A Year Into #MeToo, Some Movies, Including Four Weinstein Titles, Are Still Stuck In Distribution limbo

By David Ng
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As columinst David Ng reports, “The fallout isn’t limited to Weinstein properties. Other movies that have been orphaned amid the #MeToo movement include the latest films by Woody Allen, Roman Polanski and Louis C.K.”

Los Angeles Times

When the sexual misconduct scandals surrounding Harvey Weinstein erupted last fall, the collateral damage was extensive.

Employees lost jobs, deals fell through and creditors were left in the lurch. Among the debris were several movie titles that Weinstein Co. had produced or acquired for distribution but whose fate was suddenly thrown into question, following more than 80 assault and harassment allegations against its co-founder.

Almost a year later, the majority of these titles are still stuck in limbo, either without a distributor or still without a domestic release date, despite being completed.

The fallout isn’t limited to Weinstein properties. Other movies that have been orphaned amid the #MeToo movement include the latest films by Woody Allen, Roman Polanski and Louis C.K.

For domestic distributors, these titles represent a tricky and in some cases insurmountable marketing challenge.

With Hollywood still in the grip of sexual misconduct scandals involving prominent figures, distributors have to weigh the cost of releasing these movies against the potential publicity backlash that could scare audiences away.

The result is that some of these titles may never see the light of day, at least not in the form of a U.S. theatrical release.

“You effectively have an asset that you can’t exploit. There’s a scarlet letter on it,” said Elsa Ramo, an entertainment attorney whose expertise includes independent film sales. In most indie acquisition deals, the distributor has negotiated the rights to either terminate the agreement or to shelve a movie, leaving the title’s producer with little recourse in the event of a public scandal.

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