Despite his history of sexual abuse allegations, Woody Allen remains one of the most prominent and prolific directors in Hollywood. Yet, while Allen’s reputation has wavered under these accusations, it’s hardly suffered.
Take actress Kate Winslet’s recent comments about Allen, for instance. As the star of his latest film, Wonder Wheel, Winslet has been rather forthcoming with her praise for the embattled director. In fact, according to the Oscar-winner, Allen completely understands women, which makes him great at developing female characters.
“I think on some level Woody is a woman,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I just think he’s very in touch with that side of himself. He understands the female characters he creates exceptionally well.”
“His female characters are always so rich and large and honest in terms of how they’re feeling, and he just knows how to write dialogue for them to communicate all that,” Winslet added.
However, as Dylan Farrow — Allen’s alleged victim and adopted daughter — notes in her recent Op-Ed for the Los Angeles Times, it’s hard to stomach this level of unyielding praise from famous actresses, as remarks such as Winslet’s keep this supposed pedophile in business.
“I have long maintained that when I was 7 years old, Woody Allen led me into an attic, away from the babysitters who had been instructed never to leave me alone with him. He then sexually assaulted me,” Farrow writes. “I told the truth to the authorities then, and I have been telling it, unaltered, for more than 20 years. Why is it that Harvey Weinstein and other accused celebrities have been cast out by Hollywood, while Allen recently secured a multimillion-dollar distribution deal with Amazon, greenlit by former Amazon Studios executive Roy Price before he was suspended over sexual misconduct allegations?”
Farrow adds that it’s borderline hypocritical for actresses who’ve worked with Allen to praise his talents, and then chastise Weinstein for his actions.
Discussing Weinstein, “Wonder Wheel” star Kate Winslet said, “The fact that these women are starting to speak out about the gross misconduct of one of our most important and well-regarded film producers, is incredibly brave and has been deeply shocking to hear.” Of Allen, she said “I didn’t know Woody and I don’t know anything about that family. As the actor in the film, you just have to step away and say, I don’t know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false. Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person. Woody Allen is an incredible director.”
Likewise, Blake Lively said of Weinstein: “It’s important that women are furious right now. It’s important that there is an uprising. It’s important that we don’t stand for this and that we don’t focus on one or two or three or four stories, it’s important that we focus on humanity in general and say, ‘This is unacceptable.’ ” But on the subject of Allen, she said, “It’s very dangerous to factor in things you don’t know anything about. I could [only] know my experience.”
As Farrow notes, while the truth is hard to deny, it’s often easy to ignore — something that’s become all too common where Allen’s concerned.
That’s why it breaks her heart when the women and men she admires work with Allen, but then refuse to answer questions about his history. Farrow adds that it meant the world to her when actress Ellen Page said she regretted working with Allen, and when actresses Jessica Chastain and Susan Sarandon told the world why they never would.
“It isn’t just power that allows men accused of sexual abuse to keep their careers and their secrets,” Farrow emphasizes. “It is also our collective choice to see simple situations as complicated and obvious conclusions as a matter of “who can say”? The system worked for Harvey Weinstein for decades. It works for Woody Allen still.”
No matter how complex or creative Allen’s female characters might be, his actions speak much louder than any of the words found within the pages of his scripts. Men across the industry are finally being held accountable for their lewd behaviors as part of the #MeToo Movement and, after years of speculation, it’s about time that the industry take Farrow’s accusations seriously, too.
Hollywood shouldn’t be allowed to pick and choose who pays for their crimes and who doesn’t simply because they value the given person’s talent. Allen deserves the same reckoning as every other alleged abuser in the business.
(This post originally appeared on Storia.)