February 10, 2014

"The Woody Allen Debate Belongs in the Public Sphere."

"When an alleged victim of abuse tells her story to the world, it's not any more virtuous to ignore the controversy than it is to take a side," writes Noah Berlatsky in The Atlantic.
If we all just stay above the fray, and insist that the existence of abuse here is unknowable — that, de facto, means that Allen wins. If no one is judging, if no one will discuss his family life, he can go on as he always has, and, presumably, keep collecting those lifetime achievement awards. [Dylan] Farrow is asking you to take a side and to see this as a public issue. If you don't, you should at least be aware whose wishes you are honoring, and whose you are not.
You can infer from that that Berlatsky has taken a side and which one.

ADDED: No, no, I take that back. The inference isn't locked in. You could accept that there should be public debate and still not take a side. And you could certainly have that debate and side with Woody (although that feels, in some circles, like a position that would induce social shunning). And I don't even accept Berlatsky's spoken inference, that if you refrain from debate, you're furthering Allen's cause. You might think that Dylan's open letter forced Allen to publish his statement and that attention to his detailed arguments is undermining her already-well-known position, and this new debate further distances her from decisive victory.

158 comments:

mccullough said...

Woody Allen will lose in the end because his films won't be watched 50 years from now. They don't hold up well because they are mostly about the least interesting characters. Can't say the same about Scorsese or Eastwood. The hullabaloo about Woody's alleged molestation will die down quickly after he dies. When his kids are his age, no one will remember their dad or mom.

jr565 said...

Allen is 78 now, so may not be here that much longer. Maybe more will come out after he dies that either cements the idea that he was a molester or exhonorates him.
or, maybe he'll disappear from the public consciousness.

SOJO said...

Would you ignore a woman who was getting beaten by her husband who lived down the street or would you get involved? I asked that hypothetically a few years back and was astonished at the number of people who said they wouldn't because it was not their business. (Think of that woman who had been a prisoner for ten years and was rescued by the mcdonalds-eating guy. She would still be there with that attitude.)

To me, forgiveness is a mental state to keep your own mind and heart 'clean' and relatively free of projection so that your sight is clearer and more reliable. It doesn't mean that you don't take action or recognize wrongs as they appear - even as you still acknowledge the greater reality of the offender.

cubanbob said...

""When an alleged victim….

That is the point in the article to stop reading it.

Woody does appear to be rather creepy but without actual evidence that he committed a crime the article is just a rationalizing for shunning Allen and labeling him a pervert.

Allegedly child molesters can't stop themselves. If that is in fact true why is it in the last twenty years no other allegations have been made against him? And considering he was in his fifties when this supposedly took place one would think there would have surfaced other accusations from twenty or thirty years prior. Yet there aren't any.

Henry said...

If we all just stay above the fray, and insist that the existence of abuse here is unknowable — that, de facto, means that Allen wins.

That is true. It doesn't change that fact that the existence of abuse here is unknowable.

Go ahead and judge, little man. Make yourself as conditionally outraged as you possibly can.

elkh1 said...

Is having sex with an adopted daughter incest? A father is in a position of power, is that rape?

BDNYC said...

I've been thinking about the earlier debate, i.e., whether an artist's character should affect the value of his art. When the art exists completely apart from the artist, it's clear that the art can be appreciated no matter what. The problem with Woody Allen is that his art is all about him, and the characters he portrays are usually slight variations on the real life Woody Allen. It's all intensely personal. If I believed that Woody Allen was a child molester, I would have a much harder time enjoying the exploits of fictional Woody Allen in the movies. Especially since so much of his persona revolves around sexuality and human failure. It's all wrapped up together with his personal life.

If Woody Allen painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the art itself wouldn't suffer even if he murdered children.

Michael said...

The Rabinowitz article in the WSJ is worth reading.

Naked Surfer said...

“ADDED: No, no, I take that back. The inference isn't locked in.”

That’s right.

Here’s the real rape, (“rape, murder ... it’s just a shot away, it's just a shot away, hey, hey”), right here: “When an alleged victim of abuse tells her story to the world, it's not any more virtuous to ignore the controversy than it is to take a side," writes Noah Berlatsky in The Atlantic.

What Noah needs is a fresh dose of Sigourney Weaver saying to the Alien (Noah), “Back, bitch!”

Nothing belongs in the public sphere, you journalistic little whore, just because you want to flash press and sell copy.

Now write on the blackboard a million times the null hypothesis, “I don’t know, I don’t know (what happened), I don’t know. I DON"T FUCKING KNOW, AND YOU DON' EITHER.”

Lock that in as an inference.

Problem is that won't sell copy.

Will someone please just go hold Mia.

Betamax, wake up from your nap, Betamax, and please just go hold Mia, she's lost, and needs some love, despite herself.

Woody, grow the fuck up and just go hold Mia, despite herself, give her some love, before the press kills the whole world ...

Re-write the whole drama Woody, re-write the whole damn thing ...

Tyrone Slothrop said...

cubanbob said...

If that is in fact true why is it in the last twenty years no other allegations have been made against him?


garage mahal says the "sheer volume of evidence (against Allen) is staggering." Maybe you should ask him for some of it. But don't hold your breath.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

elkh1 said...

Is having sex with an adopted daughter incest?


Soon-yi is not Woody Allen's adopted daughter. She's André Previn's.

Brando said...

It frightens me that such people are allowed to sit on juries.

cubanbob said...

Tyrone Slothrop said...
cubanbob said...

If that is in fact true why is it in the last twenty years no other allegations have been made against him?

garage mahal says the "sheer volume of evidence (against Allen) is staggering." Maybe you should ask him for some of it. But don't hold your breath.

2/10/14, 12:03 PM"

Unfortunately I don't have Superman's lung capacity so I will pass on holding my breath while waiting for Garage. Besides the guy is probably ice fishing today, why harsh on him when he might be being productive?

cubanbob said...

Brando said...
It frightens me that such people are allowed to sit on juries.

2/10/14, 12:08 PM"

Of course he would have to have a name change but other than that he would fit in quit nicely as a Mississippi juror back in the twenties and thirties in a trial involving Negroes.

alan markus said...

elkh1 said...
Is having sex with an adopted daughter incest?


I would say not,so long as you aren't her adoptive father or brother. Or in Wisconsin law, not a stepparent. Wis. Stats. 973.20(1g)(b)

Lydia said...

From the Dorothy Rabinowitz article in the WSJ, something to think about -- On Woody Allen and Echoes of the Past:

“For no one, perhaps, is the importance of keeping alive the charge of guilt greater than the person who was, as a child, part of a famous child sex-abuse case built on false charges. These children, reinforced again and again in the truth of the accusation, would believe as adults that their horrific victimization early in life has caused them psychic injury of untold depths

Such was the predicament evident in one of the Amiraults' child accusers [the false charges brought in 1984 against a family in Massachusetts], grown to adulthood, who arrived at a parole hearing for Gerald Amirault in a state pitiable to behold, afire with fury, tearful as she recounted the terrors, the failures in her life, that she attributed to his victimization of her. That this was suffering brought on by a lifetime educated in the belief of her victimization, it would be hard to dispute. It is similarly hard, now, witnessing the public raging of Ms. Farrow's daughter Dylan, not to recall the sight and sound of that witness in the hearing room, and to recognize, again, the costs exacted by a lifetime of such belief.”

SOJO said...

From #ibelievedylanfarrow: http://wp.me/p2j7e8-pb

WHEN WRITING TEACHERS READ NY TIMES OP-EDS

I have told students for 10 years.

I have witnessed its verity for 15 years.

I have practiced it for 20 years. Or tried to.

Strong, clear writing indicates strong, clear thinking.

Sputtering, erroneous, ranty writing—especially from one who has made a living writing for several decades—indicates sputtering, erroneous, ranty thinking.

I believe Dylan Farrow anyway. But from a purely rhetorical perspective, she wins.

Larry J said...

elkh1 said...
Is having sex with an adopted daughter incest?


Others have addressed that but, IMO, it biologically isn't incest but may well be legally incest.

A father is in a position of power, is that rape?

It depends. You have people (up to and including Hillary) excusing a president having a consentual relationship with an intern as being fine so long as he's a Democrat. Is the relative power of a father over a daughter more or less than that of a president and an intern? For years, company-mandated sexual harassment training has claimed that being more than one pay grade above a female subordinate could create a hostile workplace environment just to ask for a date, much less sex. NOW loudly advocated for sexual harassment charges in those circumstances except for their notable silence on Bill Clinton.

jr565 said...

cubanbob wrote:
Woody does appear to be rather creepy but without actual evidence that he committed a crime the article is just a rationalizing for shunning Allen and labeling him a pervert.

OJ Simpson was found not guilty of kililng his wife. Yet I, and most other people who looked at the facts of the case and weren't sitting on the jury assume he actually killed his wife and got away with it.

jr565 said...

Is having sex with an adopted daughter incest?

Is this in referentce to Soon Yi or Dylan? If it's his adoptive daughter then it would be incest.

rhhardin said...

