In case you needed another reason to be disgusted by Woody Allen

Funny movies? Check. Creative and talented guy? Check. Shockingly abhorrent human being? Double triple check.

First there was the creepy marrying-his-stepdaughter thing. But that’s old news.

More recently, Allen gives us this New Yorker article, which I understand was supposed to be humor piece about Warren Beatty’s sexual prowess but which is actually a really sexist and creepy look into how Woody Allen thinks women view sex (for example, sex is “really good” when we are “ravaged,” wake up in a recovery room with a nurse giving us tea, and don’t remember anything). New Yorker, I love you. I read you every day on the subway. But I wanted to tear you up into a million little pieces when I read that piece.

And now Allen is (again!) standing up for Roman Polanksi, after another actress came forward and said Polanski raped her when she was a teenager. According to Allen, Polanski is “an artist and is a nice person” who “did something wrong and he paid for it.” Except (a) nice people don’t rape 14-year-old girls; (b) even if Polanksi is really really nice and saves kittens on the weekends, that isn’t a Get Away With Rape Free card; (c) neither is being an artist; I mean, John Wayne Gacy was a clown, so, great guy, they should definitely have let him go; and (d) Polanski actually has not paid for what he did wrong. Unless by “he paid for it” you mean “he won numerous awards, made hundreds of millions of dollars, had a long and successful career, but couldn’t enter the United States and for a few months was not allowed to leave his enormous Swiss chateau.” In that case, ok yeah, he paid for it. Can I be a criminal and face the same kind of punishment as Polanski, please?

And can people like Woody Allen please be socially marginalized, please?


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
This entry was posted in Art, Celebrity, Crime, Movies, Sexual Assault and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to In case you needed another reason to be disgusted by Woody Allen

  1. PrettyAmiable says:

    He also assaulted the other actress after his self-imposed exile from the US – so no, he never ever paid for that one. And if Allen were to make the argument that she never charged him with a crime — yeah, would you after the first rape victim got shit on repeatedly and her rapist walked away with the support of nearly the entire western world?

    • Jill says:

      Yup. I also liked Gabe at Videogum’s take (and I know this story is the opposite of funny, but he still made me laugh with this):

      In a development that should come as no surprise to anyone (even you, Wes Anderson), fresh allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor have surfaced against Roman Polanski, who famously plead guilty in 1978 to drugging and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl (not necessarily in that order). Because of course they have. “I’m sure if someone drugged and sodomized a 13-year-old girl in Jack Nicholson’s hot tub, plead guilty, and fled the United States to avoid punishment, that it was an isolated incident,” said no one.

  2. Doug says:

    Funny movies up until about 1998 or so? Check.

    (Fixed.)

  3. I don’t know, Jill, not being able to leave my luxury Swiss chateau sounds like pretty tough punishment to me. Or a holiday.

  4. usckitty says:

    So the rape apologist mantra: empathy for rapists strikes again. Why not empathy for the RAPE VICTIM?

    What next? Tearful testimonials in court about how the trial is ruining a “poor rapist’s” life?

  5. ElleBeMe says:

    I never really liked his stuff. He always casts himself as the sexual piece de resistance, which I just cannot stomach. He “ain’t all that” and neither are his films.

  6. prowlerzee says:

    THANK you, Jill….and your views should be the social norm! There is no excuse for liking/enabling Woody Allen.

  7. Really? says:

    I didn’t realize we hadn’t moved on from the whole not-liking-Woody-cause-he-legally-dated-and-married-his-not-really-stepdaughter thing. This is still an issue, really? Really?

    His defense of Polanski is one thing, but let’s not lump in a completely legitimate relationship cause some find it “kinda creepy.” Or are we now supposed to consider ANYone who dates/marries someone much younger “socially marginallized.”

    Can we please move out of 7th grade, please?

  8. Politicalguineapig says:

    Well, I always knew he was an a-hole. As for Polanski- I’m not really surprised by this. He probably has many more victims than just two. I hope an avalanche hits his chalet.

  9. annaham says:

    And can people like Woody Allen please be socially marginalized, please?

