Kate Winslet took an opportunity after being honored at the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards last night to express her “bitter regrets” about working with certain men in the movie business.
Although the actress did not name names, she used her speech on winning the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film, the group’s highest accolade, to turn attention to the sex scandals that have engulfed the entertainment world.
“It almost feels uncomfortable to receive an award at such a time, but being up here does give me the opportunity to say some things that matter to me,” she said.
“There are directors, producers, and men of power, who have for decades been awarded and applauded for their highly regarded work, both within this industry and by moviegoers alike.
“Indeed many actors have had flourishing careers due in part to roles played in their films.
“The message we received for years was that it was the highest compliment to be offered roles by these men.
“As women around the world, and from all walks of life, marched last weekend, once again joining together to speak out against harassment, exploitation, and abuse, I realiZed that I wouldn’t be able to stand here this evening and keep to myself some bitter regrets that I have at poor decisions to work with individuals with whom I wish I had not.”
Taking a breath, she turned her back to the audience to compose herself.
“It has become clear to me that by not saying anything, I might be adding to the anguish of many courageous women and men,” she added.
Winslet has worked with the disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein on projects in the past, as well as with Roman Polanski and Woody Allen, who has been accused of molesting his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.
She famously did not thank Weinstein after she won Best Actress award at the 2009 Oscars for The Reader, which was produced by Weinstein. She later described him as “always, always very, very, very unpleasant to deal with” and denounced his “disgraceful, despicable behavior.”
However, only last month, Winslet was quick to defend Woody Allen while on promotional duties for his latest movie Wonder Wheel, in which she stars.
“I think on some level Woody is a woman. I just think he’s very in touch with that side of himself. He understands the female characters he creates exceptionally well,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“His female characters are always so rich and large and honest in terms of how they’re feeling and he just knows how to write dialog for them to communicate all that.”
Asked whether the allegations surrounding Allen concerned her, she later told the New York Times: “Of course, one thinks about it. But at the same time, I didn’t know Woody and I don’t know anything about that family.
“As the actor in the film, you just have to step away and say, ‘I don’t know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false.’ Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person.
“Woody Allen is an incredible director. So is Roman Polanski. I had an extraordinary working experience with both of those men, and that’s the truth.”