January 16, 2018 / 10:43 PM / 7 months ago

Actor Alec Baldwin defends film maker Woody Allen as Hollywood backs away

LOS ANGELES, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Actor Alec Baldwin on Tuesday expressed support for film maker Woody Allen as a growing number of entertainment industry stars seek to distance themselves from the “Annie Hall” director as part of the Time’s Up campaign against sexual misconduct.

Baldwin, who appeared in three of Allen’s films, said on Twitter that the renunciation of the director and his work was “unfair and sad to me.”

Baldwin said working with Allen was “one of the privileges of my career.”

Allen has repeatedly denied decades-old accusations that he molested his adopted daughter Dylan when she was seven years old in the early 1990s.

But sentiment has turned against him during the sexual misconduct scandal sweeping Hollywood that has led to dozens of successful men being forced to resign or being dropped from projects.

Baldwin said he did not intend to “dismiss or ignore such complaints.”

“But accusing people of such crimes should be treated carefully,” he added.

Representatives of Allen did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. The director has never been charged with a crime.

Allen, 82, won Oscars for the films “Annie Hall,” “Hannah and Her Sisters” and the 2011 comedy “Midnight in Paris,” and continues to release a new movie almost every year.

Timothee Chalamet, 22, the star of gay romance “Call me By Your Name,” this week became the latest actor to announce he will donate the salary he earned from an Allen movie to “Time’s Up” and other causes for sexual abuse victims.

He followed Rebecca Hall, Ellen Page and Mira Sorvino who have made donations or issued regrets about working with Allen in recent weeks. Last week “Lady Bird” director Greta Gerwig, who acted in the 2012 film “To Rome with Love,” said she would not work with Allen again.

The “Time’s Up” campaign against sexual harassment in the workplace was launched two weeks ago by more than 300 Hollywood industry figures.

Allen’s most recent film “Wonder Wheel,” distributed by Amazon Studios, has fared poorly at the North American box office taking only $1.4 million since its Dec. 1 release.

His next film “A Rainy Day in New York,” starring Chalamet and also from Amazon, is due for release later this year.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant

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