Taylor Sheridan donates 'Wind River' royalties to Native American women's group

By Ray Downs  |  Updated Nov. 22, 2017 at 6:05 AM
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Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Director Taylor Sheridan is donating his royalties for his latest film, Wind River, to the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center after severing ties with the Weinstein Company, which originally distributed the movie this year.

Wind River, which stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, tells the story of the investigation into the rape and murder of a Native American woman in Wyoming. But after producer Harvey Weinstein was bombarded with dozens of sexual assault allegations, including rape, Sheridan and Acacia Filmed Entertainment, a company backed by the Tunica-Biloxi tribes, moved to take the Weinsten label off of the film.

"To have someone with a voice like Taylor Sheridan to see that need and want to be able to give back, whether it was sort of the pushing factor was the scandal or not, it was still recognized that there's a need out there and he's in a position to be able to do something to help," Lucy Simpson, director of NIWRC, told Wyoming Public Radio.

Simpson said the organization is still deciding what to do with the additional funds, but is looking into programs to combat sexual and gender-based violence against Native American women.

"We are in utter shock -- this is an amazing and completely out of the blue development for NIWRC," Simpson said in a statement.

Wind River's $11 million budget was primarily funded through Acacia. The Weinstein Company then distributed the film in August, helping it gross approximately $33 million, as well as Oscar buzz.

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