It's been discovered to draw viewer eyeballs, so it will be here until they make a different entertainment choice.

Say by realizing that they've been had.

R. Chatt said...

I find the whole notion of making this a public debate offensive and exploitive and not helpful. Dylan and Mia and Ronan engaged in a public lynching out of resentment for Allen's success. That doesn't mean I look the other way and ignore abuse, it means I know having an opinion about people I have never even met or judging a situation I know nothing about should not matter.
I get angry when the media exploits these stories, like the Trayvon Martin case where people "know" what happened without any facts -- and then start making death threats, etc. Our media is reducing journalism to junior high gossip.

cubanbob said...

jr565 said...
cubanbob wrote:
Woody does appear to be rather creepy but without actual evidence that he committed a crime the article is just a rationalizing for shunning Allen and labeling him a pervert.

OJ Simpson was found not guilty of kililng his wife. Yet I, and most other people who looked at the facts of the case and weren't sitting on the jury assume he actually killed his wife and got away with it.
2/10/14, 12:27 PM"

Because you looked at facts and evidence that were introduced at trial. When did the Allen trial take place? I must have missed it. Now I don't know if at this point in time if the Farrows could bring a civil action against Allen. If they can, then they should. OJ was found guilty by a jury in the civil action.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

What does victory in the public sphere look like for Dylan Farrow:

Woody Allen doesn't win an Oscar for Blue Jasmine, but Cate Blanchett does.

Emma Stone doesn't get the Oscar nomination she might deserve for the upcoming movie Magic in the Moonlight.

Magic in the Moonlight tanks at the box office because not enough women want to drag men to it on dates, and Woody Allen is unable to obtain financing for any more movies.

Film clubs on liberal campuses quit showing Woody Allen movies.

The only remaining question is, what does Cate say in her Oscar acceptance speech?

jr565 said...

cubanbob wrote:
Because you looked at facts and evidence that were introduced at trial. When did the Allen trial take place? I must have missed it. Now I don't know if at this point in time if the Farrows could bring a civil action against Allen. If they can, then they should. OJ was found guilty by a jury in the civil action.

But there were trials surrounding this case. True, it wasn't about the guilt or innocence of Allen, but his suitability to gain custody. And he was denied custody. And the judge at the time discounted the experts who said that they thought Dylan made it up. Etc etc.
We hear about the facts in this case the same way we heard about the facts in OJ's case. If it never went to trial (OJ's murder case) I'd still have an opinion on whether he actually killed his wife.

jr565 said...

cubanbob wrote:
Woody does appear to be rather creepy but without actual evidence that he committed a crime the article is just a rationalizing for shunning Allen and labeling him a pervert.

But for those who argue in Allen's defense are they not doing the exact same thing when it comes to labellling Farrow as a malicious woman who would fake a rape charge, and plant a memory in her fragile kids mind.
Was there a trial to prove that charge either?

Ann Althouse said...

"Is having sex with an adopted daughter incest? A father is in a position of power, is that rape?"

Soon-Yi was adopted by Mia Farrow and her then-husband Andre Previn. Previn was alive and the father in Soon-Yi's life at that time. Allen was her mother's boyfriend and also the father of 2 of her half-siblings.

It was stupid and cruel of Allen to choose his girlfriend's daughter as his next lover. We know he did that. We can despise him for that alone.

Whether his capacity to do that makes it more believable that he did something else… that's something to discuss.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
"Is having sex with an adopted daughter incest? A father is in a position of power, is that rape?"

Soon-Yi was adopted by Mia Farrow and her then-husband Andre Previn. Previn was alive and the father in Soon-Yi's life at that time. Allen was her mother's boyfriend and also the father of 2 of her half-siblings

I thought that was in reference to Dylan, who was Allen's adopted daughter. Soon Yi falls into a murkier area considering Allen didn't adopt Soon Yi. But his kids consider her their sister.
As his son says, fathers day in his house is called brother in law day.
Is it a textbook example of incest? Probably not. But considering how his kids and her are siblings it does become very questionable.
And what a horrendous thing to do. To drive a wedge between siblings and between a mother and a daughter irrevocably on the technicality that she wasn't your flesh and blood and therefore there is confusion as to how to define it.

cubanbob said...

"We hear about the facts in this case the same way we heard about the facts in OJ's case. If it never went to trial (OJ's murder case) I'd still have an opinion on whether he actually killed his wife."

Jr565 as the great police inspector Harry Callahan said "opinions are like assholes. everyone has one".

Your opinion or my opinion are just that-opinions. And the only facts that you mentioned were regarding child custody not child molestation. So if we are going to travel solely under opinion one can argue the DA didn't charge and try Allen because they couldn't make a case and not because of any alleged consideration for the child. I would rather travel under evidence and facts before 'lynching' someone. Like I said he is creepy but that doesn't necessarily mean he is a child rapist. If the Farrows can make the case then they should prosecute him civilly, just like the families of OJ's victims. And unlike OJ Allen is probably collectible. So what are they waiting for?

Jon Burack said...

Well, I've piped up a lot on this. Not because I care that much about Dylan or even Woody, though I love and will continue to love his films. What has me rev'd up on this is the lynch mob comments sections on this and the tone of hysteria and rage from those who think they are doing Dylan a favor by taking her side. Anyway, now we get a defense of exactly this lynch mob methodology from Noah Berlatsky. Here is the response to him I posted.

To Noah Berlatsky
You think Woody is guilty because you want to think that. The evidence you cite was reviewed by many people and there is no consensus among them adding up to a conviction. As someone who was on a jury once, I have to say I am glad you were not on it, and it is unlikely any judge would have kept you in the jury pool long enough to allow you on it. My jury convicted, but not on the lynch mob basis you resort to here.

You say this: "Comments threads and social-media discussions may be ugly and awful, but Farrow has made an informed and understandable decision that they are not as ugly and awful as child abuse." This is false, self-serving question-begging. And all the hand-wringing about poor Dylan won't change that. The ugliness of the comments threads is undeniable, and exactly what Dylan likely wanted to gin up, but the alternative to that ugliness is NOT the ugliness of child abuse. That ugliness is going on right now, in a hundred anonymous homes, while you sit pontificating about one case that may have occurred long ago and about which NO ONE is any longer in a position to do anything about at all. Wallowing in the lives of these celebs will not do a thing about those actual other, present-day sufferers, nor was it intended that it would do a thing about them, despite all the piety trotted out by those who think Dylan is some icon for all those others. Her actions are the self-centered and irresponsible acts of a media-besotted member of a media-besotted family, and media people such as yourself are joining in their self-indulgence and loving every bit of the attention it brings. Just don't insult me, please, by suggesting any higher purpose is at work here.

Gabriel said...

For those saying that a court found the accusations credible; so did a court in the McMartin preschool case. In that case the allegations included:

Flying witches
Secret tunnels
Killer clowns
Lions

Prosecutors, child psychologists, a judge and a jury found these accusations "credible" enough to deprive people of their freedom for decades.

There is no more EVIDENCE for Allen than in the McMartin case.

Henry said...

In terms of who "wins" in this horrible mess, it's worth noting that Mia Farrow won child custody. That's a lifetime "win" to use Mr. Berlatsky's idiotic term.

Ann Althouse said...

A key piece of evidence seems to be: Woody has never been accused of any other child molestation. To that we add the belief that real child molesters always/usually commit more acts of molestation if they are not incapacitated.

Here's a theory that occurred to me. I don't believe it. It's just a template that might fit the evidence.

Woody and Mia were in the middle of an angry break-up when the alleged molestation occurred. What if Woody did what he was accused of not because he was sexually attracted to children, but with the intent to hurt Mia -- to drive her crazy and to make everyone say she was out of her mind with rage.

Note that this theory would make sense of the "My Daddy In the Attic" song that Woody brought up in his recent statement. That Dory Previn song was on the same record album with the song "Beware of Young Girls" which really was about Mia Farrow.

Woody (in this speculative theory) chose the attic as the place for the act precisely because he could say: 1. Everyone knows I'm claustrophobic and stay away from that attic, and 2. Mia must be crazily confabulating and in her insanity, she's harming her child by convincing her that something that didn't happen happened.

I've never seen that theory discussed, perhaps because it's so evil, but if you think it's too weird, perhaps that's a reason The Horrible Mr. Allen -- if the theory is correct -- thought he would get away with it.

Remember he is a brilliant scriptwriter.

SGT Ted said...

And you could certainly have that debate and side with Woody (although that feels, in some circles, like a position that would induce social shunning).

That's why social shunning should never be an acceptable response for simply disagreeing with a large enough mob, or for speaking uncomfortable facts that undermine a popular conventional opinion.

It used to be the homos and Commies were socially shunned by society and women were shunned out of the workplace.

If it is unacceptable to shun those people, it is unacceptable to shun others for having a difference with any normal opinion.

Pointing out the holes and flaws in the Public Prosecution of Woody Allen for Sexual Child Abuse should be expected and demanded in a culture that values presumptive innocence, absent a prosecution and conviction for an actual crime.

