#MeToo: Time’s up for Woody?
“Could Woody Allen finally be having his #MeToo reckoning?” said Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn in MotherJones.com. Allegations of abuse have swirled around the prolific director since 1992, when Allen’s then-7-year-old adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, accused him of molestation. At the time, Allen’s reputation was already in tatters, because of the revelation he had started a sexual relationship with one of longtime partner Mia Farrow’s other adopted daughters, Soon-Yi, when she was 19. Yet Allen continued making Oscar-nominated movies, escaping the “hot seat” even when other powerful Hollywood figures like Harvey Weinstein were felled by sexual misconduct scandals. Now, though, after being called out for hypocrisy by Dylan Farrow, said Alissa Wilkinson in Vox.com, a growing group of #MeToo-supporting actors, including Natalie Portman, Mira Sorvino, Greta Gerwig, and Colin Firth, are voicing regret about working with the acclaimed filmmaker. The low buzz of controversy that has surrounded Allen for years “is becoming a roar.”
Allen has survived this long for a simple reason, said Rogel Alpher in Haaretz.com. The director has faced only one allegation of sexual misconduct—and he was cleared by two “thorough and expert investigations” by the Yale–New Haven Hospital Child Sex Abuse Clinic and the New York state child welfare authorities. Both concluded, after more than six months of medical and psychological testing, that “the incident described by Dylan Farrow never happened.” Some people, including Dylan’s brother, Moses, have speculated that Mia Farrow had brainwashed Dylan into believing the abuse story, in retaliation for Allen’s affair with Soon-Yi.
“It’s true that Allen was not charged with a crime,” said Ira Madison III in TheDailyBeast.com. “But then, neither have most of the men who’ve been named and shamed in Hollywood.” What has been documented in extensive detail is Allen’s creepy “obsession with featuring young, barely legal women in his films.” Journalist Richard Morgan studied 57 years of Woody Allen’s private notes—and found them dripping with references to “flashy sexy” 16-, 17-, and 18-year-olds seduced by lecherous old men. Actors, studios, and investors tolerated his fixation for years, said Adam Epstein in Qz.com. But with the stars of Allen’s unreleased next movie, A Rainy Day in New York, now publicly expressing regrets they worked with him, a director who made a movie a year for decades “may have made his last one.” ■