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9 Iconic Movie Directors with Controversial Pasts

By: Mary Jones

Artist Story

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David Lynch

An influential filmmaker, David Lynch has been criticized for his use of surrealism and non-linear storytelling in films like Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive. He has also been accused of exploiting his female characters and his dark and often disturbing portrayals of violence.

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Roman Polanski

The Polish-French filmmaker is known for his dark and unsettling films, such as Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Pianist. Polanski has a long and controversial history of sexual assault allegations, including the notorious 1977 rape case involving a 13-year-old girl.

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Woody Allen

Over the years, Allen has been accused of sexual misconduct and assault by his children, as well as other allegations that have come to light in recent years.

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Harvey Weinstein

American producer and film studio executive who co-founded Miramax, an independent film studio that produced some of the most successful movies in history. Weinstein has been accused of a long history of sexual misconduct

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Quentin Tarantino

 featuring highly stylized violence and profanity-laden dialogue. Tarantino has come under fire in recent years for his use of violence and racism in films such as Django Unchained and Inglorious Basterds.

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Alfred Hitchcock

British filmmaker and master of suspense known for iconic films such as Psycho, Rear Window, and The Birds. Though his work is widely lauded, Hitchcock has a controversial history of sexual misconduct allegations, including inappropriate behavior on set and even assaults.

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Michael Bay

American director and producer known for his bombastic blockbusters, such as the Transformers films and Armageddon. Bay has been criticized for his over-sexualized portrayals of women

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Mel Gibson

American actor, director, and producer who achieved worldwide fame with his action films, such as Lethal Weapon and Braveheart. Gibson has faced numerous allegations of racism and anti-Semitism stemming from his infamous 2006 DUI arrest

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Oliver Stone

American director, producer, and screenwriter is known for his controversial films, such as Platoon, Natural Born Killers, and JFK. Stone has been accused of anti-Semitism for his portrayals of Jewish characters in some of his films

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