"Witch Hunt" is the most apt descriptor of what happens when we jettison those values for emotional reasons due to the monstrosity of the accusation.

rhhardin said...

"Their pain was exasperated by the fact the the weapons used were part of a government plan..."

Somebody getting 38 years just now, on the news, at a victim impact hearing.

We now return you to the Woody Allen story.

Ann Althouse said...

"If I believed that Woody Allen was a child molester, I would have a much harder time enjoying the exploits of fictional Woody Allen in the movies. Especially since so much of his persona revolves around sexuality and human failure. It's all wrapped up together with his personal life."

This is a problem generally with fiction. People read fiction thinking they are learning valuable insights about human nature, as if the ability to write vivid, compelling prose and the desire to spend one's life typing out invented stories naturally correlates with wisdom and morality.

But interest in stories can have to do with wanting to escape from social norms, to inhabit evil minds, and to see innocent characters tormented.

Tibore said...

You know, I hate it when people talk about "sides" instead of evidence-driven conclusions. Yes, I realize I don't know what supportive and refutative evidence has been offered by both parties, and furthermore I realize that said evidence probably isn't clear or decisive enough to draw a definite conclusion from (one would exist by now if that were the case). But my point is that because there are celebrities involved, too many in the public commentariat throw rationality away in favor of fuzzy thinking when they should be working towards trying for as much reason and clarity as humanly possible, even if that reason and clarity is not much to begin with.

Instead, what I see is the crowd judging based on what they feel about the personalities as well as projecting their own presumptions and character analyses in place of evidence consideration. That's not rationality; that's bloviation. Whether someone likes or hates Woody shouldn't affect what they conclude about the claims. Ditto about whether someone likes or hates Mia.

And if sufficient clarity to draw reasonable conclusions doesn't exist, should there be this much said about it?

I personally don't care one way or another who "comes out on top". If enough verifiable data exists to reasonably condemn Allen, then condemn him and work towards getting charges filed. If, however, enough data exists to indicate innocence, then people should take that stand. If any difference exists, then it should be about the merits of the claims themselves as best as can be determined. But if the public turns this into what they project instead of what they conclude from what's known, then they're not doing anyone any favors.

jr565 said...

Gabriel wrote:
For those saying that a court found the accusations credible; so did a court in the McMartin preschool case. In that case the allegations included:

Flying witches
Secret tunnels
Killer clowns
Lions

Nothing that Dylan said is as crazy sounding as what was said in the McMartin case. Did Dylan say anything about killer clowns or lions.
Also, I think there was actually the suggestion that a kid was molested. Only it was by his parent and not by the people in the day care. And instead of charging the dad, the allegation instead went to the day care center. And became an instance of mass hysteria.
None of that is in evidence here. ALso, just because the McMartin case shows that prosecutors can charge people who are innocent, there are actual molestations that happen.
Apply your standard and you'd realize that there is also no evidence that Mia Farrow implanted a memory.
And I'm sure we can come up with a case where someone was accused of saying something and villified for making the charge and then the charge turned out to be true. Like say, Monica Lewinsky saying she had the relationship with Clinton, having him deny it and then, it turns out he was lying.
Just because there is a McMartin case doesn't mean that all the cases that involve potential molestation are the McMartin case.

traditionalguy said...

Anger at a community that abandons the young to monsters does deserve to be heard. There is a collective guilt if the community authority knew it was going on and swept it under the rug.

Now how about partial birth abortion and gay Priests preying on alter boys? It is the same thing.

But a statute of limitations standard is still needed in What's his names case.

rhhardin said...

Didn't Tom Lehrer have an incest song?

jr565 said...

Allen said this about himself:

"I'm open-minded about sex. I'm not above reproach; if anything, I'm below reproach. I mean, if I was caught in a love nest with fifteen 12-year-old girls tomorrow, people would think, yeah, I always knew that about him."

"Nothing I could come up with would surprise anyone ... I admit to it all."
so, we shouldn't be surprised if Allen were caught screwing 12 year old girls?

Jon Burack said...

Ann,

"A template that fits the evidence."

But absolutely no one appears to be interested in that. I don't really believe Dylan's claim, I readily admit. But my view is neither I nor anyone else can reach a conclusion about it, so I have not tried to that hard. I agree that your template does fit the evidence. It is very clever. Maybe Woody will make use of it in a future film. But what does it say that so few even see the need for their templates to fit the evidence, as opposed to finding out how they can get the evidence to fit their templates?

Tibore said...

Oh, and I forgot to put in my post: It heartens me that people in this forum have pointed out the exact same thing I said - Judge based on existing evidence, not pop-psychology based personality analysis. Judging based on what's known can divide into two or more campus, true, but at that point it's reason-based disagreement and not fuzzy thinking.

Ann Althouse said...

"Dylan and Mia and Ronan engaged in a public lynching out of resentment for Allen's success."

Mia is undercutting her own greatest successes, as the actress in so many of Woody's greatest films.

She may have resented losing the parts, beginning with "Manhattan Murder Mystery," with Diane Keaton taking her place, but trashing Woody really hurts her professional accomplishments. Will anyone be able to watch "Alice" or "Purple Rose of Cairo," etc. etc. without being distracted by thinking about all these awful things?

There was such sweetness and sensitivity in the movies they made together, and you can't get to that anymore.

Tibore said...

"But what does it say that so few even see the need for their templates to fit the evidence, as opposed to finding out how they can get the evidence to fit their templates?"

Bingo. Thank God there's clear thought going on here. Too many other places are lacking this mindset. And it's turned what could be a reasoned public debate into something tawdry.

Naked Surfer said...

I've never seen that theory discussed, perhaps because it's so evil ...

That theory isn’t evil enough.

More evily: Woody took her to the attic deliberately, and Woody knew the possibility of doing an Inception on the child in the attic, because Woody knew the theory of FMS (False Memory Syndrome), and Woody knew that false memories have the – potential – the potential (the Inception might not stick, but it might stick), the theory being that false memories can cause just as much damage as real, actual, molest – so Woody wrote the screenplay and came as close as he could to actual molest, to introduce false memories to traumatize the child and to traumatize the mother for life, and to make all the world his stage for rest of our lives, knowing that there never would be enough physical evidence to convict Woody, but there would be just enough physical mimicry (mimicry as in biology - fake appearance) to – penetrate with false memories – to penetrate the child, to penetrate the mother, and to penetrate the whole wide world promiscuous enough to let Woody’s screenplay screw us.

And enjoy it.

Ann Althouse said...

"But absolutely no one appears to be interested in that."

You said that 10 minutes after I introduced what I think is a completely new theory.

Why would anyone have yet appeared to manifest any reaction at all?

I guess what you're saying is you don't want anyone to talk about that. Why the impulsive urge to suppress?

Michael said...

These decades old recovered memories are bullshit. Always. Start there and proceed.

EMD said...

Find out more at dirtylaundry.com

I'm already tired of this non-story.

Gabriel said...

@jr565: First, no one is saying that child molestation never happens. We are saying merely that people should not be JUDGED to be child molestors in the absence of evidence beyond 'plausible' accusations.

After all that, where's your evidence? You have none. You have only statements that some people said it happened and actions that other people took which showed they believed those people.

As the McMartin case shows, that is a very, very low bar. Because people will make statements about flying witches and a modern-day court will believe them and throw people in prison for decades--and try to keep them there even today based on those statements.

jr565 said...

Michael wrote:
These decades old recovered memories are bullshit. Always. Start there and proceed.

That is true, but people have been convinced that they saw something that never happened by psychologists before.
In Dylan's case she is sticking by her story and isn't claiming that she is remembering something now that was repressed before.

Naked Surfer said...

“These decades old recovered memories are bullshit. Always. Start there and proceed.”

That’s not the point. And the science on this isn’t settled.

The point is that in constructing a theory of sufficient evil (and just what is mens rea if it’s not evil), it’s a professional duty not to consider the theoretical truth of some malum in se, but instead, to consider the available theories that a professional screenwriter had available at the time if he wanted to use an available theory experimentally to try an Inception using false memories.

Who gives a shit whether the theory is scientifically founded, we’re talking about mens rea , not science.

jr565 said...

Gabriel wrote:
After all that, where's your evidence? You have none. You have only statements that some people said it happened and actions that other people took which showed they believed those people.

Ok, but where's your evidence that the oppposite happened? You only have Woody Allen's statement that a memory was implanted or that Mia only did it because she's a vengeful bitch.
Why then are you so willing to believe his story if you are similarly faced with the same lack of evidence?

Gabriel said...

@jr565:That is true, but people have been convinced that they saw something that never happened by psychologists before.
In Dylan's case she is sticking by her story and isn't claiming that she is remembering something now that was repressed before.


