The way in which Hollywood chooses to recognize and ignore certain parts of sexual scandal is baffling. While actors will happily wear black to the Golden Globes, or retweet messages of support for #MeToo, many of them will still work with accused sexual abusers. It may be true that we should presume innocence until proven guilty, but with a case like Woody Allen’s, where no criminal case is likely to be taken against him despite supposed probable cause, it’s a contextual evaluation of what message you want to send by working with him.
For actors like Selena Gomez, Elle Fanning and Timothee Chalamet – who have young fan bases – the decision weighs in favour of working with an accused molester. Why? We explored that very question when his new film with the young stars was announced.
For Greta Gerwig, however, the decision to work with him was something she has come to regret. Alongside actors like Ellen Page, David Krumholtz and Mira Sorvino, Greta has denounced working with Woody and claims she would never collaborate with him again. In an interview with the NY Times, she said:
‘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. I have not worked for him again, and I will not work for him again.’
While Woody Allen was accused of sexual abuse against his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, in 1992, the accusation was not revisited until 2014 when Dylan published an open letter to Hollywood through the New York Times. For years, his relationship with his wife Soon Yi Previn has been a source of scandal given that she was his former wife, Mia Farrow’s, adopted daughter –and almost 40 years his junior - at the time they became involved.
Hollywood was most certainly aware of Woody’s pedophilia accusations pre-2014, however Dylan’s letter sparked new interest in the wake of his lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globe’s that same year. Greta referenced Dylan’s letter as the reason she realized she should not have worked with the director:
‘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.’
The director had previously evaded questions about Woody, most notably in a backstage press interview at the Golden Globes last weekend. With the theme of the event being focused around sexual harassment, for her not to have a thought out statement seemed to be a major oversight. She responded to the question about whether she regretted working with him by saying:
'Well, you know, I’m so thrilled to be here tonight as a writer, and director, and creator, and to be making my own movies and to be putting that forward. You know, it’s something that I’ve thought deeply about, and I care deeply about, and I haven’t had an opportunity to, um, have an in-depth discussion where I come down on one side or another. It’s something that I’ve definitely taken to heart, and honestly, my job right now, I think, is to occupy the position of writer and director, and to be that person, and to tell these stories.'
With more time to have the 'in-depth' discussion, Greta's position is indisputable, she does not stand with Woody Allen. So when can we demand a response from Selena, Elle and Timothee? Along with Jude Law, Diego Luna and Liev Schreiber, the public are waiting with baited breath to understand why they have chosen to support him.
It's highly unlikely we will hear an explanation, although we can expect more people to condemn him and those who choose to work with him. In the current climate, with TIME’S UP receiving a lot of press, there are many attempts to appear conscious of sexual harassment and abuse. It stands to reason that more people will speak out against working with those accused of sexual misconduct, we can only hope they’re doing it for the right reasons.