Woody Allen has become a fixture at Madison Square Garden over the years, but if a recent New York Post report is true, the neurotic filmmaker’s relationship with the New York Knicks may be souring.
According to the Post, Knicks owner James Dolan has banned the four-time Academy Award-winner Allen from Suite 200, the VIP lounge at MSG. The reason? Allen reportedly refused to do any promotion for the team’s MSG network or Dolan’s Garden of Dreams Foundation.
"(Allen) got a call from someone at MSG saying they had bought the rights to air several of Woody’s movies on the MSG channel and wanted Woody to go on the air and talk about his movies or introduce them," a source told the Post.
"Woody said he would not be comfortable doing that. He has never done that for any show or network. They then said that this was a ‘reciprocal arrangement’ and that if Woody couldn’t go on TV for them, he should not eat in their VIP restaurant anymore. Woody said fine and thanked them for the many years he had enjoyed the space there."
A team banning one of its most famous VIPs from the VIP lounge would be surprising if it was anyone but the Knicks and Dolan. But given Dolan’s reputation as a megalomaniac, it’s really not that much of a shock.
The heavy-handed Dolan has, in the past couple of months, fired his GM and replaced him with someone with no basketball operations experience, asked Mike Woodson to start Kenyon Martin over Iman Shumpert, and reportedly made the dancers stop dancing because the team was so bad.
Given all of those other self-absorbed and indefensible decisions, Dolan’s reported call to banish Allen from Suite 200 should come as no surprise. The Cablevision president and CEO is the type of guy who probably thought "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan" were overrated, and his latest power play is yet another example of how coercive and out of touch with reality he really is.