    We can hope…

  10. Natalia says:

    I think a lot of these people are blinded by the fact that they know Polanski personally, and can’t imagine that the same guy who did these things is also their friend and colleague. Which is – you know, fine, I can initially accept that. I think a lot of people were also severely misinformed about this case (hello Whoopi) and it allowed them to not really see it for what it was – “it was back in those wild 70’s, it wasn’t rape,” blah blah. And even the comments about how “everybody likes to fuck young girls” can be attributed to the “old” Roman, as opposed to the new and improved Roman who is also your friend.

    But this case has been back in the public eye for some time now, and I think it’s time for these people to get their heads out of the sand. Let’s face it – he NEVER paid for what he did, he doesn’t want to pay for what he did, and he couldn’t give a fuck.

    And if he has any real friends, they’d tell him to face the music.

  11. Auguste says:

    I never really liked his stuff. He always casts himself as the sexual piece de resistance, which I just cannot stomach. He “ain’t all that” and neither are his films.

    Holy lord, are you missing the point.

  12. ellid says:

    I haven’t been able to watch a Woody Allen movie since he married Soon-Yi. He’s a creepy little guy, and the only difference between him and Roman Polanski is that Polanski has had to deal with genuine tragedy rather than the horrors of being a nebbish.

  13. delagar says:

    I’m with you. Even if he and Roman were in fact the greatest directors on the face of the Earth, who cares? Nothing makes it all right for them to treat other human beings like objects. And clearly nothing makes it okay for them to treat children like objects.

    This is some male privilege on a fucking plate all right. My dick should get what my dick desires. Women? What women?

  14. Jill says:

    His defense of Polanski is one thing, but let’s not lump in a completely legitimate relationship cause some find it “kinda creepy.” Or are we now supposed to consider ANYone who dates/marries someone much younger “socially marginallized.”

    Can we please move out of 7th grade, please?

    It’s not because he married someone much younger. It’s because he married his stepdaughter. That is creepy. But not really the point of this post.

  15. Aaron Boyden says:

    OK, I definitely do not defend Polanski, nor do I wish to comment on Allen’s own relationships, but I’m not sure why you’re so offended by the New Yorker piece. It’s not brilliant, but it is mocking a biography of Beatty, and is obviously parodying a certain style (presumably because the Biskind biography reminded Allen of that style). The things you mention are part of the style he is attempting to parody; he seems to be mocking rather than endorsing the attitudes you complain about.

  16. Partial Human says:

    Oh do stop with the mansplanations. We don’t need you, Aaron Boyden, to delegitimise our feeling about real-life sexual predators. Society and the media do enough of that, without the likes of you concern-trolling on behalf of Woody Allen.

  17. Susie says:

    Aaron has a point. The New Yorker piece is actually the first decently funny thing Allen has written for that publication (or anywhere else) for some years, even if it’s still a retread of some of his earlier stuff. I didn’t find it offensive. You could say it’s more evidence that Allen will never have sex with Scarlett Johannsson and it’s killing him, but that’s about it.

    You forgot to add in the OP that Polanski couldn’t accept his Best Director Oscar in person. Hasn’t the man suffered enough?

  18. Aaron Boyden says:

    Human, I said I wasn’t sure because I wasn’t, and I was interested in getting clarification; I tried to explain why I was unsure in order to increase the chance that the explanation would be relevant to what I was unsure about. I could have speculated on Jill’s motives. For example, it occurs that given things like Allen’s stance on Polanski, he’s yielded any benefit of the doubt and it’s appropriate to read anything he says or writes the worst way possible; that doesn’t seem unreasonable to me (nor does a more general principle of being automatically suspicious of almost anyone given the usual messages you mention from society and the media). But there could be plenty of other reasons, including the possibility that I missed something important about Allen’s piece, which is why I bothered to comment. I did not initially speculate on Jill’s motives because I think it can be somewhat patronizing to attribute motives to people, though this must of course be balanced against the need to be clear about what I’m looking for. Perhaps I struck the wrong balance.

