I'm really looking forward to that time later this year and next year and the year after that when the new Woody Allen picture arrives and we have to do this all over again.
I'll be much briefer this time, I promise. The Farrow/Allen debacle gave us a valuable opportunity to discuss important topics: child abuse, power imbalances, the value and imperfection of the law, family dynamics and mental health, the problems inherent in identifying with and/or revering strangers or celebrities, the art and the artist and where and when they cohabitat and divide, gender politics, etc. Maybe some good could come of this harrowing story? But mostly we wasted the opportunity on misdirected rage, name-calling, witch-hunting, woman-hating. When emotionally difficult topics are brought to the public table we should talk and listen, not insist upon idealogical purity. I don't have statistics but I suspect that no one in the history of civilization has ever had their minds opened by opposing views by being a) shamed into it, b) being out-yelled, or c) forced into declaring absolute allegiance. I said some things I regret this past week or, at the very least, that I wish I had phrased differently. [more...]
I hope a lot more people did but people seemed frighteningly 150% sure of things they couldn't possibly know about, so, who knows. I've never experienced such a clear snapshot of the narcissism epidemic before. I mean, my narcissism I was familiar with but who knew everyone else was just as bad?
Since we last spoke Moses Farrow came forward to defend Woody and while doing so claimed that Mia beat him as a child. I was saddened to note that the masses demanding we rally around Dylan's pain and truth (I get that) did not extend the same rules to Moses (I don't get that) who, lest we forget, had the exact same two parents. Finally Woody Allen himself chimed in at the New York Times to once again denounce the accusations. I've heard a lot of people saying that Woody should have gone with a softer more emotional plea rather than anger at Mia. I absolutely agree but it wouldn't have changed anything because of the aforementioned heel-digging and idealogical purity tests that have been raging since the Globes. People believe what they want to believe -- yes, including me -- but be very suspect of anyone who treats their own beliefs as fact.
Since six members of this fractured family have now spoken -- the chain went like so: Mia, Ronan, Dylan, Moses, Letty (Woody's sister), Dylan again, Woody, Dylan again -- I think it's time to move on. (I suspect we won't hear from Soon Yi, Mia's ten other children or Woody's two other children until after Woody, 78, and Mia, 68, have passed away. I hope to die myself before those tell-alls to be spared the drama and obnoxious public rubbernecking). I'll still gladly watch Mia & Woody's movies -- the great ones they made separately and together -- because I'm not going to punish myself because they both seem like awful people. But at this point I never want to think about either of them again offscreen.
I leave you with this genius Jurisprudence article from Dahlia Lithwich on Slate in case you haven't read it: "Woody Allen v. Dylan Farrow: The Court of Public Opinion is now in session" . It's the single best article I read during this whole sad traumatic news cycle and one that applies to all famous scandals and accusations and court cases or non court cases. Plus it's funny which is hard to pull off with such a sober topic.