American Filmmaker Kevin Smith has shared the details of a phone call he received from the now-disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein just a week before he was accused of sexual harassment in 2017. The director talked about the conversation in an interview with a US publication. The 49-year-old filmmaker informed that Weinstein with whom he had worked in the past called him out of the blue after a gap of more than 20 years. In 2018, Weinstein was charged by New York police with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women.
"I said, 'Hey, how are you?' And he goes, 'You know, we have Dogma, I just realized, and we got to get it out there again'," Smith recalled.
Dogma is a 1999 American fantasy comedy film, written and directed by Kevin Smith starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Some religious groups had denounced the original film as blasphemous because of its satire on religion. The film was produced by Weinstein and had never been available on a streaming platform, with no talks of a sequel as it arises the need to touch topics on Islam, said Kevin in an earlier interview. Yet the film is reported to be close to Smith. Kevin said that Harvey deliberately talked about the sequel as he had been trying to avert the question all these days.
Responding to Harvey's statement, Harvey said, "We do! People online are always asking where they can get it. And he then goes, 'You know, that movie had a big cast, we might even be able to do a sequel.' And I was like, 'Yeah man, right on. I might think about that.' And he was like, 'We'll talk.'"
Just a week after the phone call, media released stories that accused Weinstein of rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse, reported People on October 5, 2017. Dozens of women accused American film producer Harvey Weinstein, formerly of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse over a period of at least thirty years. That included 80 from the industry itself. Yet Weinstein denied any non-consensual sex. On May 25, 2018, Weinstein was arrested in New York, charged with rape and other offenses, and later released on bail.
Recalling his reaction to the reports, Smith said, "I felt sick to my stomach".
He mentioned that after reading the story he mentioned the phone call to someone who worked at Miramax, also founded by Weinstein. That person told him they also received a similar call from the now-disgraced producer, according to Smith. Kevin inferred that the producer was trying to provoke them. Weinstein is set to go to trial in January 2020 for charges of rape, predatory sexual assault and criminal sexual act based on the accusations of two women.
"There are people who are the real victims here, but I have to be honest with you, I felt like it was someone using something you love to provoke a reaction," Smith said regarding the phone call.
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