    I also apologize for using my full real name. My usual policy is to try to follow local custom, but sometimes I forget to check, and since I’ve already posted in this thread, I don’t wish to change the name I’m using in the middle of a discussion. I realize that in a feminist discussion area, using my full real name could be a problematic assertion of privilege, giving my words extra weight by showing that I’m not ashamed to associate them with who I am in real life, in a way that those less privileged might not be able to do because of the potential harassment they could be subjected to as a result. Thus, if I’d been paying more attention, I’d have posted as “Protagoras;” I have no excuse for my inattentiveness.

  19. Bagelsan says:

    I never really liked his stuff.

    I’m pretty sure I liked whatever the first one or two things of his I saw. And then I was like “okay… so he just does the same thing? Over and over?”

  20. jemand says:

    Hitler was an artist.

    And I just godwin law-ed this. And wondered why I’d never thought of it before.

  21. Really? says:

    @Jill @ *:49am: “It’s not because he married someone much younger. It’s because he married his stepdaughter. That is creepy. But not really the point of this post.”

    Soon-Yi Previn was not Allen’s stepdaughter. That was a media fiction created to titillate the reader about the wild doings of the social liberal elite.
    She was the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Andre Previn. Allen later had a long-standing relationship with Farrow, but did not have a hand in Soon-Yi’s upbringing as befits the stepfather role.
    I know it’s all cool and chic to act all creeped out by the assumed “father-daughter” connection, but there never was one. Both Soon-Yi and Allen have addressed this directly. And, honestly, I thought this whole thing had gone away years ago.

    Again, if you want to criticize him for his stance on Polanski, another matter entirely…

  22. syndella says:

    Really?, it’s still creepy.

    I know it’s all cool and chic to be accepting of everything, but it’s still creepy.

  23. Bagelsan says:

    I’m pretty sure Hitler only loved children platonically, too. …Sooo point to…Hitler? >.<

  24. Natalia says:

    You forgot to add in the OP that Polanski couldn’t accept his Best Director Oscar in person. Hasn’t the man suffered enough?

    I know, right? Typical of feminazi Jill to gloss over such injustice.

    Sob.

  25. prowlerzee says:

    Sorry, Really?, but Woody Allen’s own kids no longer speak to him because he made their step-sister into their step-mother.

    It’s vile on so many levels, what’s really amazing is that human decency has to be explained to those who fell for the meme “it wasn’t ‘really’ Allen’s step-daughter.” He was married and preyed on his wife’s young stepdaughter, who was the sister of his own kids. Do you not get that? Really?

  26. Susie says:

    “Soon-Yi Previn was not Allen’s stepdaughter. That was a media fiction created to titillate the reader about the wild doings of the social liberal elite.”

    As the lover of their mother and a regular presence in the lives of the Farrow children, Allen assumed the role of father, however symbolically, and he did a play an important role in their lives. By sleeping with their sister Allen caused a profound disruption in the family, a disruption to which by all accounts he appears to be totally oblivious.

    (There is also the matter of his relations with his young adopted daughter Dylan. You don’t have to take Farrow’s word for everything, but if even a quarter of what she said was true, there was something very, very strange going on, enough for the courts to decide that Allen’s visitation rights should be circumscribed.)

  27. prowlerzee says:

    Sorry, preyed on his partner’s daughter! It really annoys me that her adopted stance is even mentioned, and here I went and mistyped it as “stepdaughter.” Anyway, she was the sister of his own kids. People who bring up the fact that she was “only” adopted by Mia Farrow skip this all the time.

  28. The piece the New Yorker was puerile…He hasn’t been funny for a long time, but lately he’s downright stupid.

  29. tinfoil hattie says:

    I’ve never liked Woody Allen’s movies. I find them unutterably boring and narcissistic, not to mention sexist. That’s why it wasn’t actually a sacrifice to not watch any more of his movies after the Soon Yee crap.

  30. tinfoil hattie says:

    Oops – sorry – Soon Yi.

  31. archer says:

    Look, you don’t bang your Significant Other’s kid, parent, or sibling, okay? Also the kid, parent, or sibling shouldn’t bang you. You know why they shouldn’t bang you? Because you’re a creep.I don’t see what’s so goddamn hard about this.

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