"It’s like, what the fuck was I doing working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski?" she said. "It’s unbelievable to me now how those men were held in such high regard, so widely in the film industry and for as long as they were. It’s fucking disgraceful. And I have to take responsibility for the fact that I worked with them both. I can’t turn back the clock. I’m grappling with those regrets but what do we have if we aren’t able to just be fucking truthful about all of it?"
The actress explained that her work on the forthcoming queer drama Ammonite with Saoirse Ronan led her to become even more "committed to honoring what women want to be saying for themselves in films" and being a better role model to young women. "We’re handing them a pretty fucked up world, so I’d like to do my bit in having some proper integrity," she said. The film tells the love story between two very different women living in 19th century England.
Allen has been repeatedly accused of child molestation by his daughter, Dylan Farrow, and has vehemently denied the claims. Some actors who've starred in his films have come to his defense, but Winslet, who most recently starred in Allen's 2017 film Wonder Wheel, used to side-step or not answer questions she was asked about the director.
Rosemary's Baby director Polanski pleaded guilty to statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977 and fled the United States to France in order to avoid prosecution. Winslet worked with Polanski in the 2011 film Carnage. Both directors have continued to put out films despite the allegations against them.
Winslet has made her discomfort known over the years, and even has come close to speaking out against them — especially in light of the #MeToo era and allegations against Harvey Weinstein. In her acceptance speech at the London Critics’ Circle awards in 2018, the Oscar winner acknowledged her "bitter regrets" about working with "individuals whom I wish I had not." She didn't name names until now.
“It has become clear to me that by not saying anything, I might be adding to the anguish of many courageous women and men," Winslet said. "Sexual abuse is a crime. While it rests with the rule of law to pass judgment, it lies with all of us to listen to the smallest of voices and to never stop listening.”