Which Woody Allen movie is your favorite?

Dylan Farrow, the daughter of Woody Allen, speaks out about charges that he sexually assaulted her when she was a kid. [TW for, as you might suspect, sexual assault].

Allen was never charged with sexual assault, and so he of course hasn’t been found guilty in a court of law. And he denies the allegations; many believe him. The reality is that we will never know what exactly happened, and whether Farrow is telling the truth, or whether she believes she’s telling the truth but the abuse allegations were put into her head by a mother going through a contentious divorce. It’s worth noting “we will never know exactly what happened” is true even in the overwhelming majority of resolved criminal cases. The reality of not knowing doesn’t mean that blame can never be assigned.

Given Allen’s history of predatory, boundary-pushing behavior, I feel ok saying that I, personally, am extremely creeped out by him. Dating his girlfriend’s teenage daughter who was decades his junior as soon as she became legal, and then marrying her, is such a gross transgression it’s tough to argue Woody is just your average neurotic guy. His sexual relationship with a 17-year-old before Soon-Yi is another strike. Of course molesting a pre-pubescent girl is very different than dating teenagers, but it seems clear that Woody gets off on extreme power imbalances and crosses lines that decent adult men simply don’t cross.

As far as I can tell, Dylan has no motivation to lie about this.

And in any event, I support Dylan’s efforts to speak up for herself. I hope she finds support and healing. Roxane says it better than I could:

As the latest discourse about Woody Allen unfolds, I doubt anyone’s minds will be changed. I know where I stand and why. I know I would rather stand where I stand and eventually be proven wrong than support Woody Allen and eventually be proven wrong. We believe what we believe and it isn’t the place of public intellectuals to adjudicate such a fraught matter, to boldly declare who is right and wrong.

Instead, public intellectuals can and should critique the culture that makes this conversation possible, the culture that leaves too many people wondering whose side to take, and the culture where people are contemplating (and compartmentalizing), in any way, Allen’s “artistic legacy.”

We can consider how nearly every single article about Allen and these allegations refers to Dylan Farrow as his “adopted daughter,” instead of his daughter, as if that designation, by creating some distance, somehow lessens his alleged crimes.

We can consider how, all too often, victims need to prove their stories in the court of public opinion. They need to be unassailable. They need to authenticate their stories in an atmosphere where they will be doubted and maligned for daring to speak up.

We can consider how people seem to want to believe false rape and sexual abuse accusations are the rule rather than the exception. Why wouldn’t they? The truth and pervasiveness of sexual violence around the world is overwhelming. Why would anyone want to face such truth?

Author: has written 5276 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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128 Responses

  1. ldouglas
    ldouglas February 3, 2014 at 10:40 am |

    culture where people are contemplating (and compartmentalizing), in any way, Allen’s “artistic legacy.”

    I’m not sure I agree with this part. I don’t see any inherent wrong with discussing the artistic impact of Allen’s work in only its own context, just as when discussing his crimes I don’t think the movies he’s made should be taken into account as mitigating factors.

  2. Athenia
    Athenia February 3, 2014 at 10:51 am |

    What I found interesting about Dylan’s letter was that it totally answers the people who think her mom made this up.

  3. Donna L
    Donna L February 3, 2014 at 11:27 am |

    I said what I had to say on the weekly open thread — it’s all too upsetting to keep talking about.

    1. anna_k
      anna_k February 3, 2014 at 10:26 pm |

      agreed. i tried to keep up with it somewhat but the sheer deluge of victim-blaming has done me in. going to have to avoid it for sake of my own health.

  4. EG
    EG February 3, 2014 at 11:34 am |

    I want to add that those who claim Mia Farrow made everything up say that their “evidence” is

    1) Mia Farrow slept around. (Relevance?)
    2) Mia Farrow’s brother is in jail for child molestation. (Relevance?)
    3) Mia Farrow is still friends with Roman Polanski. (Disappointing, but again, relevance?)
    4) Soon-yi Previn has said that Mia Farrow was abusive. (Why this is supposed to be more convincing than Dylan Farrow’s descriptions of Allen’s abuse or Ronan Farrow’s descriptions of Allen’s abuse or the witnesses physical and verbal abuse of Ronan Farrow by Allen is left unexplained, as is why, even if it were true, it would mean that Farrow made up Dylan Farrow’s rape and abuse.)

    None of this is actual evidence for jack shit.

    1. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve February 3, 2014 at 12:26 pm |

      I got involved in a Facebook discussion about this, and this article was linked, and was providing the defenders with pretty much all their ammunition/justification:

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/27/the-woody-allen-allegations-not-so-fast.html

      This was my comment after the guy who posted it accused my friend (a female comedian,) of being an anti-semite (just to be clear that I’m posting this so people can see what his defenders are saying, not posting it as Allen’s defender.):

      Fat Steve- “Jack Benny wasn’t a kiddy fiddler, nor was Albert Brooks, Mel Brooks or any number of Jewish comedians. Brent, you sound like one of those Penn State imbeciles defending Sandusky. A direct accusation by the victim is neithr innuendo nor rumor mongering.”

    2. BBBShrewHarpy
      BBBShrewHarpy February 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm |

      Yep, the defense of Woody centers on the statement that Mia is a harlot therefore Dylan can’t be believed. If Dylan had been older than 7 at the time, they would probably have called her a harlot too.

    3. discofreak
      discofreak February 4, 2014 at 12:35 pm |

      I also can’t help but point out this article from Salon.

      http://www.salon.com/2014/02/04/mia_farrows_sex_abuse_silence/

      “A mother would naturally be far more vocal about a man she believes molested their daughter than a friend or even a brother, but her sustained silence regarding the men in her life who have been found guilty of sexually abusing children is puzzling. It strongly suggests the support she claims for ‘all abuse survivors’ is selective at best.”

  5. Drahill
    Drahill February 3, 2014 at 11:59 am |

    Part of me is glad that Dylan is speaking out. When Mia or Ronan Farrow would discuss the allegations, I always felt slightly uncomfortable listening to them – because up to that point, I was never sure if they had Dylan’s consent to talk about it. I always wondered if she was okay with them talking about it, or whether it was being done against her wishes. I suppose one of the few decent things to be taken from this is that we at least know that Dylan has a family that has pulled around her to support her.

  6. Susan Jacobsen
    Susan Jacobsen February 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm |

    Please don’t get me wrong – I’m not defending Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi Previn. However, the author of the article states that he had a sexual relationship with her at age 17. Their physical relationship began in late 1991. Her passport states her birthday is October 8 1970, which would have made her 21 at this time. There is some speculation she may be up to two years younger than this. Even accounting for this, her age would have been 19 at the time.

    The details of his relationship with her are disturbing enough with accurate facts. There’s no need to report inaccurate ones.

    1. samanthab
      samanthab February 5, 2014 at 6:20 am |

      Is it clear when Soon-Yi Previn’s relationship with Woody Allen began? It’s my understanding that Mia Farrow became aware of the relationship when she found naked photos of the two together. That doesn’t establish when the relationship actually began.

