Sir Peter Jackson: Harvey Weinstein banned me from hiring actresses

Carla Harmon
December 16, 2017

Harvey Weinstein has responded to claims made by Peter Jackson that allege the producer blacklisted actresses Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino from auditioning for "The Lord of the Rings".

In the same interview, Jackson said that although he knew nothing of allegations of sexual assault, it was Weinstein's "bully" persona, as well as his brother Bob's, that drove him to move production companies and never work with Miramax again.

"There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure", she said.

Almost 20 years later, we read about the sexual misconduct allegations being made against Harvey Weinstein and we saw comments by both Mira and Ashley, who felt they had been blacklisted by Miramax after rejecting Harvey's sexual advances. Jackson doubled down on his initial statement following Weinstein's denial - which Jackson said is " a deflection from the truth".

Meanwhile, Judd responded on Twitter by writing, "I remember this well". "I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women ― and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list".

Both Judd and Sorvino have thanked Jackson for speaking out about Weinstein.

A spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein denied he and his brother, who were credited as executive producers on the series, had any input on casting choices.

"Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying", Sorvino tweeted on Friday.

Peter Jackson says Weinstein blacklisted actresses Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino ahead of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. "However, as Mr. Jackson will probably remember, because [Miramax parent company] Disney would not finance the 'Lord of the Rings, ' Miramax lost the project and all casting was done by New Line", the statement said.

Ashley Judd was one of the first women to break her silence about the 65-year-old's conduct, in an explosive New York Times article in October.

Peter Jackson arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hobbit: The Battle o the Five Armies" at the Dolby Theatre on December 9, 2014.

In it, Judd alleged that Weinstein sexually harassed her in the 1990s by inviting her to his hotel room and greeted her in a bathrobe, asking if he could give her a massage and if she could watch him shower.

His admission in an interview published on Thursday offers the latest glimpse into the Weinstein machine - the byzantine network of alleged enablers and informants, the gossip and threats Weinstein is accused of using to protect himself against sexual assault claims and punish those who rejected his advances.

Due to the drama that ensued over the films, Jackson doesn't have the fondest of memories of Weinstein and his brother Bob. "They weren't the type of guys I wanted to work with - so I haven't".

She says she approached Weinstein about working on Frida for Miramax and "he had said yes".

"As recently as this year, Mira Sorvino called Mr. Weinstein and asked if her husband could be part of the SEAL television series he was producing and Mr. Weinstein cast him".

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