Marlon Wayans

Marlon Wayans says producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein “raped” him and his family out of revenue from the Scary Movie franchise.

The actor and comedian co-starred in and co-wrote the 2000 horror parody film with his brother Shawn Wayans, and it was directed by their older brother, Keenen Ivory Wayans. The film was produced and distributed by the Weinsteins’ Dimension Films, and spawned four sequels.

Asked in an interview for the new New York Times podcast The Interview if he and his family would see any money from an upcoming reboot of the franchise from Paramount and Miramax, Wayans chose his words carefully before deciding to dive into the sexual assault metaphor. It was especially loaded, of course, given that Harvey Weinstein is a convicted rapist.

“If they want to waste $50 million, go for it,” Wayans told the Times‘ David Marchese of the new Scary Movie. When Marchese followed up to ask if he would be paid for the new film, he replied:

“No, that’s a whole ’nother conversation. I like to say that, you know, those Weinsteins, they’re — [laughs] — it wasn’t just… they raped everybody,” he said.

Though the interview was mainly about how Wayans has dealt with death and grieving — including for his parents — Marchese asked many questions about what jokes are acceptable and which are not in today’s world. One of the points of Wayans’ new special, Good Grief, is the importance of finding comedy in even the darkest moments.

Marchese immediately pushed back on Wayans’ rape metaphor, pointing out that financial dealings and physical assault are “not the same.”

Wayans clarified that he meant “businesswise. Literally and businesswise. We all got a little taste. They were some terrible people.”

Bob Weinstein denied any impropriety to the Times. Harvey Weinstein was unavailable for comment, given that he is currently in jail for rape. (A 2020 New York conviction was overturned last week, but must still serve a 16-year-sentence on a California conviction for rape and other crimes.)

Marlon Wayans Calls Weinsteins ‘Monsters’

Days after the first interview, Marchese reached back out to Wayans, and asked again about the metaphor, and why he chose it.

“When you’ve been in a situation — I can talk about things from a different perspective. When I talk about Bob and Harvey and I say that, it’s because there’s damage there. Because we have been victims. But in business, not physically,” he said. “I think a monster is a monster, and those monsters showed up in business as well.”

Bob Weinstein, the former chairperson of Dimension Films, the genre offshoot of Miramax, was accused of sexual harassment by The Mist showrunner Amanda Segel in 2017. Weinstein’s attorney, the now-deceased Bert Fields, denied the accusation at the time in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter:

Variety’s story about Bob Weinstein is riddled with false and misleading assertions by Ms. Segel and we have the emails to prove it, but even if you believe what she says it contains not a hint of any inappropriate touching or even any request for such touching,” he said. “There is no way in the world that Bob Weinstein is guilty of sexual harassment, and even if you believed what this person asserts there is no way it would amount to that.”

Also Read: Shameless Comedies That Don’t Care If You’re Offended, Including the Wayans Brothers’ White Chicks

In 2020, Wayans told Variety about his negative experiences with the Weinsteins in honor of the 20th anniversary of the first Scary Movie.

“[The Weinstein’s are] not the best or the kindest people to be in business with,” he said. “They’re very much an evil regime, I guess. They do what they want to do how they do it — and it can be rude and quite disrespectful. We couldn’t come to terms on the deal. It’s like, ‘If you don’t want to pay for the jokes, have somebody else do it.’”

“We read on Christmas Eve that they were going with someone else for [‘Scary Movie 3’],” he added. “We probably could have sued or whatever, but part of us was like, ‘All you can do is allow us to create something new.’ I could write a book on that whole thing, honestly. They definitely still owe us money, lots of money. What they did was really bad business.”

Main Image: Marlon Wayans in Scary Movie 2.