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Paddington 2 backers seek to cut ties with Weinstein Company

‘Paddington’ boasted the fourth biggest worldwide gross for any film the Weinstein Company has been involved in 

Paddington 2 - Trailer

The UK backers of the upcoming Paddington 2 film are looking to back out of a deal with the Weinstein Company to distribute the title in the US, in the wake of the allegations of sexual assault against co-founder Harvey Weinstein.

A source told The Guardian that Heyday Films, which co-produced both Paddington films with French company StudioCanal, wants to avoid any further association with the company.

“It is deeply frustrating that a film made with such love and care and a character of such positive and generous spirit might, in some way, be tarnished with the brush of these horrific, wholly unacceptable, acts,” they stated.

Over 40 women have now come forward with accusations against Harvey Weinstein, following an explosive report by The New York Times, which alleged “decades” of sexual harassment, including many high-profile names such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan, Lupita Nyong’o, Cara Delevingne and Asia Argento.

It’s a move that would certainly send out a clear message to those currently attempting to salvage the company with a new deal; the sequel was one of the biggest projects on its slate, with the first film earning $268m (£203m) globally, the fourth biggest gross for any film the Weinstein Company has had involvement with.

Bob Weinstein, Harvey’s brother and TWC co-founder, actually used Paddington 2‘s release as attempted proof the company was still on solid ground.

“TWC has had nothing to do with the making of Paddington and Paddington 2, they simply acquired the North American distribution right,” the source added. “When dealing with people’s lives it feels inappropriate to comment on the business of film. Suffice to say our hope is that another distributor will be found.”

Channing Tatum has also severed his ties with the company, pulling his directorial debut Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, which deals with sexual abuse.

“The brave women who had the courage to stand up and speak their truths about Harvey Weinstein are true heroes to us. They are lifting the heavy bricks to build the equitable world we all deserve to live in,” Tatum’s statement on the decision read.

“Our lone project in development with TWC – Matthew Quick’s brilliant book, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – is a story about a boy whose life was torn asunder by sexual abuse. While we will no longer develop it or anything else that is property of TWC, we are reminded of its powerful message of healing in the wake of tragedy.”

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