How “Wind River” Cut Weinstein’s Name

Over the years The Weinstein Company always seemed to be about one thing – pushing for awards. In 2017, prior to the scandal unfolding around Harvey Weinstein, the company had pinned its Oscar hopes in the period drama “The Current War”.

That fell flat on its face at the Toronto International Film Festival where the film met with a disastrous reception that sunk its awards hopes there and then. As a backup they had “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water” scribe Taylor Sheridan’s directorial debut “Wind River” which scored strong reviews and proved something of a sleeper indie hit in limited release recently.

There was only one problem with the film’s awards chances – Weinstein’s name was still on it and when it comes to awards this year, having his name anywhere near a project could potentially hurt its awards chances. Now, Vulture reports that Sheridan and the $10 million film’s financial backers Acacia Entertainment have successfully scrubbed the Weinstein name from the movie and the home video release, and are backing the film’s awards season screeners and Oscar campaign.

On top of that, any future profits for it are being directed to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, which assists battered Native American women. So how’d they do it? Sheridan explained to Deadline:

“I called TWC president David Glasser and said, ‘I’m going to demand something of you and you are going to get absolutely nothing in return and you’re going to do it, because it’s the right thing to do.’ To David’s credits, he agreed.

I said, if my movie’s going to die, I’ll be the one to kill it. I will Alan Smithee the film, take my name off it, and publicly denounce it. I would have said, don’t go see this movie, don’t rent it, don’t watch it. If he [Harvey Weinstein] was going to remain publicly attached, if he was going to benefit from a film highlighting the atrocity he perpetrated? No.”

“Wind River” is now available on Digital HD and arrives on physical formats and rental VOD next week.