Woody Allen is currently the centre of renewed allegations of sexual abuse against his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.
Hollywood actors, actresses and assorted minor celebrities are currently falling over themselves in the rush to disown relationships, express regret for working with him and generally put as much distance as possible between themselves and Woody Allen.
That would be perfectly understandable if Allen had been found guilty of an offence, or if evidence was known to exist which backed up the verbal accusations. But he hasn’t, and there doesn’t appear to be any.
Scrambling for moral high ground
Anxious to avoid the attention of the current Me Too/Time’s Up moment in Hollywood, assorted celebrities have been generating plenty of publicity while scrambling towards the moral high ground by offering salaries to charity, expressing regret for having worked with Allen and even writing (public) letters of apology to Dylan Farrow.
One of the exceptions is Alec Baldwin, who spoke out on Twitter to say that Hollywood’s “renunciation” of Woody Allen is “unfair and sad”. Having gone against the grain, the Twitter witch-hunters prefer to focus on Baldwin’s own imperfections in order to discourage others from expressing similar off-message opinions.
In a series of tweets, Baldwin said that renouncing the director’s work is “unfair and sad” and called working with him — To Rome with Love, Blue Jasmine — “one of the privileges of my career.”
He said “Woody Allen was investigated forensically by two states (NY and CT) and no charges were filed. The renunciation of him and his work, no doubt, has some purpose. But it’s unfair and sad to me. I worked with Woody Allen 3 times and it was one of the privileges of my career.”
He said that it’s possible to support survivors of sexual abuse while believing in Allen’s innocence and that due process should be carried out in these cases, adding “Is it possible to support survivors of pedophilia (paedophilia) and sexual assault/abuse and also believe WA is innocent? I think so.” Lots of the people who live on planet Twitter thought not.
Dylan Farrow’s accusations are not new. The allegation surfaced in 1992, when his then wife Mia Farrow said that Dylan, then 7 years old, had told her that Allen had touched her inaappropriately. Allen has always denied the allegations, insisting that Dylan had been coached into making the allegations.
The incident allegedly took place in the couple’s Conneticut house while Woody Allen and his then wife Mia Farrow were going through an unpleasant custody battle, at the end of their marriage. Allen wasn’t living at the house at the time. During a visit to the house, Dylan alleges that Allen took her into a small attic crawl space, where he touched her inappropriately.
The allegations were brought up during the custody battle and Mia Farrow was granted custody of their children, with a judge at the time saying that Allen’s behaviour toward Dylan was “grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her”. However, although the allegations were investigated, no charges were ever filed against Allen.
This week, Dylan, now 32 years old, appeared on CBS in her first TV interview to ask why nobody believed her and why Allen had been allowed to get away with it.
In an apparent attempt to shame artists into supporting her, she said “I’m not angry with them, (referring to artists who worked with Allen) I hope that, you know, especially since so many of them have been vocal advocates of this Me Too and Time’s Up movement that, um, they can acknowledge their complicity and maybe hold themselves accountable to how they have perpetuated this culture of – of silence in their industry.”
However, Dylan is not the first of her family to speak out on the matter recently. Woody Allen’s adopted son, Moses Farrow, has also spoken out. The recent piece telling Moses’ story contradicts Dylan’s story, saying instead that Mia Farrow abused him, Dylan and their other siblings and brainwashed Dylan into believing Allen abused her when he didn’t.
Woody Allen replies
In response to Dylan’s appearance on CBS, Woody Allen released the following statement to CBS ‘This Morning’:
“When this claim was first made more than 25 years ago, it was thoroughly investigated by both the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital and New York State Child Welfare. They both did so for many months and independently concluded that no molestation had ever taken place. Instead, they found it likely a vulnerable child had been coached to tell the story by her angry mother during a contentious breakup.
Dylan’s older brother Moses has said that he witnessed their mother doing exactly that – relentlessly coaching Dylan, trying to drum into her that her father was a dangerous sexual predator. It seems to have worked – and, sadly, I’m sure Dylan truly believes what she says.
But even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time’s Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn’t make it any more true today than it was in the past. I never molested my daughter – as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago.”
Those Hollywood stars running around kissing the butthole of ‘Me Too/Time’s’ Up by dumping (on) Allen should be ashamed of themselves. Too concerned with looking good and caving in to moral blackmail, they appear to have little interest in what is right and wrong.
The simple truth is that this story amounts to the fallout from an exceptionally nasty divorce and custody battle. Only Woody Allen and (possibly) Mia Farrow know if any abuse ever took place. Aged 7 at the time of the alleged incident, it is quite possible that Dylan’s memories are as much programmed as real.
There is no evidence on either side other than words, and words are too often used with spiteful intent. What’s more, we can no more take Dylan’s claims at face value than we can the contradictory claims made by her own brother, Moses.
In the absence of proof, Allen has not and probably never will be prosecuted. That doesn’t mean he’s innocent, of course, but it certainly doesn’t mean he’s guilty.
Those celebrities who have been so quick to jump aboard passing bandwagons should be ashamed of their shallow behaviour.