Feb 7, 2019

Woody Allen files $68 million against Amazon Studios

Director Woody Allen. Photo: Andia/UIG via Getty Images

Film director Woody Allen has filed a $68 million lawsuit against Amazon Studios alleging there was a breach of contract when the studio backed out of a four-picture deal and refused to air one of Allen's completed films, Variety reports.

The big picture: The suit claims Amazon backed out of the deal because of allegations that Allen sexually molested his daughter Dylan Farrow in the 1990s, which he has denied. The allegation resurfaced as the #MeToo movement gained momentum in 2017.

According to the suit, Amazon associate general counsel Ajay Patel sent a notice in June 2018 — about two years after the deal was struck — terminating the four-picture agreement. The suit said Patel did not provide a reason for axing the deal or refusing to release Allen's next film, “A Rainy Day in New York.”

  • However, Allen claims he met with Amazon Studios executives Jason Ropell and Matt Newman in December 2017 and discussed "the negative publicity and reputational harm" that had been caused by their association with Harvey Weinstein and then-Amazon Studios head Roy Price, who was terminated due to misconduct allegations.
"Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year-old, baseless allegation against Mr. Allen, but that allegation was already well known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Mr. Allen — and, in any event it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract. There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises."
— The lawsuit states

Go deeper: Read the full lawsuit

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DMV area issues coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser issued stay-at-home orders on Monday, with exceptions for residents engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: The states and territory are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 min ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 766,336 — Total deaths: 36,873 — Total recoveries: 160,001.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 153,246 — Total deaths: 2,828 — Total recoveries: 5,545.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Rep. Nydia Velázquez diagnosed with "presumed" coronavirus infection.
  4. State updates: Virginia and Maryland issued stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states — Florida megachurch pastor arrested for refusing to call off mass services.
  5. World updates: Italy reports 1,590 recoveries from the virus, its highest ever.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Cuomo: Engaging in politics during coronavirus crisis is "anti-American"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing that he won't get into a political tussle with President Trump — calling it "counterproductive" and "anti-American" — as his state deals with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The backdrop: Trump said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" earlier Monday that Cuomo has received high polling numbers during the outbreak because New York has received federal aid.