Again, not evidence:

Such was the predicament evident in one of the Amiraults' child accusers, grown to adulthood, who arrived at a parole hearing for Gerald Amirault in a state pitiable to behold, afire with fury, tearful as she recounted the terrors, the failures in her life, that she attributed to his victimization of her. That this was suffering brought on by a lifetime educated in the belief of her victimization, it would be hard to dispute. It is similarly hard, now, witnessing the public raging of Ms. Farrow's daughter Dylan, not to recall the sight and sound of that witness in the hearing room, and to recognize, again, the costs exacted by a lifetime of such belief.

Gabriel said...

@jr565: I say you're a child molester. I demand you produce evidence to the contrary or I will publish my accusation in the New York Times.

Would that be fair? No. In the absence of evidence it is wrong to portray people as guilty of heinous crimes--even unpleasant people who make movies I don't like and give to causes I don't believe in.

jr565 said...

Gabriel cited a link that says the following:

Those who are falsely accused often naively believe that their innocence is obvious, that the allegations will be dropped."

Often is a qualifier. If they often believe that it also suggests that they often don't believe that. And it presuposes that in fact the person was falsely accused.
When you apply that to Allen are you basing that on fact and evidence?

jr565 said...

Gabriel wrote:
Would that be fair? No. In the absence of evidence it is wrong to portray people as guilty of heinous crimes--even unpleasant people who make movies I don't like and give to causes I don't believe in.


Ok, but you're doing exactly that when it comes to Mia Farrow. Saying she lied about the rape allegation is accusing her of a crime. And a heinous one.

Gabriel said...

@jr565: Woody's behavior is consistent with the falsely accused in other molestation cases that were shown to have no possible basis in fact.

It is also consistent with the behavior of a guilty person who denies it.

The only way to settle it is--evidence other than statements and guesses--and in justice we should not condemn without evidence.

This is why we have trials and evidence, but these rules were effectively suspended in child abuse cases, causing injustices which cannot be recitifed.

Gabriel said...

@jr565: Saying she lied about the rape allegation is accusing her of a crime. And a heinous one.

Not like CHILD MOLESTATION.

You don't even believe what you're saying at this point.

How many woman have gone to jail for false accusations of child molestation? How many women have had even social consequences? Any number of people will defend a false accuser, and do.

To compare the two is ridiculous.

Alex said...

There is no single Allen film I'd call a "shattering masterpiece". So good riddance to bad rubbish.

I'd take Orson Welles, Clint Eastwood and Ingmar Bergmann any day.

jr565 said...

Gabriel wrote:
@jr565: Woody's behavior is consistent with the falsely accused in other molestation cases that were shown to have no possible basis in fact.

It is also consistent with the behavior of a guilty person who denies it.

And similarly, Dylan's belief that she was molested could have been the implanting of a memory by a vengeful spouse, OR she was actually molested.
Even if there was a trial there's not a guarantee that you must believe one thing or another. For example, OJ was found not guilty. And the people in the McMartin trial were found guilty.

gadfly said...

If we are going to have a trial, lets have one. I suggest we start with the line from Woody Allen's character, Fielding Mellish (on trial for treason) in the 1971 movie "Bananas."

"I object, your honor! This trial is a travesty. It's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham."

Then the Defense can rest their case with the words of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton:

"What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?"

Lydia said...

Ok, but you're doing exactly that when it comes to Mia Farrow. Saying she lied about the rape allegation is accusing her of a crime. And a heinous one.

Maybe at the time Dylan told Mia something happened in the attic, Mia was so whacked out by the Soon-Yi affair that she actually did believe Dylan was assaulted by Woody. But then over the years, the pain lessened and she backed off from a firm belief in this -- she certainly went very quiet on the subject for almost 20 years. And even now she's not actually out front with an accusation.

Naked Surfer said...

“... Orson Welles, Clint Eastwood and Ingmar Bergmann any day.”

And Hitchcock, and maybe Poe if Quentin Tarantino and Stephen King could join up and screenwrite Poe, jokers and masques – maybe a masque – “My Dinner with Gyne” – starring Woody and Mia, and set in all-women’s prison, “Shaw-skank Redemption.” With knives, lots of knives, “that’s not a knife, this is a knife”, with Woody in the shower in the women’s prison ... it's all just a masque, don't get serious kids, it's all just a masque ..

Gabriel said...

@jr565: If your ex-wife were to accuse you of molesting your children, and there was no further evidence, what rule would you other people to follow in writing about you and dealing with you?

Assume that, in the absence of evidence, that it's just as likely you did it as not

Assume that, in the absence of evidence, it is not fair to treat you as though you did it

That is of course, assuming you didn't actually do it--it's not like you've offered us any proof you didn't--and doubting your ex-wife's word is, according to you, the equivalent of accusing here of a heinous crime.

Alex said...

Sergio Leone, Don Seigel, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Zemeckis.

Alex said...

From the newer directors - Zak Snyder. He's really nailed the comic book genre.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham."

Rephrased according to history's war on "of":

It's sham's two mockeries' travesty's mockery's sham's mockery's travesty.

Michael said...

As I recall this story was told to psychiatrists/psychologists during the Farrow/Allen divorce trial/settlement. These "experts" thought the claim was bullshit. Further, they were many years closer to the "recalled" event than we are today when the memory is as clear to her as Kerry's seared memory.

jr565 said...

Gabriel wrote:
How many woman have gone to jail for false accusations of child molestation? How many women have had even social consequences? Any number of people will defend a false accuser, and do.

To compare the two is ridiculous.

Not ridiculous at all. If you're falsely accused you can have your life ruined. Allen lost all custody to his daughter. If he didn't molest his daughter then what was perpetrated on him was pretty terrible, even if he never got jail time.
And also, many people will also defend the rapist. Like when whoopie goldberg said what Polansky did was not rape rape. Or any number of actors and actresses who continue to appear in Allen's movies despite the allegation that he may have molested his daughter.
Should more women who falsely accuse men of rape face consequences. I have no problem with that. But just because there are women who accuse men of rape doesn't mean that every accusation is a false one

Ann Althouse said...

"These decades old recovered memories are bullshit. Always. Start there and proceed."

Always start there? Even when we're not talking about a case of old recovered memories?

The complaint about molestation was made immediately, and the complainant was examined by doctors and psychologists, and testimony and other evidence was recorded all at the time. Dylan Farrow and the others in her family who insist on the truth of her story are not recovering something long-lost. They have maintained one story the entire time.

This is just about the polar opposite of a recovered memory. It's a tenacious will never to forget.

CStanley said...

Since when is the accusation of crime considered a debate? It's bad enough that our justice system can be manipulated, but now we're supposed to cede determination of guilt or innocence to those with the best media propagandists?

I say that as someone who has found myself persuaded more toward his innocence (and consequently, Mia's guilt), and feeling uncomfortable with the idea that I am persuaded even though I have no way of knowing the facts. All I really know is that one or the other of them is a monster, and neither appears mentally stable. So regardless of details, Dylan suffered abuse at the hands of her celebrity parents. Should that preclude Woody being honored for his professional achievements? I don't know. If all Hollywood awards took personal morality into consideration, would any of the recipients be worthy?

jr565 said...

Michael wrote:
As I recall this story was told to psychiatrists/psychologists during the Farrow/Allen divorce trial/settlement. These "experts" thought the claim was bullshit. Further, they were many years closer to the "recalled" event than we are today when the memory is as clear to her as Kerry's seared memory.

Not exactly. The judge overseeing the custody case said there were problems with this testimony and that they were too beholden to Woody Allen, or something to that effect.
The problems were many - the doctor who signed off on the report never actually interviewed Dylan. Two, none of them would appear in court but instead only offered their findings (and again,the doctor who offered this as their conclusion did not interview Dylan) and finally they conveniently lost or destroyed all of their notes.
So,basically it amounted to Woody Allen's side asserting their version of events.

Rick M said...

In Woody Allen's Crimes & Misdemeanors, Woody states that the last woman he was inside was the Statue of Liberty.
Might be a funny line, however the movie immediately cuts to Dylan Farrow.

That Woodster is a creepy dude.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"It was stupid and cruel of Allen to choose his girlfriend's daughter as his next lover."

That's Woody Allen putting the best face on it, which leaves out that he was also choosing his daughter's older sister.

Ann Althouse said...

"Since when is the accusation of crime considered a debate?"

When the accused is an artist whose work we continue to consume and celebrate.

The issue is not whether he should be prosecuted and, if found guilty, punished. That issue was resolved long ago. That will not happen.

The issue -- which is an issue for us -- is whether we should ignore what we cannot completely know and whether we should stay away from his work and urge others to do the same.

You could say I don't want to consume his work, I never celebrate him, and I don't care what others do.

Then there's no debate.

Personally, I do consume his work, so I have a stake in the issue.

Titus said...

Today at work I found out who is leaving little loaf presents/remnants in the lou after taking a dumper.

The little pebbles melt and make a thin shit sheen blanketing the bottom of the lou.

He's asian and has a Phd from Harvard...shouldn't he know to look twice at any remaining loaf after his first flushy?

Jon Burack said...

"But absolutely no one appears to be interested in that."

