It’s hard to forget Woody Allen’s rape allegations when it’s revealed that the filmmaker is making a movie starring young actresses Selena Gomez and Elle Fanning. It seems that the 2014 open letter by Dylan Farrow detailing the sexual assault she allegedly suffered from her father throughout her childhood was not enough to derail the Hollywood legend’s career. This leaves a lot of people asking the question: Is it still okay to support Woody Allen?
Woody has vehemently denied the claims that he ever had an inappropriate relationship with his daughter, but Dylan has stuck to her story. “People are saying that I am not actually remembering what I remember,” she told People. “People are saying that my ‘evil mother’ brainwashed me because they refuse to believe that my sick, evil father would ever molest me, because we live in this society where victim blaming and inexcusable behavior — this taboo against shaming the famous at the expense of their victims — is accepted and excused.”
Woody and Dylan in 1989.
She did hit on a truth in her statement. People are quick to forgive the famous for their transgressions. Maybe because it’s too painful to believe our idols are capable of evil acts? Or because we, as viewers of art, are incapable of separating the art from the artist?
Daily Beast writer Ira Madison III wrote, “The fact remains that Allen is still a celebrated artist. His films appear at major festivals and are showered with awards, so if you’re an actor who wants those accolades, you’ll jump at the chance to work for him. You will even find an easy way to explain your reason for doing so.”
Is this true of young actresses today? Last year, actresses Kristen Stewart and Blake Lively appeared in his film, Café Society. When criticized for working with an alleged child molester both women have defended their choices. “We don’t know any of these people involved,” Kristen told Variety. “If we were persecuted for the amount of s–t that’s been said about us that’s not true, our lives would be over.” While Blake went as far as to call him “empowering.”
The fact of the matter is that in Hollywood a man can be accused of sexually assaulting his daughter and face zero repercussions. And yes, we could say that these are only accusations and that nothing’s been proven in a court of law. That’s true, but the prosecution did have enough evidence to indict the star. They only chose not to pursue the case in an effort to spare Dylan from the traumatization of a trial. The irony is that not going to trial means her initial traumatization will continue to be minimized by the public.
There’s no denying that Hollywood and fans alike found themselves in a difficult position when the talented Woody was accused of such a heinous crime. So, it’s okay to lose a little respect for Selena and Elle for choosing to work with him. But, it’s also okay to still enjoy watching Annie Hall.