On the sidebar of Facebook, there was this sponsored ad from The Ranking, with Woody Allen’s picture with the caption: “Should he get any awards?” “Dylan Farrow allegations have refueled the scandal. Does he deserve any award? Vote!”
But when you click through, the actual question is: “Do you think that Dylan Farrow´s statements will influence the Oscar Academy Awards?” That is quite the different thing. Should we separate the art from the artist?
Regardless, writer Mark Evanier, who writes one of those blogs that TIME magazine has rightly touted, has written, for me, the last words on this topic.
Many of you have sent me links to articles on the ‘net about the Woody/Mia/Dylan matter — some smart ones, some not-so-smart ones and, of course, a number that strain to link that matter to some unrelated issue so they can exploit the obvious emotion that comes with any allegation of child molestation.
Along with being saddened by the charges themselves, I’m saddened by the rush, not to judgement but to execution by one side or the other. I read a couple of comment threads that were filled with people who are absolutely, positively sure as to who did what and to whom, and who were eager to condemn anyone who said “I don’t know” and behead those who said, “You’re wrong.” I don’t buy into all that was in that Robert Weide piece but he was right that too many people discussing this are filled with and are spreading disinformation. An awful lot of folks who have their minds firmly made up think Mia and Woody were married, Soon-Yi was Woody’s daughter, etc….
I already feel myself reaching a certain level of burnout on the whole thing. That often happens with me when a serious issue turns into a spectator sport. When it gets to that level, too many people have a vested interest in not letting it be settled or buried…and some stake out silly positions mainly to get attention. How can you tell when we’re there? When Nancy Grace is weighing in.
Evanier also recommended this insightful article by Dahlia Lithwick in Slate about the court of public opinion.
I bring this up because someone asked me recently, and I said, “I don’t know what happened.” I did not say, but could have, “And neither do you.” All I KNOW is that there was an investigation by police and no charges were brought. Someone else suggested that if I felt as I do, I must not take child abuse seriously, when in fact, I do. I know someone who was abused by her stepfather. What I’m saying is that I don’t know that there WAS an act of child abuse in this case.
If Dylan Farrow were sexually abused by Woody Allen, I would find that extremely disturbing. I found this article very insightful: Woody Allen Is Not a Monster. He Is a Person. Like My Father.
Evanier keeps saying he’s done with the issue, but then he isn’t. It’s the same for me. I read the Daily Beast piece which makes Allen’s behavior at least suspicious, then Wallace Shawn’s defense of Woody, which leaves me where I started.
The allegations have not yet affected my enjoyment of Annie Hall or Hannah and Her Sisters or Purple Rose of Cairo or Blue Jasmine, or a number of other Woody Allen films I’ve seen over the years. I’ll admit, though, it has made Manhattan a lot less pleasant.
I DO wonder if the renewed allegations will take votes away from Cate Blanchette, nominated for Best Actress for Blue Jasmine. But I don’t think much about it because I CAN NEVER KNOW.