Ann, I believe you mistake my meaning. I think I was clear enough that I was saying no one seems interested in trying to fit a template, any template, to the evidence, that they already have their templates in place. I was not saying no one was, or should be, interested in your template. I though it was clever enough, but have no idea whether it fits the evidence either, really. I do not even know if that song came out before or after the incident. Anyway, I am not doing a thing to stop anyone from debating it, I just do not think it will settle a single thing.

jr565 said...

The judge who oversaw the custody case denied Allen any custody of Dylan and said the evidence presented by Allen's experts that supposedly showed that Dylan made up the story was was "less credible" than other evidence due to "the unavailability of the notes, together with their unwillingness to testify at this trial".
No notes, not testifying at the trial to defend their findings. And the doctor who signed off on the report didn't even interview Dylan.
The judge was right to call this less than credible. They destroyed all notes and then refused to testify about a report they issued after not interviewing the person making the allegation.


SGT Ted said...

Ok, but you're doing exactly that when it comes to Mia Farrow. Saying she lied about the rape allegation is accusing her of a crime. And a heinous one.

People are making this type of accusation, or coming to this conclusion because there is a certain type of controlling woman that will make such false accusations in court and to the police for leverage in gaining sole custody of their kids and they will do it to punish him, because they are mad at him.

False accusations of abuse are also made by women to drive a man from his own home and kids, again, as a punishment for whatever. They use the police to enforce their will.

There are enough women who have done these things to be skeptical of accusations of such that lack physical evidence.

R. Chatt said...

Farrow wasn't likely to ever receive a lifetime achievement award and she knows that. Not that she is not an admirable actress but she dropped out of the business. And then there's that bomb shell about Ronan being Frank Sinatra's son, so that sort of seals the deal on her -- which I assume she did in an effort to give Ronan attention for his career.
Would Allen deliberately abuse a child to get back at Farrow for her hysterics over Soon yi? Not when most people were repulsed by his relationship with Soon yi already. Making Mia even crazier wouldn't have changed that.

jr565 said...

Gabriel wrote:
Assume that, in the absence of evidence, that it's just as likely you did it as not

Assume that, in the absence of evidence, it is not fair to treat you as though you did it

That is of course, assuming you didn't actually do it--it's not like you've offered us any proof you didn't--and doubting your ex-wife's word is, according to you, the equivalent of accusing here of a heinous crime

And suppose you were molested repeatedly by a figure of authority like say a priest and you went to the authorities and said you were molested and they consistently said you were a liar trying to smear good peoples names?
Like suppose we were talking about anyone accusing Sandusky of being a pedophile before it became official that he was in fact a pedophile?
And meanwhile the pedophile gets away with raping you and maintianing his good name while you, the victim, are branded a liar.

Naked Surfer said...

On Titus - that’s it. That’s exactly it. In order to get deeper into the next level of life, we need to flush ourselves in. Just jump in the loo and flush. Then hope Betamax will follow with a plunger in case we clog up the drain. Because we’ve got to flush ourselves all the way down, then wade through the sewage under the women’s prison in Shawskank plus all the sewage of the men’s prison too, to the point where the men and women’s prison sewage pipes converge, then crawl through all the sewage combined, to escape – escape into the outside where the lighting storm and the gentle violence of free rain washes us free in the river of life ... then hop the bus with Red, (or Woody, Mia, the rest) and... “find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain ....”

jr565 said...

Sgt Ted wrote:
People are making this type of accusation, or coming to this conclusion because there is a certain type of controlling woman that will make such false accusations in court and to the police for leverage in gaining sole custody of their kids and they will do it to punish him, because they are mad at him.

And people are making the other type of accusation or coming to the other conclusion because there are certain parents that will molest their kids.
Even if there is such an archetype does that mean that Mia Farrow is that archetype? Just as, just because there are parents that molest kids does that mean that Woody Allen is that parent?
If you're going to wade in on either side, you are going to have to make accusations and come to conclusions.

SGT Ted said...

I get it jr565.

As I see it, based on all the competing claims, there is an equal possibility that any of them are horrid people, depending on what the actual truth is. But, a lot of the focus seems to be on Nasty Woody and What Daddy Did in the Attic, rather than all the other valid critiques of the original accusations and the presumption of innocence that our society is supposed to value.

jr565 said...

Woody Allen's argument is not groundless. they very well may be based on a vindictive woman trying to screw her ex because he broke her heart. It is possible.
But just as possible is the fact that Allen may be someone who molsted his kid. Both are possible.
All of the evidence is largely circumstantial. But there is a lot more evidence suggesting that ALlen did in fact do this, than that Farrow did what she is being accused of. And the judges and the prosecutor at the time who oversaw this case said as much.

The prosecutor didn't indict, but he didn't say he didn't do so because there was no evidence.

The judge said ""There is no credible evidence to support Mr. Allen's contention that Ms. Farrow coached Dylan or that Ms. Farrow acted upon a desire for revenge against him for seducing Soon-Yi."
He further said: "Mr. Allen's response... was an attack upon Ms. Farrow, whose parenting ability and emotional stability he impugned without the support of any significant credible evidence."
He also said ""His trial strategy has been to separate his children from their brothers and sisters; to turn the children against their mother; to divide adopted children from biological children, and to set household employees against each other."

Of Farrow he said ""Ironically, Ms. Farrow's principle shortcoming... appears to have been her continued relationship with Mr. Allen."
So when people say she may have been a liar who coached her daughter to remember a falsity tha was looked at by the judge who oversaw the custody hearing and he said that the argument was not based on evidence.

William said...

Yves Montand, John McBride, and Daniel Ortega were all accused of child molestation by their stepdaughters. These were public men and pedophilia was definitely not their primary sexual orientation. They looked far less like child molesters than Woody Allen, but they were all guilty.

Gabriel said...

@jr565: And another judge imposed life sentences on people who were accused of flying on broomsticks. Evidently he looked at all the evidence and decided it was credible.

Julie C said...

So this was all stirred up again by the movie and the Golden Globes special award.

A clip of Mia in Purple Rose appears in the film tribute shown at the Globes, and according to the guy who did the tribute, the producers had to get Mia's permission to use the clip. And she agreed.

So, why, then, did she angrily put something out on Twitter that night? Ronan did also. Then the Dylan column. You'd think that if she was so enraged at Allen she wouldn't want her face used in the tribute. Or did her vanity as an actress get the better of her? Perhaps her response to all this now is to atone for her decision to allow her presence in the montage?

Whatever the answer, she strikes me as a very immature person. I mean, sending your ex-lover a weird voodoo-style valentine with sticks through the pictures? That's something a junior high schooler would do, not an adult.

mccullough said...

Actually, the Purple Rose of Cairo is a better film now. I picture Mia coming off the screen to confront the director with accusations of child molestation and fucking her nubile adopted daughter with another man. Let's detonate the false fourth wall of that movie.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

Gabriel wrote:
@jr565: And another judge imposed life sentences on people who were accused of flying on broomsticks. Evidently he looked at all the evidence and decided it was credible.


Again, just because one judge found incredible evidence to be credible doesn't mean that another judge who finds something to be credible isn't to be trusted, simply because another judge made a bad ruling.
Suppose instead the judge said that he found the argument that Farrow made up the story to be credible and gave all custody to Allen. Would you similarly argue that the judge was not to be trusted?

mccullough said...

Jr565,

You make some good points, but who cares what's the family court judge thought. He is no better at fact finding then anyone else. He discounted the Yale people's opinions, which is his prerogative. We can all look at the testimony and the opinions offered by experts and make our own conclusions. Also, Allen has another 21 years plus history to look at, as do Farrow and her kids.

One of the interesting pieces of more recent evidence is the allegations of Moses, the oldest Woody-Mia child, who said his mom brainwashed her kids. Something to consider.

William said...

When two bright imaginative people want to destroy each other, there's no limit to the damage they can do. I suggested that Allen may have chosen Soon Yi precisely because of the damage that it would do to Mia. Maybe he was even clever enough to hug Dylan in such a way as to arouse Mia's suspicions......As for Mia, she got some of her own back with Ronan. Let Woody bond with his first born son and for the first time ever feel unconditional love for another human being. Then drop little hints that maybe the kid isn't his but some other skinny man. That should drive the little prick nuts. And don't do a DNA test. Leave that little area of ambiguity open to twist the blade in.

jr565 said...

All I can say is that the judge who oversaw the custody hearing said what he said. Is he full of crap? Maybe. But where is the evidence that he wasn't spot on in his ruling?

garage mahal said...

That Woodster is a creepy dude.

Careful, you might scolded by the hall monitors for that opinion.

Alex said...

garage - how is the diet coming along? Getting in enough exercise?

jr565 said...

mccullough wrote:
One of the interesting pieces of more recent evidence is the allegations of Moses, the oldest Woody-Mia child, who said his mom brainwashed her kids. Something to consider.

