weinstein-produced My Week With Marilyn, released in 2011.

He was to team up with Weinstein again for an adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s novels about a young criminal mastermind after the producer optioned the film rights to the books in 2001.

Harvey Weinstein

Disney acquired the rights when it bought Miramax off Weinstein and his brother Bob in 2005.

But the studio sacked Weinstein as allegations amassed against him, with a spokeswoman telling Hollywood industry magazine Variety: “We have terminated his services as producer.”

Weinstein, who has “unequivocally denied” allegations of non-consensual sex, has been accused of rapes and is under criminal investigation in London, New York and Los Angeles.

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