A second director has stepped forward this week with claims that Harvey and Bob Weinstein blacklisted actress Mira Sorvino and prevented her from being cast in films.
Terry Zwigoff, director of “Bad Santa,” wrote on Twitter on Saturday that he’d been interested in casting Sorvino in the 2003 comedy. Zwigoff alleged, however, that every time he mentioned her name “over the phone to the Weinsteins,” the sibling producers would immediately hang up.
“I’m really sorry Mira,” the director wrote.
Zwigoff’s tweet comes on the heels of recent comments made by “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson describing how the Weinstein brothers orchestrated a “smear campaign” against Sorvino and actress Ashley Judd ― both of whom are among multiple women who have have come forward of late to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
Jackson said that Miramax, the film company co-founded by the Weinsteins, had told him Sorvino and Judd were “a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs” when he was considering actors for the “Lord of the Rings” series.
“At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us ― but in hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing,” Jackson told the New Zealand news site Stuff. “I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women ― and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list.”
Reacting to Jackson’s comments, Sorvino tweeted Friday that she felt “heartsick” by the revelations.
Also responding to Jackson’s interview, Judd tweeted that she was grateful the truth had finally come out.
She wrote that Jackson and producer Fran Walsh had showed her “all the creative, the boards, costumes, everything” and asked which role she preferred.
“And then I abruptly never heard from [t]hem again,” she said.
Harvey Weinstein has denied the allegations of a smear campaign. A representative for him said neither he nor his brother had any “input into the casting” of Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films.
Holly Baird, a spokeswoman for Harvey Weinstein, told USA Today on Saturday that the producer did not speak to Zwigoff about casting for “Bad Santa.”
“Mr. Weinstein denies speaking with Terry regarding casting. That was a Dimension film,” she said, and the Weinstein brothers “had nothing to do with it.”
As USA Today notes, IMDb lists Harvey Weinstein as the film’s co-executive producer.