Dame Judi Dench under fire for defending Spacey and Weinstein's work

Ben Arnold
Contributor

Dame Judi Dench has come under fire for comments she made in the Radio Times, in which she defended the work of Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein.

Though the actress has said that she was 'horrified' by the allegations of sexual abuse facing both men, she questioned whether their work should remain separate from actions in their personal lives.

“Are we going to negate 10 years at the Old Vic, and everything that [Spacey] did — how wonderful he’s been in all those films? Are we just not going to see all those films that Harvey produced?” she said.

Dame Judi Dench and Harvey Weinstein attend a special screening for The Weinstein Company's Mrs. Henderson November 28, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images)

Dench has worked on several occasions with both Spacey and Weinstein, and with both together in the 2001 movie The Shipping News.

“What kind of agony is that? You cannot deny somebody a talent,” she added, asking too whether we should now disregard the work of Carravagio, who murdered another man, and Noel Coward, who was accused of predatory behaviour towards young men.

Kevin Spacey (R) poses with a special award recognising his contribution to British theatre with British actress Judi Dench (L) during the Lawrence Olivier Awards for theatre, April 12, 2015. (JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

But Dench has been criticised for the comments.

Despite this, however, others have been careful to note that Dench was not condoning their behaviour.

She has previously stood up for Spacey, however, who she said was a great comfort to her following the death of her husband Michael Williams in 2001.

“Are we to go back throughout history and anyone who has misbehaved in any way, or who has broken the law, or who has committed some kind of offence, are they always going to be cut out?” she said last year, following news that Spacey was to be edited out of Ridley Scott movie All The Money In The World.

Read more: Judi Dench defends the work of Spacey and Weinstein

“Are we going to extrude them from our history? I don’t know about the conditions of it, but nevertheless he is, and was, a most wonderful actor. And a good friend. I can’t imagine what he’s doing now.”