      1. tigtog
        tigtog February 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm | *

        The 1992 Vanity Fair article I linked to elsewhere on the thread doesn’t include an actual date, but it seems that the affair began after Soon-Yi Previn started attending college, while Allen and Farrow were still in the legal process of finalising Allen’s adoption of Farrow’s younger children and he was still under Farrow’s roof every day parenting Dylan and his other children.

        1. samanthab
          samanthab February 7, 2014 at 10:35 am |

          Yeah, that could be accurate, but I think that only the two people involved can be guaranteed to know when the affair began. When people are as demonstrably untrustworthy as they are, their word doesn’t count for much with me. Either way, it’s indefensible, and yet it has been defended tirelessly in Hollywood and in the general public. Enough with that bullshit.

        2. tigtog
          tigtog February 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm | *

          Absolutely, and even if it is technically true that she was a legal adult when the relationship began, that fact doesn’t suddenly make it all OK:

          * Not fucking your girlfriend’s adult daughter is basic loyalty. Allen betrayed Farrow by fucking her daughter.

          * Not fucking your children’s adult sister who is living under the same roof as your children is basic responsible parenting. Allen failed Dylan and Satchel/Ronan and Moses as their father by fucking their sister.

          * Not fucking your girlfriend’s adult daughter at a time when they are going through a period of conflict where that daughter’s thinking might veer towards thoughts of “this will teach her for arguing with me all the time” is basic responsible adulthood. Allen failed Soon-Yi by taking advantage of her anger at her mother in such a way as to ruin that parent-child relationship.

          Behaviour doesn’t have to be technically illegal in order for it to be ethically reprehensible. Allen is a scumbag who cared more about his pantsfeels than about whether he was about to tear a family apart.

    2. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve February 7, 2014 at 5:00 pm |

      Absolutely, and even if it is technically true that she was a legal adult when the relationship began, that fact doesn’t suddenly make it all OK:

      * Not fucking your girlfriend’s adult daughter is basic loyalty. Allen betrayed Farrow by fucking her daughter.

      * Not fucking your children’s adult sister who is living under the same roof as your children is basic responsible parenting. Allen failed Dylan and Satchel/Ronan and Moses as their father by fucking their sister.

      * Not fucking your girlfriend’s adult daughter at a time when they are going through a period of conflict where that daughter’s thinking might veer towards thoughts of “this will teach her for arguing with me all the time” is basic responsible adulthood. Allen failed Soon-Yi by taking advantage of her anger at her mother in such a way as to ruin that parent-child relationship.

      Behaviour doesn’t have to be technically illegal in order for it to be ethically reprehensible. Allen is a scumbag who cared more about his pantsfeels than about whether he was about to tear a family apart.

      It is precisely for these reasons (or the sum of them i.e. he treated Mia Farrow like utter shit,) that I haven’t gone to see any of his movies since 1992. When I read Dylan Farrow’s letter, I decided I’m not even going to be watching his ‘classics,’ and am considering throwing out every book I have of his.

      1. Hector_St_Clare
        Hector_St_Clare February 7, 2014 at 10:48 pm |

        I’m all about age differences between *consenting adults*, so the age difference wasn’t what bothered me. It’s about, as you say, blurring the boundaries between ‘family’ and ‘dating partners’. Whether or not Soon Yi saw Woody Allen as a parent figure is less important than the example that it sets for the rest of society. The boundary between ‘family members’ and ‘dateable’ is one that we really, really don’t want to blur.

  7. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin February 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm |

    What I find puzzling is why people aren’t using the director’s own words against him. In the film Love and Death, he writes this line.

    “I had to live many years, and, after many trials and tribulations, I have come to the conclusion that the best thing [in life] is … blonde 12-year-old girls. Two of them, whenever possible.”

    In the film Annie Hall, Allen writes this segment of dialogue.

    Rob: Imagine my surprise when I got your call, Max.
    Alvy Singer: Yeah. I had the feeling that I got you at a bad moment. You know, I heard high-pitched squealing.
    Rob: Twins, Max! 16 years-old. Can you imagine the mathematical possibilities?

    1. Donna L
      Donna L February 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm |

      Not to mention the movie Manhattan. Based on Allen’s actual affair, when he was 40 years old, with a 17-year old high school student attending Stuyvesant High School.

      There’s no question whatsoever that he has a creepy lifelong obsession with underage teenage girls. Does that make him a pedophile as well as an “ephebophile”? Not necessarily, but it sure doesn’t help his argument.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L February 3, 2014 at 12:44 pm |

        And nobody should think I’m defending a sexual interest in teenagers. (Even ones who aren’t related to you by virtue of being your long-time girlfriend’s daughter.) I think it’s repulsive. I began to see teenagers as children — babies, really — by the time I was in my very early 20’s, if not sooner. Which how things are supposed to be.

        1. Comrade Kevin
          Comrade Kevin February 3, 2014 at 12:49 pm |

          I had completely forgotten about Manhattan, but you’re right. I feel really old around teenagers, because I am aware that where they are at, developmentally, is not anywhere near where I am today.

        2. Donna L
          Donna L February 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm |

          From thinkprogress:

          http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2014/02/03/3239511/woody-allen/

          Over the weekend, a friend gave me a 1976 profile of Allen that appeared in People Magazine. It ends on a disturbing note. “I’m open-minded about sex. I’m not above reproach; if anything, I’m below reproach. I mean, if I was caught in a love nest with 15 12-year-old girls tomorrow, people would think, yeah, I always knew that about him,” Allen tells Jim Jerome, the reporter. “Nothing I could come up with would surprise anyone. I admit to it all.”

          How many people do you know of who have publicly joked that many times (or at all) about having sex with girls between 12 and 16?

    2. Patrick L
      Patrick L February 3, 2014 at 8:48 pm |

      That is exactly what I was thinking! He wrote it because he thinks about it, maybe even more….

  8. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie February 3, 2014 at 4:08 pm |

    I hate Woody Allen. And his films. I always have. I have always thought he was a boring, narcissistic, fetishistic, misogynist asshole. Could not understand why he’s thought to be so “brilliant.”

    As for separating the artist from his work: The artist’s personality, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions inform his work. So there is no separating the two. Art is not like accounting. I don’t debit cash and credit accounts receivable because I am a middle-aged feminist who likes to read and enjoys the outdoors. I would argue that art is more representative of a person than any other type of “product.”

    1. Comrade Kevin
      Comrade Kevin February 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm |

      I must admit that I do like many Woody Allen films. The earlier, funnier films are probably my favorites. After a time, he no longer had to be commercial, so he became very narcissistic. The later films I don’t like as much.

      He is probably overrated, but like Roman Polanski, I think he deserves critical accolades. Now, as a worthwhile human being…not so much.

      1. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie February 4, 2014 at 12:18 pm |

        And that’s what I’ve never understood. “Critical accolades,” for what? His work is not brilliant. At best, it’s mildly funny at times. It’s SO full of woman-hatred that it literally disgusts me.

