Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki Once Warded Off Harvey Weinstein with a Samurai Sword

These days, Harvey Weinstein is known less for his film career as he is seedy aggression. The Hollywood producer has fallen hard after being accused by multiple sources of sexual harassment. If you hear about the disgraced man in the news, you can assume the headline is highlighting Weinstein’s abhorrent acts, and this time isn’t any different.

However, this piece has way more anime involved than any prior Weinstein anecdotes.

Thanks to Kotaku, anime fans have found an archived interview which director Hayao Miyazaki did in 2005. The icon, who is best-known for his Studio Ghibli films, chatted with The Guardian about his experience working with Weinstein on Princess Mononoke. The controversial producer didn’t work on the film itself but did help oversee its release in the US. And, as Miyazaki explained, Weinstein wanted to slice the feature to suit his tastes.

At that time, Studio Ghibli was working with Disney as the company held rights to Princess Mononoke in the US. Weistein, who headed up its subsidiary Miramax Films, was tasked with overseeing the movie’s release. Rumors persisted that Weinstein was determined to cut the Studio Ghibli film. They went on to alleged that Miyazaki sent a samurai sword to the producer with the phrase “No cuts” etched onto its blade.

Miyazaki admits he did not send the blade, but the gift was totally real. Instead, his producer issued the warning to Weinstein.

“Actually, my producer did that,” Miyazaki said, apparently nodding to his producer Toshio Suzuki. “Although I did go to New York to meet this man, this Harvey Weinstein, and I was bombarded with this aggressive attack, all these demands for cuts.”

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In the end, it was Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli who won the battle for Princess Mononoke. “I defeated him,” the director confirmed to The Guardian. And, for that, anime fans are forever proud and grateful.

Are you impressed by the iconic director and his team's no-nonsense approach? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!