AceShowbiz - Peter Jackson has fired back at Harvey Weinstein for denying his claims that he blacklisted Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino. Earlier on Friday, December 15, New Zealand publication Stuff published an interview with the "Hobbit" director in which he revealed that the disgraced movie mogul played a role in blacklisting the two actresses, who recently came forward with sexual assault allegations against Weinstein.
"I recall Miramax telling us they [Judd and Sorvino] were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998," Jackson said. "At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us - but in hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing. 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 then reacted to Jackson's statements. "Peter & Fran had me in - showed me all the creative, the boards, costumes, everything. They asked which if the two roles I preferred, and then I abruptly never heard from hem again," Judd recalled. "I appreciate the truth coming out. Thank you, Peter."
Peter & Fran had me in - showed me all the creative, the boards, costumes, everything. They asked which if the two roles I preferred, and then I abruptly never heard from hem again. I appreciate the truth coming out. Thank you, Peter. https://t.co/iXKuK6Xqtx— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) December 15, 2017
Sorvino tweeted, "Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying. There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure. Thank you Peter Jackson for being honest. I'm just heartsick."
Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying. There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure. Thank you Peter Jackson for being honest. I’m just heartsick https://t.co/ljK9NqICbm— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) December 15, 2017
However, Weinstein denied Jackson's claims. His rep said in a statement, "Mr. Weinstein has nothing but the utmost respect for Peter Jackson. However, as Mr. Jackson will probably remember, because Disney would not finance the 'Lord of the Rings', Miramax lost the project and all casting was done by New Line. While Bob and Harvey Weinstein were executive producers of the film they had no input into the casting whatsoever."
Responding to Weinstein's denial, Jackson called out the former movie producer. "Aspects of Harvey's denial are insincere. He is basically saying that 'this blacklisting couldn't be true because New Line cast the movie'. That's a deflection from the truth," Jackson said in a lengthy statement.
"In the 18 months we developed the 'Lord of the Rings' at Miramax, we had many casting conversations with Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and their executives. During this period, no offers were made to actors because that occurs after a film is greenlit, and Miramax never greenlit these films. However, many conversations occurred internally regarding potential casting," he explained.
The Kiwi filmmaker continued, "Amongst the many names raised, Fran and I expressed our enthusiasm for Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino. In fact, we met with Ashley and discussed two possible roles with her. After this meeting, we were told by Miramax to steer clear of both Ashley and Mira, because they claimed to have had 'bad experiences' with these particular actresses in the past. Fran Walsh was in the same meeting, and remembers these negative comments about Ashley and Mira as clearly as I do. We have no reason to make it up."
"We have no direct evidence linking Ashley and Miras allegations to our 'Lord of the Rings' casting conversations of 20 years ago - but we stand by what we were told by Miramax when we raised both of their names, and we are recounting it accurately," he added, before concluding it with an apology to those two actresses, "If we were unwitting accomplices in harming their careers, Fran and I unreservedly apologize to both Ashley and Mira."