      2. samanthab
        samanthab February 5, 2014 at 6:35 am |

        Oh please, his movies were always narcissistic, from the outset. They are mildly funny at best. They really don’t have anything profound to say, however, which I would say is a requirement for the “genius” label that gets applied to his movies.

        As for Polanski, he’s a gripping storyteller, but his movies really aren’t that profound, either. The “Chinatown” story is totally bullshit historically. In reality, the corruptness of the water deal was widely known, but the vote for it was successful anyway because it was in the best interest of the majority of LA residents. To my mind, that story has a lot more to say about who we are as a society, namely that we are all complicit, whether we like it or not, in giving malice a pass. “Chinatown” tells a much more reductive story of good vs. evil, and that’s not as interesting or convincing to me. Again, his storytelling is quite compelling, but where does that story really take us?

        1. EG
          EG February 5, 2014 at 8:24 am |

          I disagree about Chinatown. It’s got quite a lot to say about rich and powerful men getting away with the abuse of women. And who cares if it’s bullshit historically? That’s why it’s fiction.

          Rosemary’s Baby also has quite a lot to say about the infantilization of women, marital rape, the terror of pregnancy, and patriarchal conspiracy.

        2. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm |

          So what, though? It’s not as if those are the only 2 movies in existence about those things.

        3. Donna L
          Donna L February 5, 2014 at 4:10 pm |

          I don’t think that something has to be the only movie about a subject to be worthwhile or have artistic value.

          I already said in this thread (see below) what I think of Polanski, and explained why, despite my opinion of him, I will never disavow my admiration for movies like The Pianist. And it doesn’t matter to me that there are other movies about the Shoah — a lot of them aren’t really that good, and besides, there can never be “too many.” And not many have been made by actual survivors, which Polanski was, as loathsome as he turned out to be in adulthood, and as much as his overwhelmingly horrific childhood neither explains nor excuses his being a rapist.

          I couldn’t care less either whether Chinatown was historically accurate, or whether someone thinks they would rather have seen a different story. People are entirely free to refuse to see Polanski’s or anyone else’s movies for any reason they like, but neither of those reasons means it wasn’t a good movie in and of itself.

        4. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 5, 2014 at 5:42 pm |

          You’re missing my point. So what if its a good movie about x subject? Big damn deal. If he hadn’t made it someone else would have. Had neither of them existed, we wouldn’t be worse off because a handful of movies either weren’t made or were made by someone else. My plumber could be a really good plumber but if I discover he’s a rapist I’m not going to spend half the damn conversation about his brilliance at fixing toilets. Because it doesn’t fucking matter.

        5. EG
          EG February 5, 2014 at 7:26 pm |

          It’s not as if those are the only 2 movies in existence about those things.

          That’s the answer to a different question. My comment was in response to samanthab’s contention that his movies were devoid of significant meaning. I would argue that indeed they are full of significant meaning and are worthwhile movies.

          Someone can be a horrible person who deserves a bullet through the head and still be capable of making excellent art, because artistic skill is not a measure of good character.

        6. EG
          EG February 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm |

          You’re missing my point.

          No, you’re missing my point. You have imagined a connection between acknowledging that Polanski is a great movie-maker and excusing/justifying his rape(s). No such connection has been made by anybody on this thread.

          Noting that he is a scumbag rapist does not require dismissing the value of his movies, and acknowledging that he is very good indeed at making movies does not require excusing his rapes. Both of those options are, in my opinion, fundamentally dishonest. He can be a bad person and a great artist.

        7. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 5, 2014 at 7:48 pm |

          Nope. I dont think or imagine any connection at all. Im stating that it doesn’t matter. At all. It has as much relevance as Mia acting in good movies or bad movies. No one discusses the contributions made by any other child rapists, no one discusses good plumbers doing great plumbing, no one talks about how a roofer did really super roofing jobs. Just fucking artists, as if it has anything to do with it. As if they are somehow special, because art. So now we have to have some side conversation ( that they dont fucking deserve btw, because child rape) about separating the art from the artist. Art isn’t anymore important than running water, but again no one has side conversations about separating the plumber from his plumbing. Why do artists get this special consideration that no one else gets? They filmed movies. So what.

        8. ldouglas
          ldouglas February 5, 2014 at 7:55 pm |

          Why do artists get this special consideration that no one else gets? They filmed movies. So what.

          Because when a plumber gets accused of child sexual abuse nobody says “you have to stop peeing in your toilet, it’s a worthless toilet now.”

        9. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm |

          And there are very few people who contribute absolutely nothing to the world, even if it only affects a small circle of people or hell, not even people, animals or objects. But paint a picture, make a movie or play music and suddenly this contribution must be mentioned, picked apart and discussed. My uncle is a creepy creepy guy who eloped with a 14 year old. But lets have a deep intellectual discussion about his amazing chili. It melts in your mouth. My god, it makes me rethink everything I know about chili. Everyone who has ever enjoyed it is better for having experienced such culinary genius. We can’t possibly discuss his creepiness without mentioning his chili. Its THAT important . So, lets have a meaningful discussion about separating the creep from his culinary work. And pretend its just a natural part of discussion.

        10. EG
          EG February 5, 2014 at 8:08 pm |

          Im stating that it doesn’t matter. At all.

          Then take it up with samanthab, to whom I was responding. If my opinion that his films are excellent doesn’t matter, then surely her opinion that they are only mediocre is equally irrelevant.

          If, in a conversation about your creepy uncle, you say “Shame he’s such an asshole, because I’m sure going to miss that chili,” I’d see that as a natural part of the conversation.

          That happens more with art than plumbing because, go figure, art tends to be more personally meaningful to people than plumbing. I don’t care about my plumbing as long as the pipes work. I’d never say that plumbing spoke to me or conveyed anything meaningful to me (except water, of course). But sure, if the guy who ran my neighborhood dry cleaners was revealed to be a rapist, I would probably comment in conversations to my friends that now I was going to have to find another dry cleaner, and that was going to be a pain in my ass. Those conversations would probably not take place on a blog though, because dry cleaners are usually not famous.

        11. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 5, 2014 at 8:27 pm |

          Again, so what? Are they ripping the movie tickets from your hand? Preventing you from continuing to watch his films? Unless you broadcast it, no one will even know that you have so theres no real reason to have a side conversation basically defending why you like a movie, so you can continue to enjoy that movie. You don’t rip out your toilet and wouldn’t even consider having a deep conversation on the merits of your toilet so people dont side eye you for dropping your ass onto it. I seriously doubt after the first couple of bathroom runs you’d even care anymore what some people thought. But plumbing isnt held in the same esteem as art. So of course no one expects you to rip it out, and of course there aren’t discussions about separating the plumber from his plumbing. The only reason behind both rip it out and art from artist conversations happen to begin with is that certain people who do certain things are considered more important than the average joe and what his job is. And that is what bothers me. Artists are no better, no more important than anyone else. Regardless of their character. So their work isnt any more worthy of discussion than a plumbers when they rape a child. I don’t think discussing their work means anyone is excusing their actions. I think discussing their work does elevate it in an elitist sorta way that has zero to do with the price of tea in china. I dont think anyone is a horrible person for enjoying his movies. I only think they’re a horrible person if they say something like I like his movies so it doesn’t matter he raped a kid, or I like his movies so he couldn’t have raped a kid. I’ve yet to see that being said here, so if that shoe doesn’t fit, dont force your foot in.

