Woody Allen Accidentally Says True Thing About #MeToo
Woody Allen with the total stranger he directed in 13 movies.
Woody Allen hasn't released a funny movie since 1993, but the 82-year-old director had me rolling around on my freshly mopped floor (I like a tidy home) with his recent comments on the #MeToo movement.
But now, in a new interview on an Argentinian news program, Allen says he believes that he should actually be the “poster boy” for the #MeToo movement.
No, he doesn't mean "poster boy" in the logical sense but in the ridiculous "I'm totally someone you'd trust alone with your young daughter and a Polaroid camera" sense.
Allen went on to address the #MeToo movement, saying he’s a “big advocate” of it and that he thinks it’s a “good thing” to expose people who “harass innocent women and men.” He continued:
"What bothers me is that I get linked with them. People who have been accused by 20 women, 50 women, 100 women of abuse and abuse and abuse — and I, who was only accused by one woman in a child custody case which was looked at and proven to be untrue, I get lumped in with these people."
OK, a few things: Men need to really stop claiming that sexual misconduct is a matter of degree: "Oh, that guy abused 100 women and this guy only abused 1." One is still bad. Also, Dylan Farrow's claim that Allen molested her was not "looked at and proven to be untrue."
June 1993: In a scathing judgment against Allen, a Manhattan judge ruled that Mia Farrow should receive custody of the children, and that he was not convinced “that the evidence proves conclusively that there was no sexual abuse.” The judge also said psychotherapists who interviewed Dylan Farrow had their judgement “colored by their loyalty to Mr. Allen,” according to the Times.
The judge also blasted Allen for his relationship with [Soon Yi] Previn, saying it harmed both her and her adoptive siblings. “Having isolated Soon-Yi from her family, he left her with no visible support system,” Justice Elliott Wilk wrote.
September 1993: Connecticut state’s attorney Frank S. Maco announced that while he found “probable cause” to prosecute Allen, he was dropping the case because Dylan was too “fragile” to deal with a trial. Mia Farrow agreed with the decision, he said.
Also, Allen might not want to identify by name the "one woman in a child custody case" who accused him of wrongdoing but you might remember her from such films as this:
Oh, and this:
Yes, literally Hannah from Hannah and Her Sisters and Alice from, well, Alice accused Allen of being a malignant troll who molested their daughter Dylan and seduced her other daughter Soon-Yi Previn. This sort of puts a big lie to Allen's obscene self-serving assertions.
“Because I have worked in movies for 50 years,” [Allen] explained. “I’ve worked with hundreds of actresses and not a single one — big ones, famous ones, ones starting out — have ever ever suggested any kind of impropriety at all. I’ve always had a wonderful record with them.”
Lots of married men wish their mother-in-law didn't exist (not me, of course!), but Allen has selectively chosen to live on an alternate Earth where he had a different leading lady for the 13 movies he directed between 1982 and 1992.
Seriously, she starred in this one.
And, this one.
Mia Farrow is a convenient villain in the fairy tale Allen likes to craft that ends with him happily married to his ex's daughter (gee, why would anyone have a problem with that?) who is also the sister of his children, one of whom is Ronan Farrow, whose journalistic efforts helped spark the #MeToo movement. However, Mia wasn't just some "jilted ex" who "went crazy." She was Allen's creative partner for a decade, and her work in his films provided the primary source of income for her (hella large) family. She had a lot to lose not just when her boss started dating her daughter but when she reported her other daughter's molestation accusations. Allen, meanwhile, had all the power -- firing Farrow from Manhattan Murder Mystery (replacing her with his former girlfriend) and basically going on with his career with no major interruption.
But sure, he's the victim.
Allen claiming he has a "wonderful record" with women he works with is like O.J. Simpson claiming he has a "wonderful record" with his former wives with just that one exception. Allen also claims his creepy film Manhattan about a creepy 42-year-old man who has lots of high-school-senior sex with 17-year-old Mariel Hemingway was just a "funny idea." Hemingway recently revealed how Allen had the creepy idea of luring her still-teenage self to Paris to I'm sure study the architecture.
“Our relationship was platonic, but I started to see that he had a kind of crush on me, though I dismissed it as the kind of thing that seemed to happen any time middle-aged men got around young women,” writes Hemingway. The actress suggests that Allen attempted to act upon the crush by flying to her parents’ home in Idaho and inviting the teen to Europe. [...]
[T]he actress cautioned her parents “that I didn’t know what the [sleeping] arrangement was going to be [in Paris], that I wasn’t sure if I was even going to have my own room. Woody hadn’t said that. He hadn’t even hinted it. But I wanted them to put their foot down. They didn’t. They kept lightly encouraging me."
Hemingway says that she woke up at night with the realization that “[n]o one was going to get their own room. His plan, such as it was, involved being with me.” She says that she went into his guest room and woke him up asking, “I’m not going to get my own room, am I? I can’t go to Paris with you.”
Yeah, so I'm going to count that as two strikes against that self-proclaimed "wonderful record." Sorry, I know Hollywood does things differently, but this still looks bad in the HR file. Other women who've worked with Allen are also coming to the realization that he's gross, so #MeToo might want to look for another poster model
Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."