I have to be honest with you guys: I’ve never been a huge fan of Woody Allen. I’ve empathized with some of his characters, and even enjoyed a couple of his films, but I never really liked the characters he wrote for himself. Not because his archetype is an uncomfortable, anxious narcissist, but because there was something about the way he wrote that I interpreted as emphatically trying to explain why he (perhaps, rather, his character) deserved love, particularly from young, beautiful women.
I was about 16 when I first heard of Mia Farrow’s 1993 allegations against him over sexually assaulting his adoptive daughter, Dylan. I wasn’t quite the self-identified aware feminist that I am now, so I didn’t know how to articulate why this story stuck with me, but I pretty much boycotted Allen films from then, on. I think even back then, I recognized that false accusations of sexual abuse and paedophilia are not a true statistic, and when someone comes out in the defense of a child, we must listen. It hurt even more to hear my classmates’ and teachers’ reactions - people who attended and worked at a prominent private arts school that prides itself on forward thinking. Eyes were rolled, groans oozed over slackened jaws. I felt empathy for Farrow’s daughters, and I was made to feel defeated for that. “Mia Farrow is crazy, though.” “It’s not our business to speculate.” “If you can’t accept that Woody Allen is innocent, at least admit that his movies are great, even if you’ve misunderstood him.”
I’ve misunderstood a man you don’t even know? You don’t know half of the hurt I’ve been told I’ve “misunderstood.” This is personal.
I don’t care if my opinion of this director is unpopular, nor do I care about what anyone thinks about the effectiveness or moral implications of boycotting something. What I do care about is victim advocacy and taking responsibility for the things I consume, particularly art. I will NOT separate the art from the artist. I WILL hold myself accountable for standing my moral ground, and everyone who chooses to share in my space. I CAN’T abide by artist worship when that artist has been alleged - TO THE BENEFIT OF NO-ONE - to have hurt someone! To have SEXUALLY ABUSED someone! A child!
This is Dylan’s time. She has never publicly spoken about this until now, and I urge all of you who follow me to read this. As a film consumer and a filmmaker, I take it upon myself to stay educated on the systems in which I am complicit. This is my stand. I stand with Dylan.
Also, needless to say, while I am not about to create a blacklist for our movie club, I personally have no desire to watch films that are created by or starring people who are alleged to have hurt people. I’ll write a section of the manifest breaking down how we’ll function around that.
Now please reblog the shit out of this so we can talk about it.