        12. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve February 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm |

          My uncle is a creepy creepy guy who eloped with a 14 year old. But lets have a deep intellectual discussion about his amazing chili. It melts in your mouth. My god, it makes me rethink everything I know about chili. Everyone who has ever enjoyed it is better for having experienced such culinary genius.

          I agree that bringing their movies up is irrelevant and distracting. But I think that goes for people who hate the movies too. To use the (quite excellent) analogy of your uncle, it would also be irrelevant to keep injecting comments saying his chili tasted like shit. I also don’t think it’s necessary to prove you’re ‘unbiased’ (i.e “I love his films which makes me more qualified to condemn him”) as that implies the people who dislike his movies are somehow going to use that as evidence he’s a molester. It is a relief that on here we have been spared the ‘Woody Allen is gross and ugly that I’ve seen on a few websites and that’s why he had to marry his wife’s daughter*’ type of comments because they are equally irrelevant.

          I just can’t believe that people don’t look at Dylan Farrow’s open letter and immediately get it.

        13. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 5, 2014 at 8:54 pm |

          I think, since this is a thread about the victim, that maybe discussions of his movies should be taken to a spill over. That might help.

        14. EG
          EG February 5, 2014 at 8:59 pm |

          gain, so what? Are they ripping the movie tickets from your hand? Preventing you from continuing to watch his films? Unless you broadcast it, no one will even know that you have so theres no real reason to have a side conversation basically defending why you like a movie, so you can continue to enjoy that movie. You don’t rip out your toilet and wouldn’t even consider having a deep conversation on the merits of your toilet so people dont side eye you for dropping your ass onto it.

          I actually have no idea what you’re trying to say here. Again, I didn’t start the conversation on the merits of Polanski’s work, so I’m not sure why it’s my post you took exception to.

          You seem to imagining that…what? I’m saying the movies are good because I think people here would condemn me for liking them? That makes no sense. As you point out, if I hadn’t said anything, nobody would’ve known I liked them. Further, it’s not a thing I feel unhappy about, admiring the movies, so why would I care if anybody here would condemn me for it? I can continue liking them whether or not this conversation goes on. Why would I care about samanthab side-eying me? You seem to imagine that I’m much more insecure, or at least, insecure about different things, than I am.

          No, I’m having this conversation because I think that pretending that assholes can’t produce good art undermines the condemnation of asshole rapists for raping women, because it makes it seem as though the condemnation necessitates having lousy judgment, being dishonest, or just hoping that your tastes line up with the latest revelations. Worse than that, making that connection–“I never liked his movies anyway”–implies that if you had, that would be some kind of redeeming factor. Whereas, as you point out, it’s irrelevant.

          I also don’t think it’s necessary to prove you’re ‘unbiased’ (i.e “I love his films which makes me more qualified to condemn him”) as that implies the people who dislike his movies are somehow going to use that as evidence he’s a molester.

          I’ll stop that just as soon as people who don’t like the movies stop using that to imply that somehow they’re so much purer and more righteous than everybody else.

        15. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 5, 2014 at 9:06 pm |

          That was a response to idouglas, sorry. Forgot to add the username and my tablet doesnt let me copy paste more than 2 words.

        16. tigtog
          tigtog February 5, 2014 at 11:01 pm | *

          Moderator note: it is time for this subthread about Woody Allen’s movies to go to spillover now.

        17. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve February 7, 2014 at 11:25 am |

          Moderator note: it is time for this subthread about Woody Allen’s movies to go to spillover now.

          Perhaps the title of the piece could be altered too? I can see why it might encourage people to give an opinion.

  9. AMM
    AMM February 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm |

    “Separating the artist from his work”: this only makes sense if there is a clear boundary between the artist’s life and views and his works. For example, if an artist is a fascist, but paints lovely landscapes, one could argue that his being a fascist doesn’t detract from the paintings.

    Mr. Allen’s films, at least the ones I’ve seen or heard the plot of, are autobiographical — the main character is always some version of Mr. Allen. To critique the films is to critique Mr. Allen’s real-life persona, and arguably vice versa. You can’t separate them from the man.

    And, yeah, Manhattan was the film which made it obvious to me that Mr. Allen was kind of a Humbert Humbert.

    1. EG
      EG February 3, 2014 at 6:16 pm |

      Art is about more than content and topic. I don’t know from film, but I imagine that in the same way somebody can be a reprehensible human being and still know how to put words together in ways that are breathtakingly beautiful–because using language artistically is a skill, not a measure of good character–a person could be a reprehensible human being and be a genius regarding camera angles, use of color and music, types of lenses, and other technical stuff that is how films are made. And perhaps what he did and what he conveyed with those camera angles etc. could be reprehensible (though not necessarily; even reprehensible human beings are capable of non-reprehensible thoughts), but it wouldn’t make the artistry itself less genius.

      I have no idea if Allen is an amazing filmmaker in that way. His movies have always bored me too much, unless they were pissing me off because his sheer loathing for Jewish women. I don’t care about his perpetual self-obsession, and I’m not a particularly visual person, so I’ve never really paid attention to the stylistics of it all.

      1. samanthab
        samanthab February 7, 2014 at 10:41 am |

        You can define at as you please, but you really don’t need to be so damn rude about folks who dare to have another perspective. Nor do you need to be dishonest. I never argued that a movie had to be historically accurate; I argued that I thought that the historical accurate story had a lot more to say about us as a society. I tend to think bullshit stories are, well, bullshit truths.

        But it’s really not so relevant to go on here about the nature of art. What is more relevant is your failure to dissent with a member of the community with respect. That’s lousy.

        1. EG
          EG February 7, 2014 at 11:20 am |

          What the fuck are you talking about?

        2. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve February 7, 2014 at 11:28 am |

          What the fuck are you talking about?

          I can see what she’s talking about but it doesn’t seem to be a response to ANYTHING you said…It must be some sort of nesting error.

        3. Donna L
          Donna L February 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm |

          Even if samanthab’s comment had been put where it belongs, it still appears to be condemning arguments that weren’t made, misrepresenting arguments that were made, and vituperatively claiming disrespect where there
          was simply disagreement.

        4. tigtog
          tigtog February 7, 2014 at 1:48 pm | *

          Yes it does look like a nesting error. I’m also not seeing where EG was being inexcusably rude – here is EG’s response to samanthab in its entirety:

          I disagree about Chinatown. It’s got quite a lot to say about rich and powerful men getting away with the abuse of women. And who cares if it’s bullshit historically? That’s why it’s fiction.

          Rosemary’s Baby also has quite a lot to say about the infantilization of women, marital rape, the terror of pregnancy, and patriarchal conspiracy.

          Other people then got involved in debating the points and there was some vigorous disagreement, but it had virtually nothing to do with samanthab any more, and even then, while vigorous, it didn’t strike me as “nasty” at all, certainly not to the point where it was worthwhile bringing up in another subthread entirely.

