As the reverberations of #MeToo have swept across Hollywood and the globe, one person who’s been central—albeit silent—to much of the conversation is Woody Allen.
His estranged son, Ronan Farrow, shared a Pulitzer prize for his New Yorker investigations into alleged serial abuser Harvey Weinstein. Meanwhile, many of the actors Allen has cast—including Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page, and Timothy Chalamet—have expressed various forms of regret about working with the director in spite of the allegations from his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, that he sexually abused her 25 years ago. Allen was never formally charged, though the judge in the New York case described the Allen’s behavior towards Dylan as “grossly inappropriate.”
Last night, Allen finally broke his silence on the topic on the Argentinian news program Periodismo Para Todos, “journalism for all.” Investigative journalist Jorge Lanata interviewed Allen on a range of topics from the allegations facing him as well as the Me Too movement at large. And Allen had much to say.
On the allegations coming from Dylan Farrow, Allen says he was distressed that they had been resurfaced in the wake of the Me Too movement.
Of course not, I mean this is just so crazy. This is something that has been thoroughly looked at 25 years ago by all the authorities and everybody came to the conclusion that it was untrue. And that was the end and I’ve gone on with my life. For it to come back now, it’s a terrible thing to accuse a person of. I’m a man with a family and my own children. So of course it’s upsetting.
On the topic of Me Too, Allen said he should be considered “the poster boy for the Me Too movement” thanks to the lack of allegations from actresses he has worked with.
I think in any situation where anyone is accused of someone unjustly, this is a sad thing. I think everybody would agree with that … Everyone wants justice to be done. If there is something like the Me Too movement now, you root for them, you want them to bring to justice these terrible harassers, these people who do all these terrible things. And I think that’s a good thing.
What bothers me is that I get linked with them. People who have been accused by 20 women, 50 women, 100 women of abuse and abuse and abuse— and I, who was only accused by one woman in a child custody case which was looked at and proven to be untrue, I get lumped in with these people.
As I say I’m a big advocate of the Me Too movement. I feel when they find people who harass innocent women and men, it’s a good thing that they’re exposing them. But you know I, I should be the poster boy for the Me Too movement. Because I have worked in movies for 50 years. I’ve worked with hundreds of actresses and not a single one—big ones, famous ones, ones starting out—have ever ever suggested any kind of impropriety at all. I’ve always had a wonderful record with them.
The interview also covered Allen’s iconic (and now, somewhat problematic) film Manhattan, which features a young girl, played by Mariel Hemingway who enters a relationship with a man many years her senior, played by Allen.
When I made Manhattan, Marshall Brickman and I who wrote the script, we just thought it was funny. We though it’d give us an opportunity to make many jokes, you know with an older man and a younger woman—we thought constantly making jokes where the girl doesn’t know what the man is talking about and where his references are his generation’s and her references are hers. But that was all we thought, we thought it was a funny idea.”