But when Allen was accused of fixating on Dylan he made the argument that Farrow was concentrating on her other kids and Dylan was being neglected So he spent more time with her. If he was spending time with one kid at the expense of his other kids,then those other kids may not have been privy to their interactions. Because he's not spending time with those other kids.
Therefore, would Moses have seen any molestation if Allen is spending his time with Dylan alone?
And similarly Moses could be saying that Allen didn't molest his sister now simply because he thinks Allen is getting on in age and hopes to get some inheritance cash.

garage mahal said...

Alex
I told you I was spoken for. No means no!

William said...

The cascade of events was seemingly started by Allen's seduction of Soon Yi, but maybe there was some prior event that precipitated it. Who knows? This is like taking sides in your parents' divorce. The subjective and the objective, guilt and innocence, are connected in a double helix that can never be disentangled.

jr565 said...

And if Mia brainwashed her kids to hate their dad, the mere fact that he ended up dating and then marrying their sister,despite being their dad, might be all the ammunition that they needed.
If you asked Ronan for example, he'd probably say he didn't need to be brainwashed. Allen's actions were enough to make him not want to spend any time with his dad/brother in law going forward. Leaving aside any questions about whether he also molested his kid sister.

CStanley said...

The issue is not whether he should be prosecuted and, if found guilty, punished. That issue was resolved long ago. That will not happen.

The issue -- which is an issue for us -- is whether we should ignore what we cannot completely know and whether we should stay away from his work and urge others to do the same.

You could say I don't want to consume his work, I never celebrate him, and I don't care what others do.

Then there's no debate.

Personally, I do consume his work, so I have a stake in the issue.

2/10/14, 2:19 PM

But all of this still hinges on judging his guilt or innocence. If he didn't do it, then there is no reason to shun him.

Since it's impossible to know, though, I think it is more appropriate for someone who wants to celebrate his work to just acknowledge that you really don't know. You are either willing to completely separate the man from his work (wise in my opinion anyway since so many people in that sphere are moral cretins) or are willing to give the presumption of innocence because he was not indicted. This approach at least avoids the hearsay and gossip.

mccullough said...

Jr565,

All true. But accusing Farrow of brainwashing is the allegation Woody is now leveling at Farrow. Moses was 15 at the time of all this. He would be the least susceptible to Farrow's mind games. Also, if he wanted cash, writing a book about Mia and Woody might be a better idea. There seems to be a demand for info/gossip.

William said...

There's something about this case that people like to pick apart and debate. Movie stars live on Olympus, but most of their scandals take place on skid row. This is an elevated scandal worthy of Sophocles.......The only star scandal that matches it is that of Marilyn Monroe......But unlike Marilyn Monroe, the professional careers of the principals in the Allen scandal haunt and give dimension to the debacle of their personal lives.......In Rosemary's Baby, Farrow is married to an actor who weds her with the Devil in order to gain a starring role. Well, that was true of Farrow herself. In Crimes & Misdemeanors, the eye surgeon who got away with murder looks into middle space. He's a respectable man with many moral pretensions who realizes that there's no moral order in the universe. It's all very well to get away with murder, but it's disquieting for a respectable man to have to live in such a world..

Fritz said...

"rhhardin said...
Didn't Tom Lehrer have an incest song?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mScdJURKGWM&feature=kp

jr565 said...

Rewatching Woody Allen and seeing the various sexual issues presented in his work:
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/dylan-farrow-woody-allen-movies

From Love and Death in 1975:
"I have lived many years and, after many trials and tribulations, I have come to the conclusion that the best thing is…blond twelve-year-old girls. Two of them, whenever possible”?


Funny, but in retrospect, maybe we should read more into it than simply the utterance of a character.


Freeman Hunt said...

Of course media people want us to think we're owed a spectacle of everything.

"Everything is public now! A buffet of human folly for your delectation! Privacy is heresy!"

gadfly said...

Ann, your rewrite of "mockery of a sham" line efficiently eliminated all of those "of" and "a" words, but it would not make for good comedy.

I did miss an important Fielding Mellish quote:

We fell in love. I fell in love - she just stood there.

Lydia said...

I think they're both nuts, but I think maybe Mia edges out Woody in that regard. For instance, who but a total crazy would keep doing one of Woody's movies after making such a sexual assault allegation?

On Aug. 4, 1992, Mia claimed that while she was out shopping, Allen had disappeared with Dylan for 15 to 20 minutes at their country home in Connecticut. That day, Mia was scheduled to sign custody papers. According to a September 1992 report in New York magazine, she had worked out an arrangement with Allen allowing him visitation. He agreed to keep casting her. They’d keep going on their annual, two-week trips to Europe as a family, and to the outside world, they’d remain Woody and Mia.

But before those papers arrived, Mia called her lawyer and said something very bad had happened. Allen had taken Dylan up to the attic and molested her. She videotaped Dylan — a tape that was later reported to have been edited in-camera — then took her to the doctor for an exam.

Mia also kept on with her plans to star in Allen’s next movie, “Manhattan Murder Mystery,” and placed a call to meet with the wardrobe supervisor on Aug. 9.

“She accused me of child molestation on August 4th, right?” Allen told “60 Minutes” that November. “And August 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th — you know, the week after, she’s fully saying, ‘When do we begin our new movie? I’m going for my costume fitting next week’ . . . And I said, ‘Are you kidding? You’re accusing me of child molestation, and you think we’re just going to go on with the movie? . . . This is insane.’ ”

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

OK, deal me a hand. The lady Woody is married to now was Mia's daughter but is it a biologic daughter or was she adopted?

Revenant said...

This is one of the dumber takes I've read on this particular topic.

If Allen is a molester then he's already "won", no matter what people think. He escaped both prosecution and the potential lawsuit. Committing a heinous crime and suffering nothing worse than occasional public scorn counts as a big win.

If, on the other hand, Allen is NOT a molester then anything short of universal rejection of the charges by the public counts as a loss for him. Since it is a given that a good portion of the public will not reject the charges, this means that if Allen is innocent he has already "lost".

jr565 said...

Leaving aside the whole moleststion charges, lets not forget that Allen, in addition to marrying his partners step daughter, which makes him his sons brother in law also dated a girl in high school when he was in his 40's.
And then made a movie about it.


mccullough said...

Jr565,

Putting aside the molestation, Mia Farrow entered into a relationship and had three children with a man who dated a high school girl in his 40s and made a movie about it. Farrow also married a 50 year old when she was 19. And fucked her friends husband and got pregnant by him.

These people have the morals of a cat.

285exp said...

Is there anything to stop the Farrows from taking Allen to court, either criminal or civil, for his alleged molestation of Dylan?

traditionalguy said...

I still see the issue to be the grown up woman's indictment of the adult world for totally failing to protect her once. She has total moral authority if she speaks the truth, even if done in hot anger after this many years.

What's his name can do whatever.Let's get real here: who cares about him.

Revenant said...

I've heard a lot of "hurr hurr Allen will be forgotten" on these last few threads.

I hate to break this to you, guys, but your favorite director will be forgotten, too. You think Scorcese will be anything more than a trivia question in fifty years? Tastes change, and with very, very rare exceptions the films of today have limited appeal a few generations later.

Fifty years from now "Goodfellas" will be just another genre picture and "The Departed" will be just one of several remakes of "Infernal Affairs" -- but I guarantee you that "A Christmas Story" will still be a favorite holiday film. And it was directed by a guy whose other big claim to fame is "Porky's".

Freeman Hunt said...

"The Departed" will be just one of several remakes of "Infernal Affairs"

Yes, you are my brother in the struggle to raise the profile of one of the greatest cop dramas ever made: "Infernal Affairs."

Freeman Hunt said...

I see a lot of criticism for men wanting to date teenagers. While an adult wanting to date a teenager does seem a bit infantile, having been a teenage girl, I can assure you that it is not at all rare.

jr565 said...

17 is different than 19. And being the 19 year old versus being the 40 year old is different.
Granted, there is something to be said for people forgiving the excesses because of your fame and/or artistic brilliance. It's happening even now with peopel appearing in a movie by Allen or by a say, Polansky.

jr565 said...

Freeman Hunt wrote:
Yes, you are my brother in the struggle to raise the profile of one of the greatest cop dramas ever made: "Infernal Affairs."

It was a good movie. One flaw with it though was that the actors they got to play their younger counterparts (back in the academy) looked SO different from their older counterparts it took me out of the movie. I kept wondering why they couldn't find people who looked even remotely like their older selves.

Michael K said...

I can't stand to read any more comments. All these people are creepy and repulsive.

For those that consider the custody hearing dispositive, I was denied custody in my own divorce case because the court psychologist felt my ex-wife was "too fragile" to take our 6 year old daughter away from her.

When the daughter reached 18, she came to live with me. Fortunately, her mother did not do a mental job on the kid and we all get along, especially since her mother quit drinking.

Custody hearings are not trials.

Freeman Hunt said...

You think there aren't huge numbers of adult men willing to date 17 year girls? Har har.

I'm not saying it doesn't come off as weak and babyish for a forty year old man to want to date a seventeen year old, but again, it isn't that odd.