        5. samanthab
          samanthab February 8, 2014 at 7:27 pm |

          Um, no. I’m talking about the three posts that rudely argued what I never said: I did, at no point, claim said that I think art can never be separate from the nature of the artist. Yet you did reassert, many times over, that I’d said what I never said. I said I think Polanski doesn’t do it for me. How about you show respect and read what I had to say, rather than throw at me nasty response after nasty response, e.g. “What the fuck are you talking about?” I’m stupid, okay. Whatever you want, ascribe to me. But, fuck it, I don’t deserve that nastiness, whether it meets your standards of nastiness is not enough. It meet mine, and if you’re not caring enough to at least respect my thresholds, then you are someone who does not respect every individual’s worthiness and value. . I may not meet your- or anyone here’s standard- but, eh, you’ve made it clear that you don’t mean mine. Go about your merry way, but I want no part of it. I’ve had it, whether that;s good enough for you or not.

        6. EG
          EG February 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm |

          if you’re not caring enough to at least respect my thresholds, then you are someone who does not respect every individual’s worthiness and value

          And this is indeed true. I do not find every individual worthy or valuable.

        7. Donna L
          Donna L February 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm |

          Samantha, I just read through all your comments on this thread, and there was nothing that EG said that could reasonably be construed as rude until after you accused her of being “damn rude” and called what she had said to you “lousy.” It’s interesting that the one example you cite of her purported rudeness — her “what the fuck are you talking about” response — was a response to your accusation of rudeness, and, therefore, cannot possibly have been a basis for that accusation.

          You originally said:

          Oh please, his movies were always narcissistic, from the outset. They are mildly funny at best. They really don’t have anything profound to say, . . . . As for Polanski, he’s a gripping storyteller, but his movies really aren’t that profound, either. The “Chinatown” story is totally bullshit historically

          and so on.

          EG said,


          I disagree about Chinatown. It’s got quite a lot to say about rich and powerful men getting away with the abuse of women. And who cares if it’s bullshit historically? That’s why it’s fiction.

          Rosemary’s Baby also has quite a lot to say about the infantilization of women, marital rape, the terror of pregnancy, and patriarchal conspiracy.

          and

          My comment was in response to samanthab’s contention that his movies were devoid of significant meaning. I would argue that indeed they are full of significant meaning and are worthwhile movies.

          and


          If my opinion that his films are excellent doesn’t matter, then surely her opinion that they are only mediocre is equally irrelevant.

          I see no rudeness at all on EG’s part, until you accused her of rudeness. At which point I would have been annoyed too. I see no misrepresentation of your comments, whatsoever. I know this is no big deal, but I find it really irritating when one person here accuses another of nastiness and rudeness and other bad behavior, expressing great outrage, but the only person who actually behaved badly was themselves. So you can be a martyr all you like, and flounce all you like, but it’s not remotely justified. EG doesn’t deserve what you’re saying to her.

        8. EG
          EG February 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm |

          EG doesn’t deserve what you’re saying to her.

          At least…not this time!

          Seriously, samanthab, if you want to see me be really rude, keep reading for a week or two. I’m sure something will come up.

  10. trishka
    trishka February 3, 2014 at 6:13 pm |

    this is interesting … my stomach turned over several times reading ms. farrow’s open letter, and i know that i will never be able to watch another woody allen movie again without wanting to retch.

    this whole thing reminds me of another artist that was popular when i was coming of age in the early ’80’s and that was tom robbins. later when i discovered feminism and read critiques of how misogynistic his work really is, i felt much better about how quesy i felt when i read ‘even cowgirls get the blues’. at the time it was considered a very groovy book and i wanted to be grownup and cool so i thought, well this must just be what the world is like.

    and now with woody allen movies – the misgivings i always felt (mostly about him casting himself as a sexy male lead…i could never grasp why ANY of his leading female characters would want to sleep with him…) but overcame because woody allen was so great(!) and funny(!) and liking him was a cool(!) smart(!) thing to do and i so very much wanted to be cool…

    on the other hand, roman polanski? i know i should be squicked out and i am in theory but still…i watched ‘the ghost writer’ even after having understood the ramifications of his being a rapist and not being punished for his crime and the role it plays in rape culture and…darned if i still don’t consider it one of the best films of its decade anyway.

    so consider me officially befuddled when it comes to separating the art from the man. tom robbins, woody allen = yuck; roman polanski = great art, at least in my experience of those men and their work.

    (note: i have no reason to believe that tom robbins has ever committed a crime; it’s just his books i’ve come to view as misogynist over time…)

    1. EG
      EG February 3, 2014 at 6:21 pm |

      Well, with Robbins, you’re actually responding to the art, which is misogynistic, so I think that’s a different thing.

      To my mind, the difference between Allen and Polanski in terms of your response is that Polanski is actually a brilliant and compelling filmmaker, and sometimes (Rosemary’s Baby) an inadvertently feminist one.

      Still a scumbag who should be put down like a rabid dog, but a great filmmaker.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L February 3, 2014 at 11:59 pm |

      I feel the same way about Polanski. A horrible, horrible person and a child rapist, but for reasons that some of you know about, I cannot disavow movies like The Pianist, which I prefer in some ways to Schindler’s List. It’s a movie that does reflect his life, but a very different part of it, namely his childhood in the Krakow ghetto who saw his father taken away to Mauthausen and his mother to Auschwitz. I will always feel sorrow for that child, no matter what he became later. Just as I feel sorrow for him for his wife’s murder.

      None of Woody Allen’s movies has that kind of significance to me.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L February 4, 2014 at 12:04 am |

        Sorry — “his childhood in the Krakow ghetto, where he saw,” etc.

  11. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 3, 2014 at 6:21 pm |

    Frankly, his movies suck. There’s not one that doesn’t bore the life out of me. If there’s ever a movie where 15 12 year old girls shove him into a pit full of crocs, I’ll watch it. Until then he can disappear off the face of the planet and the world would could go on just fine. He just makes movies for hells sake, he isnt THAT damned important.

    1. tinfoil hattie
      tinfoil hattie February 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm |

      ha ha ha haaaa … you and me both, pheenobarbidol!

    2. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help February 5, 2014 at 8:20 pm |

      I’d watch that!

  12. Disorder
    Disorder February 3, 2014 at 6:39 pm |

    Funny Woody Allen always seems to be in therapy in his movies. I always assumed this meant he must have gone through a lot of therapy in his real life, seeing as how the films are autobiographical supposedly.

    Well I guess all the supposed therapy (on and off camera) did very little to deter him from being an Asshole. *sigh*

    1. EG
      EG February 3, 2014 at 6:41 pm |

      Therapy ain’t magic. You’ve got to want not to be an asshole, and even then it’s an uphill battle.

      1. Disorder
        Disorder February 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm |

        Some never cease to amaze.

      2. pseudalicious
        pseudalicious February 4, 2014 at 6:03 pm |

        From what I’m hearing on other blogs (take with bucket of salt), his therapist actually enabled him. Which, if true, is even more disgusting.

