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Director James Gray Shares The Difficult Experiences He Had Working With Harvey Weinstein

When Harvey Weinstein was exposed as an alleged serial sexual predator in late 2017, both the severity of the producer's crimes and the decades he was allowed to continue harming people was a shock to longtime fans of cinema. The former co-head of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company, which distributed one acclaimed film after the next in the 1990s and 2000s respectively, faced myriad accusations of rape alongside sleazy, stomach-churning accounts of sexual predation, verbal and emotional abuse, as well as physical assault. In addition to the studio executive's apparently violent tendencies, there was also his on-set behavior that included a domineering, tyrannical bullying streak.

Numerous filmmakers worked with Weinstein over the years, and there have been some who have come forward and spoken about his disgusting behavior (via The Hollywood Reporter). Another name to add to that list of brave individuals is James Gray, who directed two films under the producer's distribution company, 2000's "The Yards" for Miramax, and 2013's "The Immigrant" for The Weinstein Company. The director has spoken candidly about his difficult working relationship with the "Shakespeare in Love" producer.

James Gray says working with Harvey Weinstein was negative and nightmarish

In an episode of the podcast "WTF with Marc Maron," James Gray stated that his two experiences working with Harvey Weinstein were so bad, it eventually caused him and his family to leave New York City to escape being near the future convicted and incarcerated sexual predator. When asked by Maron at around 23:30 of the episode if he had ever worked with Weinstein, the "Armageddon Time" filmmaker described 2000's "The Yards" as a "pretty nightmarish experience." When asked why by the host, he then revealed, "Because, you know, he takes the film, he says, 'Well, here's what you gotta do, you've gotta have a happy ending, you have to have this and you have to have that,' he was a frustrated director, by the way."

Gray then shared how the producer ended up buying his 2013 movie "The Immigrant," with Marion Cotillard in the lead, and he said that the executive's desire to cut his film led to fights between the two, with the director labeling Weinstein as "crazy." Gray explained early in the interview with Maron that Harvey Weinstein's action eventually led him to move his family out of the Big Apple to flee harassment from the movie mogul. The "Ad Astra" movie maker stated that he left "because it conjured bad memories of meetings with the guy going, 'I hate your work and I'm gonna destroy you' and all this crap." 

In 2020, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for multiple crimes.