An Oscar-nominated Kiwi filmmaker and writer has spoken of how he actively avoided Harvey Weinstein, because the shamed Hollywood mogul had such a "ghastly reputation".

Anthony McCarten, a New Zealand-born writer based in London and Los Angeles, penned The Theory of Everything — a biographical romantic drama film on the life of Stephen and Jane Hawking and which earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screen Play.

His most recent work was as writer of Winston Churchill wartime epic Darkest Hour.

Speaking on Newstalk ZB's Saturday Morning with Jack Tame, McCarten said he was not surprised by the sexual harassment and sexual assault claims against Weinstein.


The dozens of allegations against the former movie-making titan played a major role in sparking a worldwide social movement against sexual harassment and violence in the workplace.

He wasn't surprised by the allegations, McCarten said.

"I was very wary of the guy because the stories were so ghastly about his bullying."

Weinstein was someone who if he entered your life as a young, independent filmmaker, could have a huge influence by providing funding, such as he had done for Sir Peter Jackson and Dame Fran Walsh.

McCarten stayed off Weinstein's radar for years before the phone began to ring. But the Kiwi rejected overtures of lunches and other meetings.

"I just found him a complete creep."

However, McCarten said he believed the social movement sparked by the allegations would fade.

All movements had their moment and lasting change would take a long time.


However, the publicity around potential abusers would make them think twice before taking advantage.

"That's a damn good thing."