And I don't get the comparison to Polanski, a man who raped a thirteen year old.

Carl Pham said...

Issuing your accusations in a public forum, where ipso facto the "judges" -- the public -- cannot possibly have all, or even most, of the relevant evidence, is by definition an attempt to win your case by appealing to stereotypes and invoking primate crowd intimidation. You can normally very reasonably assume that anyone who attempts the tactic doesn't have the evidence to make the case to an objective. fully-informed judge. Because, they would.

Id est, in this case, if Dylan and Mia Farrow have sufficient actual evidence for the State of Connecticut to bring a sexual abuse or rape charge against Woody Allen, they would've given it to a prosecutor, and he would have quite happily filed charges. Bringing down Woody Allen on a child-abuse charge would absolutely make an assistant DA's career in Connecticut. You could run for governor after that. ("Tough on crime! Holds the wealthy and famous just as accountable as the little guy!") They would salivate at having that case handed to them.

As Sherlock Holmes says, the strongest piece of evidence here is what did not happen. A criminal (or civil) case was not brought because it can't be. Either the evidence doesn't exist, or it has such low credibility when examined carefully that even a true-blue Connecticut jury wouldn't convict on its basis.

SGT Ted said...

Custody hearings are not trials.

That's one of my points.

Ann Althouse said...

@Jon Burack

Fair enough.

But I think I said something intriguing and I didn't enjoy someone pooping on it in the first 10 minutes.

But fine.

David said...

"When an alleged victim of abuse tells her story to the world, it's not any more virtuous to ignore the controversy than it is to take a side," writes Noah Berlatsky in The Atlantic.

And why is the audience's virtue even an issue? Because this family's mess is public, I somehow lack virtue because I decide the truth is unknowable?

This is one more (as if one were needed) point of evidence supporting my firm conviction that liberalism is mostly about people's need to feel superior to others.

Jon Burack said...

Ann,

I can understand that. I actually did think your idea was intriguing and did not mean to poop on it. But I was on a roll about my own issues on all this. So I will try to think about your scenario here.

I have no idea of how to add to or detract from your case for it. Except to ask isn't Woody just bringing the song up now? Did he do that back when the charges first were made? Seems unlikely he'd have set it up that way in the attic and all and then not made sure it got touted. But maybe it did. I just don't know.

What I find interesting about the idea, however, is how it shows that the same facts everyone here thinks obviously point one way only can be fit to a scenario that no one thought of. People seem to think the facts are what they are and mean only one thing, except of course they don't agree at all on what that one thing is. Perhaps the facts could mean a lot of different things. As I've been saying all along, I see no way for anyone here to know and cannot therefore see the justification for their sense of certainty and accompanying cries for justice.

I think justice was probably already done, to the degree possible in this life.

David said...

Freeman, it's been a while since I was 40 but I do remember it well. I do not think that any of the men that I knew were at all interested in dating 17 year old girls. If an attractive 17 year old happened by the occasional guy might groan and make a joke, but it was play acting.

I had a 14 year old daughter at 40. And a 17 year old son who had girlfriends. Men can be fools about many things but your apparent view that a big portion of 40 year old males are pining for 17 year old companionship, sexual or otherwise, is depressing coming from an intelligent woman.

Have thinks changed that much for the worse in the last 30 years (since I was 40?)

William said...

Mia Farrow had a fragile child like quality. You can see how Polanski and Allen would be drawn to her. But she adopted all those kids. It's not that apparent in her screen roles, but she must have a strong maternal, perhaps even earth mother presence. There's a duality to her soul. Ditto with Allen. His character is a harmless nebbish, like a little boy, but that character is also an old soul who dispenses fatherly wisdom.....We all put our best face forward during the courtship process, but these characters had more than one face. I said before that there's a double helix of guilt and innocence in this drama, but each character is their own double helix and the plot points are more like a Möbius strip than a dramatic arch.

CStanley said...

One thing that strikes me as a bit off is that Woody's letter stated that he was caught off guard by the accusation and didn't bother to defend himself right away because he didn't' think anyone would take it seriously.

In the same letter though he acknowledges that many people were already judging his behavior with Soon-Yi harshly. Under those circumstances, given that he was aware of those judgments, how could an intelligent man not know that this was a serious accusation?

I was thinking of that discrepancy when I read the column- rather as though Woody was saying, "I know everyone thinks me a monster but it's preposterous that people might think me capable of doing this other monstrous thing."

And now, seeing some of the quotes people have pulled out (assuming they are accurate) from him about very young teenaged girls- it seems even more incongruous that he could have thought people would brush off the accusations.

colleen cafferty said...

@Freeman

To "date" as in "to jack off to" or "to fuck" or "to have a lengthy relationship with?" The latter is actually considered pretty odd in my world.


Everybody is well aware of the worldwide high value put on teenage pussy. Fifty percent of the world was or will be a teenage girl at some point, after all. It's not a big secret, nor a revelatory point.

I consider Allen's continued marriage to the aging, rather rough-hewn Soon Yi to be punishment enough for a self-centered guy with a fixation on "blonde 12-yr-olds." It's very unlikely he'd be there if the scandal had not gone public and he didn't have something to prove. The only way it could prove tolerable in the long run is if he has genuinely gained some wisdom along the way, otherwise, it'd be a hellish situation for his golden years. IOW, that aspect of it worked out fairly well in terms of "justice."


heyboom said...


It was stupid and cruel of Allen to choose his girlfriend's daughter as his next lover. We know he did that. We can despise him for that alone.

Doesn't it take two to tango? If Soon-Yi wasn't interested in any kind of relationship with Allen she would have said no, right? But now they have been together for 20 years. So that would appear to me to be a consensual and loving relationship. Or has he been keeping her hostage all these years?

Why are we not supposed to despise Soon-Yi as well?

mccullough said...

Rev,

Mean Streets and Taxi Driver and the Outlaw Josey Wales are 40 years old (or close). Annie Hall and Manhattan haven't held up nearly as well. Chinatown is still an excellent film. It's not to say Allen isn't as talented as those directors. But his themes and characters aren't holding up over time.

James said...

I wonder why Professor Althouse jumped to that conclusion?

Doesn't everybody know that if you don't have something nice to say about her idols, don't say anything at all?

Michael K said...

"Custody hearings are not trials.

That's one of my points."

Ask Senator Jack Ryan about them.

If not for a custody hearing, Obama would be an unshaven tramp mumbling to himself in a flophouse.

That was said about another fascist one time. I forget his name.

William said...

I wonder if Allen was drawn to Mia's waifish side and was repelled by her motherly vibes. If he wanted to hurt the mother side, there was no better way to do it than by having an affair with Soon Yi. Leaving naked photos of Son Yi around for Mia to see, was a nice twist of the knife......,Similarly with Mia. She may have been drawn to him by his fragile, little boy physique and vulnerability. When he became a father, maybe some of her Daddy issues may have been activated. There's no better way of repudiating those fatherly qualities than by accusing him of molesting Dylan. And, of course bonus points, for letting him know that his son Ronan may not, in fact, be his.........With all these scars and fresh cuts, how is it possible to get even. But they'll both keep trying.

Revenant said...

Mean Streets and Taxi Driver and the Outlaw Josey Wales are 40 years old (or close). Annie Hall and Manhattan haven't held up nearly as well.

All you're saying is "in the future, people will like the movies I like and not the movies I don't like".

I think all five films hold up just fine today, but if I had to pick which one would last the longest it would be one of the Allen films -- dialogue-driven films have staying power even after the stories themselves become dated and cliched. That's why people still like Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon.

Revenant said...

In the same letter though he acknowledges that many people were already judging his behavior with Soon-Yi harshly. Under those circumstances, given that he was aware of those judgments, how could an intelligent man not know that this was a serious accusation?

People have a hard time accepting that others consider them to be evil.

According to their own version of events, neither Woody nor Soon-Yi Allen ever had a father/daughter relationship of any kind, and indeed had next to no interaction at all while she was a child. That's how they saw it. A good portion of the *public* considered Allen to basically be guilty of incest.

"He molested his 7-year-old daughter" seems plausible if you already think he's banging a different daughter. If, like Allen, you think that his real offense was running off with his girlfriend's adopted adult daughter, however, the jump to "... and he's a child molester" is insane.

Freeman Hunt said...

I do not know any man around my age who has expressed interest in a seventeen year old girl.

My observation was based on having been a seventeen year old girl.

The Godfather said...

When I see this many comments on a thread, I skip it; life's too short. But I have to say that if "[Dylan] Farrow is asking you to take a side and to see this as a public issue", 140 comments on Althouse so far seems to show that Dylan's request has been granted.

William said...

