Amazon chief defends Woody Allen series, deflects critic questions: “I think you have to look at the whole picture”

Amazon's panel at TCA yesterday was a confusing mess

Published August 4, 2015 4:49PM (EDT)

Woody Allen         (Reuters/Gustau Nacarino)
Woody Allen (Reuters/Gustau Nacarino)

At Amazon’s TCA panel yesterday, a journalist asked Amazon Studios head Roy Price about the company's decision to partner with Woody Allen for a new series given the allegations that Allen sexually assaulted his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow when she was a child.

In response, Price gave an evasive and unsatisfactory response that dodged the allegations altogether, saying: “I think you have to look at the whole picture, [and] take everything into account. Our focus is on the fact that he’s a great filmmaker and storyteller and so we look forward to the show in 2016.”

“You know, Woody Allen is one of the greatest filmmakers America has ever produced, and we are going to be talking about people are going to be talking about Woody’s films for a long, long time,” he continued. “And I think when we talk about what would be a great inspiration for a show, a lot of Woody Allen films kept coming up, with Annie Hall or what have you. And so then we just thought, ‘Well, what if we actually asked Woody Allen himself to do a show?’ And so I think that was really our focus.”

The panel was by all accounts a mess from start to finish, with Price weakly deflecting the stream of hardball questions that came his way. Asked about Amazon's decision to partner with the “Top Gear” trio for a new series, given the hosts’ history of sexist and racist comments, Price simply said: “I can’t comment on the details of our discussions or contracts or anything like that, but we’re bullish about the show and we think it’ll turn out well.”

As for a question about the impact of rival streaming service Netflix, Price responded incoherently: “If someone told me, 'Netflix is doing a show about a fire department or something,' then, like, I don't know. What we do with that information? Like, nothing.”

Suffice to say, the critics in the room were not impressed:

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By Anna Silman

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