      3. samanthab
        samanthab February 5, 2014 at 6:38 am |

        Therapy can actually give fodder to some personality disorders. It can teach people how to be more manipulative, not less.

        1. Disorder
          Disorder February 6, 2014 at 2:35 am |

          Really where did you read that?

        2. samanthab
          samanthab February 7, 2014 at 10:52 am |

          I read it in the work of Dr. Robert Hare, a pioneering expert on personality disorders. Again, I don’t get the hostility towards other commenters here. Are you assuming that I pulled it out of my ass? I never said I could verify the accuracy of the thoery- I don’t have personal experience as a therapist. I just said that I had read it, and I do think that it’s a theory worth considering.

          Maybe I’m just reading hostility into your question because responses to my one comment were so nasty upthread- I hope so!- but I do wish that folks who are in theory on the same side could be more courteous. It comes up in threads over and over, and it has driven me to take long breaks from Feministe, even though I learn a lot here.

        3. tigtog
          tigtog February 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm | *

          Disorder, to whom you are replying, has made all of three comments on this blog, all of them on this very thread. Perhaps not extrapolating from one commentor to all commentors might be a good idea.

          Courtesy as an abstract etiquette rule is a great ideal for fostering discussion, but in practise it can too often become a civility fetish that silences marginalised voices. I didn’t see anybody being “so nasty” to you upthread. By the time a few frustrated expletives became part of that subdiscussion you were no longer part of it.

        4. Disorder
          Disorder February 7, 2014 at 3:52 pm |

          Honestly I was just curious I’m interested in therapy and feminism, so I was curious to know about the limitations.

  13. trees
    trees February 3, 2014 at 7:32 pm |

    I don’t have the words to express my appreciation for her speaking out. What really stood out to me was her description of a pattern of behavior, her father’s creation of an inappropriate sexually abusive environment. This is not just about an isolated incident that happened one time when she was 7.

  14. ashurredly
    ashurredly February 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm |

    Even if Woody Allen’s movies are good (never cared much for them myself), we should give more time, attention, and accolades to artists who do good work and aren’t misogynist, abusive assholes instead of just continuing to excuse people’s behavior because of their art.

    1. tinfoil hattie
      tinfoil hattie February 3, 2014 at 11:08 pm |

      That’s my philosophy, anyway.

  15. Canisse
    Canisse February 4, 2014 at 1:37 am |

    Another problem with separating the art and the artist is that the money we spend to buy/watch the art goes to the artist.

    Which means that, for example, every time someone buys a book by Orson Scott Card, some of the money goes to finance homophobic groups… This particular problem, I decided to solve by only reading his books in libraries – which I’m really not as eager to do as before I knew he was a dick – but there’s also the problem where if you say, or write, anything positive about the art, there’s a chance that the good press might profit the artist.

    A third problem is that if you take the resolution never to read or watch anything created by an asshole, you’ll find your books an movies list severely depleted. (This last point is mostly a joke, a lot of artist aren’t horrible people.)

    1. EG
      EG February 4, 2014 at 8:55 am |

      if you say, or write, anything positive about the art, there’s a chance that the good press might profit the artist.

      That seems to me to be about a really infinitesimal amount of profit unless you’re a professional reviewer with a major platform or something.

    2. Andie
      Andie February 4, 2014 at 8:38 pm |

      I could be wrong but don’t libraries pay residuals to authors in order to stock their materials?

      1. EG
        EG February 4, 2014 at 8:46 pm |

        I don’t think so. They just buy the books (at least here in the US). Still, they do buy the books and they spend more than that than we think, because books do wear out when read over and over again.

        Second-hand bookstores are a good way to go. The author never sees a penny.

  16. Donna L
    Donna L February 4, 2014 at 10:24 am |

    A recent photo of Allen with his and Soon-Yi Previn’s two daughters:

    http://www.bohomoth.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Bechet%2BDumaine%2BAllen%2BWoody%2BAllen%2BSoon%2BYi%2BDaughters%2BD9C1sB3EL5Tl.jpg

    All perfectly innocent in and of itself, but I can’t say they look very happy, and can’t help but find it rather creepy under the circumstances.

    1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      The Kittehs' Unpaid Help February 5, 2014 at 8:22 pm |

      They look very uncomfortably posed there – less like being hugged by Dad than being told to pose with the creepy uncle they try to avoid.

      1. tigtog
        tigtog February 5, 2014 at 8:29 pm | *

        They’re also being snapped by paparazzi, so maybe they’re unhappy about that? I’m suspicious of Allen too, and I am persuaded that there’s more than reasonable grounds for one to be wary of him, but I don’t think we can tell anything meaningful from the reaction of people to noticing that they are being papsnapped.

        I just hope for those girls’ sake that they are genuinely OK.

  17. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin February 4, 2014 at 10:48 am |

    The earlier Woody Allen films are known for their witty screenplays and clever one-liners. He had been a stand up comedian prior to being a director. I’m a fan of satire and deadpan humor, which is why Allen films have been enjoyable to me.

    Though I will not spend any money that goes into his pocket from here on out, I am not purging my DVD/Blue-ray collection, either. I may be showing my age here, but a generation that has little knowledge of the 1970’s was not around for Allen’s peak. After he achieved huge success, he decided to take on vanity projects, knowing many would still see his films anyway.

    Since the 80’s, and Hannah and Her Sisters he’s been mostly irrelevant.

  18. TomSims
    TomSims February 4, 2014 at 11:58 am |

    According to this, the statute of limitations was reached and Allen can not be prosecuted.
    http://nypost.com/2014/02/02/statute-of-limitations-means-woody-allen-cant-be-prosecuted/

    1. trees
      trees February 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm |

      I don’t really get the focus on prosecution, and the notion that if he hasn’t been found “guilty” in a court of law well that must mean she’s lying. Is it just that people have no idea of the realities of sexual violence in general, and it’s handling in the legal system is particular?

      1. EG
        EG February 4, 2014 at 1:14 pm |

        I think they have no idea of the realities of the legal system.

      2. Hugh
        Hugh February 5, 2014 at 1:33 am |

        I remember when Michael Jackson died, a lot of people here used the line “Well, he was found not guilty, so case closed”.

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 5, 2014 at 3:54 pm |

          You didn’t hear that from me, so…..oops. I guess I’m still allowed to think he’s guilty.

  19. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie February 4, 2014 at 12:20 pm |

    I’m 53, Kevin, and I thought his movies were stupid back then. I still do.

    1. Comrade Kevin
      Comrade Kevin February 4, 2014 at 2:16 pm |

      To each his or her own.

    2. pheenobarbidoll
      pheenobarbidoll February 4, 2014 at 2:55 pm |

      Yup. When the witty lines come out of the mouth of a skeevy pervert that makes your skin crawl, they’re not funny. And he’s always made my skin crawl. He reminds me of my uncle, who made all the girls uncomfortable with his full frontal, last just a little too long hugs. Then I learned he eloped with my aunt wgen he was 20 and she was 14, and it explained just why those hugs never seemed appropriate. Thats woody allen. He creeped me out before I even learned anything about him, and now I know why I was creeped out. Hes a creep. A skeevy perverted nasty child predator.