Michael Curtiz directed Casablanca, Robin Hood (the one with Errol Flynn), White Christmas, and Angels with Dirty Faces. If one of those films, at some time or another, weren't your favorite flick, then you don't have a soul. Nonetheless, Michael Curtiz is not considered an auteur and is never mentioned in the pantheon of great directors. Go figure........When you're in your late thirties or early forties, you can sometimes finagle a date with a girl in her early twenties. That's awkward but within normal limits. I would have questions both about a guy who hits on a seventeen year old and a seventeen year old who responds to those overtures. But people with issues always find each other.......That's why what Allen did was so malignant and calculated. He could have asked Ellen Page to dress up in a black lace, Girl Scout uniform and sell him cookies. Ellen gets a good role in hs next film, he gets his cookies, and, if Mia discovers, it's just another Hollywod divorce......There was something extravagantly evil in his courtship of Soon Yi. The only possible justification---and it's not a justification--is if Mia had done something awful to him on a prior occasion and he wanted to get back.....These are sharp people playing with sharp knives and an awareness of the most excruciatingly painful site to wound each other.

Revenant said...

That's why what Allen did was so malignant and calculated.

Meanwhile, back in reality, the actress in question is now in her 50s and still says there was nothing wrong with the relationship. Also, she thinks the abuse allegations are bullshit

You would think that if she'd actually been exploited she would have realized that sometime in the last 37 years, but she has clearly forgotten that total strangers with third-hand information are much better judges of this sort of thing. :)

William said...

The woman whom Polanski raped claimed that the attendant publicity was more traumatic than the actual rape. I believe her, but Polanski was nonetheless in the wrong, and criminally so. Maybe Soon Yi passed through this experience unaffected (doubtful but possible). Nonetheless, others didn't, and it's Allen's fault.

betamax3000 said...

Re: Naked Surfer "Betamax, wake up from your nap, Betamax, and please just go hold Mia, she's lost, and needs some love, despite herself."

I'm Trying to Reduce My Dosage. I'm Afraid Mia Would Steal All My Pills and Replace them with Pez. From a Bloody Woody Allen Pez Dispenser: Candy Tracheotomy. I Am Trying to be Good.

betamax3000 said...

Tardive Dyskinesia Sucks Unless Your Hand is in the Right Place.

Revenant said...

Maybe Soon Yi passed through this experience unaffected (doubtful but possible).

I'm talking about Stacey Nelkin, the actress Allen dated back when she was 17.

Why it would be "doubtful" that a 20-year-old who dated and married a much-older man would be "fine" is a mystery to me. But given that you think marrying your ex-girlfriend's adopted daughter is "extravagantly evil", I'm writing that one off as being due to your having the moral sense of a turnip. :)

Nonetheless, others didn't, and it's Allen's fault.

"Others"? Since you've opted for the plural, go ahead and name two of them.

openidname said...

The Onion nailed it, as usual:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/boy-ive-really-put-you-in-a-tough-spot-havent-i,34949/

Gene said...

Dylan isn't merely asking you to take a side. She's asking you to take her side. What if you believe she probably was molested but she's not telling the truth either?

William said...

@Rev: OK, posit that Woody and Soon Yi were star crossed lovers and the family background was just how they happened to meet and was not part of the gestalt of their attraction. You're still left with the fact that Allen took nude pics of Soon Yi and left them out where Mia could find them.......When you see a turtle on a fence post, it didn't happen by accident. When your girlfriend finds nude pics of her daughter on the mantle piece, it didn't happen by accident......There may be some mitigating explanation for Allen's malice towards Farrow, but there can be no denying that there was an element of malice to it.

Revenant said...

You're still left with the fact that Allen took nude pics of Soon Yi and left them out where Mia could find them

If by "left them where she could find them" you mean "in his own apartment" then yes, he "left them where she could find them". Whereupon she went home, hit her daughter with a chair, and kicked her out of the house.

So boo fuckity hoo for poor Mia Farrow, who does a bang-up job of screwing other women's husbands but skips straight to domestic violence when the shoe's on the other foot.

When your girlfriend finds nude pics of her daughter on the mantle piece, it didn't happen by accident

You're insane.

Darrell said...

When you date a woman with daughters--as I have over the years--you don't need a piece of paper to start considering and treating the daughters as your children. When the relationship hits the ten-year mark, I can't see how it couldn't have happened. Woody Allen met Soon-Yi before her 9th birthday when Mia introduced them. Spin it as you will, Revenant, but you are the one insane on this issue.

Mia didn't know that there were independent adult witnesses to Allen and Dylan disappearing into the attic--the babysitter and tutor--when she passed along Dylan's story to the psychologist. As the custody judge said, it is unlikely that she would choose a date and time when he was under independent observation if she had concocted the story. The babysitter and tutor didn't come forward until the heard about Dylan's claims later. And they hadn't talked to Mia about it because they didn't know there was an issue with that time.

Darrell said...

According to the record, the first thing Woody Allen did after he started seeing Soon-Yi, when he had access to all the kids (supervised) was try to sow dissent/discord between the biological and adopted kids. He told the biological kids they were getting the short end of the stick because the adopted kids take up so much time and resources with their physical and mental issues. He told the adopted kids that the biological kids are getting all the real love and attention. What he failed to see is that all the kids were part of a cohesive family and the first thing they did when he left was get together and talk about what he said to each of them. Whether he came up with that plan or his lawyers did, he apparently thought it would be best for him if the Farrow clan blew up in the future and those problems made the news. When Allen was confronted with this charge, he first denied it and said it was crazy. When he was confronted with the affidavits of the children and the adults who heard bits and pieces he blew up and said something like "So what? It's a fucking mad house anyway, some kind of weird child care center. Who's want to live there anyway?" When someone pointed out that a lot of kids that had no one, who had phsyical and mental issues had been getting the best professional care from the beginning and now have a home and family and that his efforts might have resulted in someone doing harm to himself or others, he essentially said "So what?" The custody judge pointed to that story when determining that Allen was a despicable self-involved creature that didn't have any business being around kids period.

James said...

We can't really /know/ now what happened in the freakshow that Allen and Farrow created and called a "home". BUT....
Woody Allen marrying his children's sister should have been enough to have him shunned, to some degree, by the Hollywood industry. Or at least by those closest to his children. I think, more than anything, that is the root of the feeling of harm Dylan Farrow feels toward Hollywood.

William said...

I thought that Allen had some wriggle room regarding the molestation charges, but if what Darrell posted is true, even there he's on shaky grounds. That stuff about him trying to sow dissension in the family makes him look despicable......,His best strategy is to shut up and stop making movies where Mia is portrayed as an unhinged, vengeful Fury. Only in Hollywood would such a man's character flaws be considered debatable.

Nihimon said...

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2014/02/woody-allen-sex-abuse-10-facts

Revenant said...

I can't see how it couldn't have happened.

Your inability to see it is not an argument against it.

It is, in fact, very easy to see how a girl who already HAD a father wouldn't discard him in favor of her mom's absentee boyfriend. And it is easy to see why a man who didn't even care enough about the mother to marry her wouldn't consider her children with OTHER men to be his own.

But by all means, continue to indulge in William's lunactic belief that Soon-Yi and Woody Allen have been indulging a mutual incest fantasy for the last twenty years, and that out of pure maliciousness Woody Allen revealed this to Mia Farrow by not by telling her, but by leaving nude photos on a mantle in his own apartment.

Because it certainly couldn't be the case that they understand their motives better than you. They're just them, but you're YOU. :)

Revenant said...

he blew up and said something like "So what? It's a fucking mad house anyway, some kind of weird child care center. Who's want to live there anyway?"

According to Google, the first person to ever use the phrase "some kind of weird child care center" is you.

Yeah, I know, you surrounded your hit piece with weasel words such as "he said something like" and "he essentially said". But why not be honest, and provide the actual quotes along with links to the source material?

For example, here is a different perspective on your unsourced claim that the Farrow kids were a happy clan until Woody tried to turn them against each other. It is from one of the kids, so naturally he isn't the expert that you are... but still:

"Our mother has misled the public into believing it was a happy household of both biological and adopted children," [Moses Farrow] says. "From an early age, my mother demanded obedience and I was often hit as a child. She went into unbridled rages if we angered her, which was intimidating at the very least and often horrifying, leaving us not knowing what she would do."

Mind you, this is a man who, as a fifteen-year-old boy under Mia's care, wrote Woody Allen a letter telling him to kill himself. Now he's reconciled with Woody and says Mia was the abusive one.

But by all means, continue believing that Mia -- who admitted in court that she had physically assaulted her daughter -- was the "good" parent.

William said...

Rev, you misstate my position. Allow me to misstate yours. Out of all the women available to him in the world (and as a successful director there were many), he chose Soon Yi because everything she did was magic. This relationship was in no way contingent upon her familial background or any wish, subconscious or otherwise, to inflict pain on Mia. Likewise, the leaving of the nude pictures of Soon Yi out in the open was just an innocent lapse of forgetfulness. It was just sheer dumb luck that Mia discovered them. Again, there was no subconscious malice on Allen's part in leaving them out. Nor was there any score settling going on in his recent movie Blue Jasmine. From start to finish, most of this unpleasantness was brought about by Mia's hysterical overreaction to Woody's attempt to find a modicum of love and validation in this harsh world.