Can We Still Watch Woody Allen Movies?

Everyone knows Woody Allen’s predatory obsession with young girls has a long history. Starting in 1992, he faced accusations of sexual assault by his own adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, who was only seven at the time. After denying all the allegations made against him throughout the child custody trials, he publically announced his relationship with the adoptive daughter of his ex-wife, Soon-Yi Previn, whom he has known since she was a child. Despite all the scandals surrounding him, his career remained unaffected. His films and shows still attracted numerous stars and actresses who were in line to work with the Oscar-winning director; even since his public relationship with his ex-wife’s daughter (of 35-years age difference), Hollywood welcomed him with open arms, allowing him to withhold his reputation as a critically acclaimed director, and continued to support and promote his films. The allegations were swept under the rug each time it resurfaced.

However, recently, Woody Allen’s behaviors resurfaced in conversations in the media and among the public in the light of the Time’s Up movement. Many actors and actresses starred in his films voiced their regret in working with the director of whom includes Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. Those who worked with him professed the horrifyingly misogynistic, sexist and homophobic words that came out of Allen’s mouth on set. Famously, Timothee Chalamet, a rising star of Call Me By Your Name who co-starred with Selena Gomez in Allen’s new film, Rainy Day in New York, denounced his behavior and donated his salary from the movie to the Time’s Up foundation among others. Even so, it’s difficult to say that all these stars didn’t know about his history of pedophilia before they decided to sign the contract.

Many who defend him as an artist praise the humanism in his work, filled with sinister and intelligent humor and punchlines. It’s a type of humor that makes you feel guilty about laughing afterwards. Woody Allen’s case presents the classic question of separation of art from the artist. While many cinephiles still look to him as a defining figure of American cinema, many are disturbed by the industry’s tolerance of his actions, claiming that supporting his films is an indirect way of condoning his behavior. Today, Woody Allen still denies all the accusations made by Dylan Farrow, and claims to be only guilty of falling in love. Whether one decides to support his films or not, it will be difficult to avoid questioning yourself on where you stand on his morals.

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Da Yeoun Moon

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