      1. Comrade Kevin
        Comrade Kevin February 4, 2014 at 6:12 pm |

        I find it difficult to reverse years of cinematic enjoyment. It may be fashionable to now write Allen off as a pervert, but every human life is much more complicated than that. If you didn’t like Woody Allen before, you surely won’t now, and the recent allegations will firm up your dislike.

        But I do think that associating him now automatically with an unfortunate memory in a person’s past is overreaching. This is true for every man who is accused of sexual assault. In his heyday, Woody Allen was seen as an American original. His films were as popular in Europe as they were here. For a time, he was an ambassador of a sort to the rest of the world.

        Naturally, I am dismayed that he may well be a pedophile, but I don’t think my opinions turn off and on like a light switch. I have a history with Woody Allen, which has grown much more complicated in recent days. It’s tempting to paint a person in dark shades. If only our enemies were always completely evil.

        1. EG
          EG February 4, 2014 at 8:19 pm |

          This is pure rape apologia, Comrade Kevin.

          But I do think that associating him now automatically with an unfortunate memory in a person’s past is overreaching. This is true for every man who is accused of sexual assault.

          You think it’s over-reaching to associate him with his daughter’s detailed account of ongoing sexually inappropriate behavior towards her and his rape of her? What does that even mean? How is that “over-reaching”? “Over-reaching” is when somebody takes on more than they can handle.

          And you call the memory of being raped by your father “unfortunate”? I’d hate to imagine what a memory would have to be for you to consider it horrible.

          An unfortunate memory is a memory of overhearing your parents fight, or somebody you thought was your friend saying something mean about you. His rape of Dylan wasn’t “unfortunate.” It wasn’t a matter of fortune, or chance. It was his decision to rape and abuse somebody wholly within his power. It was vile. Your attempt to downplay it is pure rapist-defending cliche.

          Naturally, I am dismayed that he may well be a pedophile, but I don’t think my opinions turn off and on like a light switch.

          You’re “dismayed”? He “may” be a pedophile? Why the doubt? This is a feminist website. By and large, we don’t pull the false allegations crap because we know how rare false allegations are. When women have the courage to speak up about abuse inflicted on them by rich and famous men, the feminist default is to believe the women.

          I just want to get something straight: is Allen a personal friend or something? A loved one? No? So what you’re saying is that a woman coming forward and going public with a detailed account of her rape at the hands of somebody you don’t know doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. Hey, she may be lying, is that it? And such an account doesn’t destroy your good opinion of, again, somebody you don’t know. I would hate to imagine what your reaction would be a woman coming forward with an account of rape by somebody who’s actually close to you.

          It’s tempting to paint a person in dark shades. If only our enemies were always completely evil.

          Yeah, gee, it sure would be awful if we fell into the trap of painting a child-rapist in dark shades. A child-rapist doesn’t need to “completely evil” for me to loathe him. Because he’s a child-rapist, which is just about as evil as it gets.

        2. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 4, 2014 at 8:20 pm |

          Fashionable? Are you fucking serious? Its fashionable to believe a victim of child molestation now is it? Since fucking when? Maybe its easy for you to dismiss it as fashionable since you were never among his targets ( young girls) but when I, as a young child, got a creepy feeling about the man just seeing him, its not about fashion or fucking movies. Youre dismayed he may be a pedophile. How nice. I’m dismayed that a 7 year old was sexually assaulted. But hey, whats that compared to having movie entertainment tainted.

        3. EG
          EG February 4, 2014 at 8:25 pm |

          I fucked up my tags in the last post. Let me try again.

          It may be fashionable to now write Allen off as a pervert

          Oh, yes, it’s so fucking fashionable to believe women when they give accounts of being raped and to blame the rapists. It’s not like there’s loads of Allen-defenders out there. It’s not like he won a lifetime achievement award. It’s not like the daughter changed her name or anything.

          It’s not fashionable to write Allen off as a child-rapist. It’s fucking feminist.

          You know what? Fuck this. I’m furious at seeing rape apologia, rapist-defending bullshit on a feminist website.

          We need a giraffe here.

          [thank you for sending a giraffe alert ~ mods]

        4. tigtog
          tigtog February 4, 2014 at 8:31 pm | *

          Moderator Note: Comrade Kevin, please stop commenting in this vein on this thread. If you want to argue further about what you consider appropriate or overreaching reactions to accusations of sexual assault against Allen or anybody else, you may take it to spillover. On this thread we are focussing on the victim.

        5. EG
          EG February 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm |

          Thank you, tigtog.

        6. trees
          trees February 4, 2014 at 9:09 pm |

          But I do think that associating him now automatically with an unfortunate memory in a person’s past is overreaching…It’s tempting to paint a person in dark shades. If only our enemies were always completely evil.

          It’s unclear to me if you’re speaking in general terms, or just about your own personal approach. This argument always confuses me. What does it matter if some random people hate and/or refuse to watch rich, famous guy’s films? Woody Allen could give a shit what you or I think. What’s so wrong with negative judgement and ill will; why aren’t folks allowed to feel the full range of human emotions? Who does this benefit besides perpetrators?

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 4, 2014 at 10:16 pm |

          [The giraffe has been called for above and the giraffe has been and gone. Please don't respond further to a subthread where someone has been asked to stop their line of argument. ~ mods]

        8. WheatNuts
          WheatNuts February 5, 2014 at 4:29 am |

          It may be fashionable to now write Allen off as a pervert, but every human life is much more complicated than that.

          I think it’s very much not. His daughter said he did it, repeatedly, over years. I believe her, because, why would she lie? IF he did molester her, which I think he did, the pain from that will exist as long as she lives. That’s ongoing trauma. I don’t care if he was conflicted about molesting his daughter, it’s still reprehensible. He doesn’t get a pass because he’s sort of funny.

      2. tigtog
        tigtog February 5, 2014 at 1:49 am | *

        This Vanity Fair article came up in my Twitter timeline, from 1992. I’ve read of it in other posts about Allan and Farrow, but never before read it. It talks about various eyewitnesses to Allen’s behaviour around Dylan, and a fuller story of how his affair with Soon-Yi looked to family and friends.

        http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/archive/1992/11/farrow199211

  20. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
    The Kittehs' Unpaid Help February 4, 2014 at 7:29 pm |

    Only film of his I’ve seen was Sleeper, when I was a teenager. I remember it as moderately funny – then. Wouldn’t bother watching it again even if he wasn’t a pedophile and total oxygen thief.

  21. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve February 4, 2014 at 10:25 pm |

    Barbara Walters weighs in:

    [Content note (added by moderator): rape apologia]

    1. samanthab
      samanthab February 5, 2014 at 6:43 am |

      Didn’t the mods just say above that this thread was to focus on the victim rather than rape apologia? I’ve read enough of that shit already, and I would guess I’m not alone. I could give a fuck what she has to say.

