I think it definite that many Richard Armitage fans have been following the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal if for no other reason, than because Berlin Station co-star, Ashley Judd, is one of Weinstein’s most vocal accusers. Circumstantial evidence supports Ashley Judd’s claims, and she was featured as one of the Silence Breakers on the Time Person of the Year, cover for 2017.
Yesterday, the news became a little more personal for Peter Jackson fans, and by extension, many Richard Armitage fans. It started at about mid-morning yesterday – I found a link on Servetus’s post.
In the wake of some specific statements that Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino and other Weinstein victims suffered real career damage through adverse action, director Peter Jackson conceded he blackballed Judd and Sorvino for roles in The Lord of the Rings, because Weinstein badmouthed them. Here. The Hollywood Reporter and Vulture have been updating their posts as responses and replies fly back and forth between Jackson and Weinstein. Mira Sorvino has tweeted about it.
It’s a fact that Peter Jackson pursued both actresses (perhaps with no specific role in mind). He says that he and Fran Walsh were very enthusiastic about Ashley Judd, but Weinstein warned him off.
Weinstein denies it, claiming inter alia that he didn’t have the power because,
“no one could have blacklisted or derailed the career of Ms. Sorvino, who had recently won both an Academy and a Golden Globe award and was being courted for leading roles by all seven studios and every major broadcast network,” and further claimed that Jackson was so “powerful” following the success of Rings that “he could have cast anyone he wanted in the Hobbit. Neither Ms. Judd nor Ms. Sorvino had roles in the film.”
The first part seems like a good argument, except Mira Sorvino won her awards in 2005, probably 5 years before Peter Jackson started casting for The Lord of the Rings and her career went basically nowhere. (Correction: Sorvino won an Oscar in 1995 as well as Golden Globe in 2005)
The second part is also ridiculous. It’s facetious, even.
As we know, there were no female characters in The Hobbit until Peter Jackson put one there. That would be Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly who was 33 at the time of casting, 2012.
In 2012, Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino were 44 and 45 respectively. Thus, even if there were no blackball issue, Peter Jackson could not really have given either actress a key part in The Hobbit because there was none.
Trust it that Harvey Weinstein, who sued Peter Jackson over profits from The Hobbit trilogy, is well aware of the plot and characters. He would’ve followed entertainment news as part of his job and was likely aware of the controversy over the inclusion of Tauriel, a non-Tolkien character. When he issued the above statement, Weinstein knew that there were no female roles in The Hobbit for Judd or Sorvino and the suggestion 5 years later that one could have been offered, is false and facetious.
Like a lot of other crap out there, it doesn’t survive even a simple fact-check.