Is It Finally Time For Woody Allen’s Reckoning With Hollywood In The Present #MeToo And #TimesUp Culture?
Woody Allen’s career has faced some scrutiny after the sexual abuse accusations by his then 7-year-old daughter and his affair and marriage to Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of Allen’s then-partner Mia Farrow. But overall, it has mostly remained unscathed and praised by Hollywood and fans. Woody Allen outlasted the scandal in 1992, and he has continued to produce movie after movie with prominent actors and actresses.
But is it finally time for Allen to be held accountable in the public sphere for alleged acts of sexual abuse and personal obsessions with young girls?
In 2014, Dylan Farrow spoke out against Allen, her father, and wrote an open letter that was published in the New York Times that detailed the abuse inflicted upon her by Woody Allen. She asked for people to stop praising him. And again on January 18th, 2018 Dylan gave an exclusive interview with CBS on television where she talked candidly about the allegations that Woody Allen had abused her. She says, “I am telling the truth.”
Since Dylan’s return to the public eye, more and more celebrities are sharing their regrets of working with Woody Allen, how they wish they had believed Dylan and supported her.
This culture of #MeToo and Time’s Up in Hollywood have given so many people, including Dylan Farrow, the springboard to speak out against perpetrators of sexual abuse and sexual harassment and now is the time that people are finally listening and believing.
Within weeks of the Weinstein story, actors who had worked with Allen began to publicly voice regret for doing so, beginning with Griffin Newman.
Griffin Newman donated his salary for Allen’s upcoming film A Rainy Day in New York to RAINN and his reasons include, “I believe he is guilty…I deeply regret my final decision (not to quit the movie) …I was a coward…It was an educational experience for all the wrong reasons. I learned conclusively that I cannot put my career over my morals again.”
An article by Vox that is updated continuously lists every actor who has publicly repudiated their work with Allen since October 2017. Some include Rachel Brosnahan who said, “Look, I had a great experience working on that project. But I do have to take this opportunity to say that, for me, I have really struggled with the decision to do that project for a long time. Honestly, it’s the decision that I have made in my life that is the most inconsistent with everything I stand for and believe in, both publicly and privately. And while I can’t take it back, it’s important to me, moving forward, to make decisions that better reflect the things that I value and my worldview.”
And Timothée Chalamet who is currently working on A Rainy Day in New York which is slated to be released in 2018 said,
“…I am learning that a good role isn’t the only criteria for accepting a job- that has become much clearer to me in the past few months, having witnessed the birth of a powerful movement intent on ending injustice, inequality and above all, silence. I have been asked in a few recent interviews about my decision to work on a film with Woody Allen last summer. I’m not able ot answer the question directly because of contractual obligations. But what I can say is this: I don’t want to profit from my work on the film, and to that end, I am going ot donate my entire salary to three charities: TIME’S UP, the LGBT Center in New York, and RAINN. I want to be worthy of standing should to shoulder with the brave artists who are fighting for people ot be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
Colin Firth has said, “I wouldn’t work with him again.”
Greta Gerwig’s response to asking if she regretted working with Allen is:
“It is something that I take very seriously and have been thinking deeply about, and it has taken me time to gather my thoughts and say what I mean to say. I can only speak for myself and what I’ve come to is this: If I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film. I have not worked for him again, and I will not work for him again. Dylan Farrow’s two different pieces made me realize that I increased another woman’s pain, and I was heartbroken by that realization. I grew up on his movies, and they have informed me as an artist, and I cannot change that fact now, but I can make different decisions moving forward.”
David Krumholtz who appeared in Allen’s Wonder Wheel released at the end of 2017 tweeted saying he regretted work on the film and said things including, “I deeply regret working with Woody Allen on Wonder Wheel. It’s one of my most heartbreaking mistakes. We can no longer let these men represent us in entertainment, politics, or any other realm. They are beneath real men.”
Ellen Page said of her work in To Rome With Love, “I did a Woody Allen movie and it is the biggest regret of my career. I am ashamed I did this. I had yet to find my voice and was not who I am now and felt pressured, because “of course you have to say yes to this Woody Allen film.” Ultimately, however, it is my choice what films I decide to do and I made the wrong choice. I made an awful mistake.”
And finally, Mira Sorvino who won an Oscar for her role in Mighty Aphrodite, in which she plays a young prostitute and porn actress who turns out to be the mother of the adopted son of the film’s main character, Lenny, played by Allen expressed her regrets and apologizes for turning “a blind eye” to Dylan.
Her statement is:
“In December I called your brother Ronan, sharing about the aftermath of my and other women’s coming forward about Harvey Weinstein. How it had been a sometimes empowering, sometimes bitter and heartbreaking experience, as more and more details came out of hidden damage this man had done me. Of how I felt somehow more vulnerable and triggered (though certainly grateful) when millions of people showed me their support online, as though now my life had been reduced to one victimization. … I told him I wanted to learn more about you and your situation. He pointed me toward publicly available details of the case I had ruefully never known of, which made me begin to feel the evidence strongly supported your story. That you have been telling the truth all along.
I am so sorry, Dylan! I cannot begin to imagine how you have felt, all these years as you watched someone you called out as having hurt you as a child, a vulnerable little girl in his care, be lauded again and again, including by me and countless others in Hollywood who praised him and ignored you. As a mother and a woman, this breaks my heart for you. I am so, so sorry!”
But still, even among all the regret of working with Woody Allen there are still countless well-known Hollywood actors who have continued to defend or at least not speak out against Allen including Kate Winslet. In 2014, the Golden Globes paid tribute to Allen with the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award but Allen did not attend the ceremony. Diane Keaton accepted the award in his place saying their friendship of 45 years filled her heart with “pride, affection, and even love.” This award sparked controversy and renewed conversations about Dylan’s allegations against Allen. Ronan Farrow tweeted after the ceremony, “Missed the Woody Allen tribute- did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?”
And after the awards ceremony in February Dylan released her letter in which she says, “What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me? Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.”
And very recently Scarlet Johansson is being called a hypocrite for continually supporting of Woody Allen but at the same time supporting and speaking out about the Time’s Up movement. On Saturday January 20th, 2018 Scarlett Johansson gave a speech at the Women’s March in Los Angeles in which she bashed James Franco but says that the child abuse allegations against the director were “all guesswork”. Johansson said on Saturday, “I want my pin back, by the way.” This was in response to Franco wearing a “Time’s Up” pin at the Golden Globe and the subsequent 5 accusers who came forward and called him out. How can Johansson support Woody Allen yet shame James Franco?
Despite skill and achievements all those who have been accused of sexual misconduct must be held accountable, including Woody Allen. No more double standards.
When will the artist be separated from the art and finally be held accountable? When will people stop forgiving him just because we like his movies? It needs to be now.