The #MeToo campaign has spawned #TimesUp, and it looks like the latter may be coming for Woody Allen. While the filmmaker hasn’t entirely been absent from the ongoing conversations around Hollywood, he has been somewhat unaffected. His latest film “Wonder Wheel” premiered at the New York Film Festival before opening this fall, and the director recently wrapped his upcoming project, reportedly titled “A Rainy Day In New York,” starring Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Jude Law, and Rebecca Hall. However, the tide is shifting.
Last week, The Washington Post published an investigation into the writer/director’s archives at Princeton University, which they say are filled with “misogynist and lecherous musings.” Last month, Dylan Farrow, who claims she was sexually assaulted by Allen, her adoptive father, when she was seven years old, penned an op-ed for the LA Times asking why the #MeToo campaign had spared the filmmaker. Here’s an excerpt from her piece:
Although the culture seems to be shifting rapidly, my allegation is apparently still just too complicated, too difficult, too “dangerous,” to use [Blake] Lively’s term, to confront.
The truth is hard to deny but easy to ignore. It breaks my heart when women and men I admire work with Allen, then refuse to answer questions about it. It meant the world to me when 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. 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.
Among those that Farrow called out was Greta Gerwig who had previously not been definitive enough about her feelings, when reflecting on working with Allen on “To Rome With Love.” But, in a new conversation with Aaron Sorkin in The New York Times, the actress and director further elaborates her thoughts.
“I would like to speak specifically to the Woody Allen question, which I have been asked about a couple of times recently, as I worked for him on a film that came out in 2012. It is something that I take very seriously and have been thinking deeply about, and it has taken me time to gather my thoughts and say what I mean to say. I can only speak for myself and what I’ve come to is this: If I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film,” she said. “I have not worked for him again, and I will not work for him again. Dylan Farrow’s two different pieces made me realize that I increased another woman’s pain, and I was heartbroken by that realization. I grew up on his movies, and they have informed me as an artist, and I cannot change that fact now, but I can make different decisions moving forward.”
It should be noted that Farrow’s first piece, detailing her assault, was published in The New York Times, two years after Gerwig had taken a role in “To Rome With Love.” More recently, Farrow said that the movement also needs people to reflect on their choices.
“I fully support women taking a stand, linking arms with other women (and men), advocating on behalf of one another to effect change not only in the entertainment industry but in the world at large,” she told BuzzFeed News. “That is an admirable and worthwhile objective, I hope these women change the world. That said, the people who join this movement without taking any kind of personal accountability for the ways in which their own words and decisions have helped to perpetuate the culture they are fighting against, that’s hard for me to reconcile.”
Meanwhile, Dylan Farrow’s brother and journalist Ronan Farrow, who was instrumental in the fall of Harvey Weinstein, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the damage Allen has done to their family, and whether or not Hollywood will truly hold him accountable.
“Woody Allen, legally, ethically, personally was absolutely a father in our family. And of course any family affected by sexual abuse will tell you that’s a part of what makes the issue so devastating,” Ronan Farrow said.
“It’s not for me to say what Hollywood will or won’t do. I will say that in every industry there are still powerful men facing credible allegations of wrongdoing who continue to evade accountability. As empowering a moment as this moment is, there’s still a long way to go,” he added.
“A Rainy Day In New York” is currently in post-production and slated to be released by Amazon Studios.