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve February 5, 2014 at 11:26 am |

        I’m not saying Barbara Walters is right! Just pointing out that the pile-on commences. Barbara is just another person who is victimizing Dylan Farrow.

        1. tigtog
          tigtog February 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm | *

          If you’d added a [Content note: rape apologia] to your link, Fat Steve (as I just did), then your opinion of it would have been clear immediately instead of needing to be clarified.

  22. tigtog
    tigtog February 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm | *

    Must-read from The Belle Jar: How To Undermine A Rape Victim 101

    [Content Note: discusses rape and rape culture]

    Tell yourself that this is not rape culture. Tell yourself that a knee-jerk reaction of you must be lying or remembering it wrong when faced with a victim’s accusations of rape is not a sign that our society is so very, very fucked up. Tell yourself that it’s rational and logical to want to know all sides of the story, though you never want to know the other side, the perpetrator’s side, when your house is broken into or your wallet is stolen or your child is hit by a car. Tell yourself that we can never know for sure what happened and since a man’s life can be destroyed by accusations of rape, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Do not think about the girl whose life was destroyed when she was seven.

    1. tigtog
      tigtog February 5, 2014 at 5:19 pm | *

      P.S. in comments there it was noted that the corollary of “the accused is regarded as innocent until proven guilty” is that “the accuser is regarded as truthful until proven otherwise”, and that too many people want to only pay attention to the first point. The judicial system holds both positions simultaneously as a matter of principle, in cases of sexual assault just as in cases of burglary or fraud, and more people need to remember that.

    2. ldouglas
      ldouglas February 8, 2014 at 9:26 pm |

      Tell yourself that it’s rational and logical to want to know all sides of the story, though you never want to know the other side, the perpetrator’s side, when your house is broken into or your wallet is stolen or your child is hit by a car.

      For what it’s worth, I absolutely do.

  23. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune February 5, 2014 at 8:04 pm |

    To the people on this thread who previously argued that we shouldn’t separate the artist from the art when it came to Orson Scott Card and his reprehensible homophobia, but who are eager to insist on how! very!! important!!! it is to acknowledge the filmmaking genius of Polanski and Allen every single time we discuss the shittiness of them as persons, and how! incredibly!! important!!! their art is…

    OIC WUT U DID THAR.

    That is all.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 5, 2014 at 8:07 pm |

      I mean, good for you if you can sit down and watch a movie by a child rapist and feel great about it. Good for you! Yay! Woohoo! I am in awe of your ability to dissociate!

      Maybe you could, you know, acknowledge those of us for whom those movies are tainted by knowing that the guy who directed it is a fucking kiddy diddler? Is that okay?

      1. EG
        EG February 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm |

        I don’t think I argued that about OSC. I only ever read Ender’s Game, and I read that about 25 years ago, so I couldn’t venture an opinion about his art. But I sure as hell never condemned people who found it meaningful, or argued that it’s lousy art by definition because Card is a horrible person.

        If it’s tainted for you, that’s a far different thing from saying that the movies aren’t any good in and of themselves.

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 5, 2014 at 8:50 pm |

          For my part, I’m not condeming people who find it meaningful or what have you. Im saying you finding a movie meaningful is absolutely irrelevant and can we have one discussion about a child rapist who happens to be famous without a discussion on how his movies/music/paintings/books impact people or made social commetary? Its become But What About The Art.

    2. pheenobarbidoll
      pheenobarbidoll February 5, 2014 at 8:56 pm |

      In fact, maybe it would be a good idea to link to a spill over in the original posting of these types of stories, that way there’s no derailing conversation about art in a discussion of rape.

  24. RenoTerror
    RenoTerror February 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm |

    This whole situation makes me sick. When I talked to my family recently about abuse that occurred when I was small (under 6) I wasn’t really believed. Oh my sister made the right noises but when I asked for her help she blew me off. I haven’t spoken to anyone in my family since just after thanksgiving. And then I see all the media coverage and read Dylan’s letter and it just kills me. I can’t imagine what she is going through, I’ve been crying for months and I don’t have thousands of people calling me a liar. I’ve had to walk away from several sites I used to enjoy, and one web comic because I just can’t read any more excuses for why Woody Allen is a saint and his daughter is a lying bitch who just wants attention. One of the worst side effects, I’m actually a little jealous of Dylan. My mom is dating one of my molesters and my brother doesn’t believe me.

    And somebody posted a picture of him hugging his two early teenaged daughters and I’m filled with revulsion.

  25. Open thread and link farm: Rainy Day Edition | Alas, a Blog

    […] Which Woody Allen movie is your favorite? […]

  26. Copyleft
    Copyleft February 7, 2014 at 2:27 pm |

    public intellectuals can and should critique the culture that makes this conversation possible, the culture that leaves too many people wondering whose side to take

    Wait… so this conversation shouldn’t be possible, and people should already “know” which side is right? Bizarre.

    1. tigtog
      tigtog February 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm | *

      I believe that Roxane was referring back to her previous paragraph where this sentence mentioned the role of “public intellectuals”:

      it isn’t the place of public intellectuals to adjudicate such a fraught matter, to boldly declare who is right and wrong.

      That conversation, where public intellectuals “boldly declare who is right and wrong” is the conversation Roxane believes worthy of critique, because “public intellectuals” ought to know better than take it upon themselves to make such pronouncements in public.

      People pretty much took sides as soon as they heard about the accusations – I see Ann Friedman’s insight as very probable: if one has been or is close to somebody who has been abused by a person with social power, then one is more likely to think that Dylan Farrow’s accusations are truthful. If one is a person with some power who is concerned about being falsely accused of wrongdoing, then one is more likely to think that Woody Allen’s denials are truthful. The pronouncements of public intellectuals are unlikely to change anybody’s mind, they just provide ammunition for arguments about this case in particular that are ultimately irrelevant to the more important conversation we could be having about the appallingly high statistics regarding the abuse of children by trusted family members in general.

      1. Copyleft
        Copyleft February 7, 2014 at 3:16 pm |

        Ahh, that makes more sense.

  27. tigtog
    tigtog February 8, 2014 at 5:16 pm | *

    I’m sure many of you will have read Woody Allen’s “Mia Farrow was just out to get me-me-me-me” statement of denial in the NYT. Ashley Miller dissects it and names each lie in it.

    1. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve February 8, 2014 at 6:14 pm |

      I agreed with the piece overall, but I found her assertion that Moses Farrow was the ‘most credible witness.’ Do you think that was a mistake and she meant the most credible witness apart from Dylan?

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve February 8, 2014 at 6:14 pm |

        *found her assertion disconcerting.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune February 8, 2014 at 6:33 pm |

        I guess Dylan isn’t a witness, in the sense that she’s the victim?

        In any case, that was a superb takedown.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L February 8, 2014 at 6:58 pm |

          Yes, colloquially speaking, people don’t generally use the word “witness” to describe someone who talks about a crime directly committed against her — as opposed to a third-party witness — although of course that’s what they are.

  28. Radfem
    Radfem February 11, 2014 at 12:20 am |

    I found this article written sharing some perspective on Dylan Farrow.

    My thoughts on Dylan Farrow

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