February 2, 2014

"What's your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know..."

Dylan Farrow puts her sad face between you and whatever Woody Allen movie you might have been hoping to enjoy.

Over at Reason, Nick Gillespie looks like he's working up to a response, a reasonable response, to the questions he frames — "Did Woody Allen Molest His Daughter, Dylan Farrow? And If So, Should You Disavow His Films?"

Gillespie reveals that he doesn't even like Woody Allen. He says Allen "ceased to produce consistently interesting movies decades ago," which either means that he hasn't noticed "Blue Jasmine" or that he really meant to write "ceased the consistent production of interesting movies decades ago." "Blue Jasmine" (2013) is certainly consistently interesting. So was "Midnight in Paris" (2011). Maybe "To Rome With Love" (2012) was only interesting in parts. But, good lord, Woody Allen has consistently made interesting movies. Look at the IMDB list. He has made at least one movie in every year since 1977, which is probably when Gillespie imagines that he stopped being interesting.

Gillespie shifts the topic to the more general question — "When — if ever — does the biography of a creator mean that you cannot or should not in good conscience patronize an artist?" — and he doesn't even answer that. He throws it over to the readers: "What do you think readers?"

But I want to get back to Woody Allen. Dylan Farrow writes: he "sexually assaulted" her. I'm putting that in quotes not to express disbelief, but to observe the generality of the term. We're told that she was playing with an electric train but not what body part of his came into what sort of contact with what body part of hers. We're told "what he did to me in the attic felt different" from other things he did that she also did not like. Those other things are specified: He had her under the covers in bed with him when he was "in his underwear." He put his thumb in her mouth. He put "his head in [her] naked lap."
After a custody hearing denied my father visitation rights, my mother declined to pursue criminal charges, despite findings of probable cause by the State of Connecticut – due to, in the words of the prosecutor, the fragility of the "child victim."
So there will always be a cloud on Woody Allen's reputation, but it's not as though he could have removed the cloud if only he'd been prosecuted and had his day in court. He'd have enjoyed the presumption of innocence, and that means suspicion would remain even if there were a not guilty verdict.

These charges are not new. I read the 1992 Vanity Fair article that had all of this material, and I've seen maybe 15 Woody Allen movies since then, some more than once. "Blue Jasmine" is, I think, the only movie I saw this year in the theater, and I returned to the theater to see it a second time. So, through my own actions, I've obviously answered Gillespie's question yes, in the case of Woody Allen movies. I can in good conscience go to see his movies. For one thing — unlike Gillespie — I like Woody Allen. It's fine to have your "good conscience" about avoiding things you don't even want to do. The morality test only applies when — to use Woody Allen's Emily Dickinson's expression — "The Heart wants what it wants."

I feel empathy for Dylan Farrow, but I think we are living in a fallen world, and we are surrounded by human beings all of whom have their sins, known and unknown. To purport to know what cannot be truly known is also a sin. To punish and shun one person out of preference for another when the truth is not known is surely not an exalted virtue, if it is a virtue at all. The works of art exist and are real and apart from the artist. And when someone chooses — as Woody Allen has — to remain silent all these years, to keep to himself, producing good work, incurring no further charges of harming anyone, I think we are not doing something morally wrong to receive that work for whatever value it has, independently, as art.

That said, it appears that the celebration of Woody Allen, the man, on the Golden Globes TV show is what provoked Dylan Farrow to come forward. But Woody Allen was thousands of miles away from that event. He was not soaking up the adulation. The art/artist separation remains, and yet we can reframe Gillespie's question to focus on a more particular consumer-end moral problem:  At what point do accusations of wrongdoing against an artist make it wrong to enjoy a staged celebration of the man?

Woody Allen himself seems to loathe all staged celebrations of artists. Has he ever appeared at any awards show? Perhaps he's got a personal awareness of guilt that shames him away. But we are all sinners, and it might be best if we all had an aversion to the celebration of celebrities.

To paraphrase Jesus: Let him who is without sin among you be the first to watch the Golden Globes.

UPDATE: "Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful. He will be responding very soon."

171 comments:

Farmer said...

Wagner wrote some great music. I don't care if he was a dick. I'm listening to his music, not playing racquetball with him.

Chuck said...

"Chinatown" was good.

sykes.1 said...

Well, some seem to have fallen further than others.

I didn't like any of his films, especially the later ones. I always thought they were artificial, contrived pseudo-arty. I didn't like Diane Keaton either.

On the other hand, when Johnny Carson was in NYC, Allen often appeared as a standup comic, and he was very funny.

cubanbob said...

Farmer nailed it. Most artists are dicks. So what is else is new? Either accept the fact that most artists are dicks and enjoy the art or for the most part do without the art. As for Mia & Son, without actual evidence to support it seems they are persuing some sort of performance bullshit artistry.

Ann Althouse said...

"Well, some seem to have fallen further than others."

Did Jesus Christ say that?

Bob Boyd said...

I always liked 'Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask'

Maybe he'll make a sequel.

chr1 said...

If true, maybe the French could take him in for a while. He could wear a banana hammock and piss on the side of highways too.

elkh1 said...

I don't bellyache over to watch or not to watch a Woody Allen movie. I can't stand him, never wasted my money or time on his movies.

Shouting Thomas said...

No opinion on Allen's guilt or innocence.

Theater and movie people have even lower morals than musicians. That's always been the case. Expecting conventional sexual morality from anybody associated with theater or live performing is pretty silly.

I haven't watched a Woody Allen movie since college. The wicked irony here is that, back when I was in school in the 60s, suffering through the current Woody Allen movie was the required ritual to prove to the current girlfriend that you were properly feminist and sensitive.

Funny, huh?

I'm sure Allen is a really good craftsman, and I still don't care to watch any of his movies. Zero interest.

Paco Wové said...

I thought "Bananas" was pretty funny.

richlb said...

It's not like he thinks gay sex is gross or something. He just diddled his daughter. The man is a genius!

MPH said...

I'm wondering if "fallen word" is some sort of Freudian slip.

rhhardin said...

It sounds like child abuse hysteria to me.

Women love it.

If it sells, it exists.

Imus, long ago describing a jet trip to a remote with the cast, including Rob's young son, remembers falling asleep hearing the young son saying, "Dad, Bernie touched me inappropriately."

Comic gold.

rhhardin said...

They still do bestiality story riffs where the horse is asked to show in the horse doll where the man touched him.

rhhardin said...

I doubt the world is fallen as much as soap opera has it.

lemondog said...

"Well, some seem to have fallen further than others."

Did Jesus Christ say that?


Probably Janet Yellen.

rhhardin said...

Ian Hacking The Making and Molding of Child Abuse sometimes turns up on the web, for a perspective that accords with my experience of growing up completely without the hysteria in the 50s.

The media found it sold in the 70s.

MPH said...

I remember walking out of te theatre during "Melinda and Melinda," it was so bad. Probably the only time I've done that. Then I tried to watch "Match Point" on HBO and couldn't finish it, either. Haven't wanted to watch anything by him since. Maybe I will give "Blue Jasmine" a chance.

lemondog said...

re: Woody Allen, I think I saw one once.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm wondering if "fallen word" is some sort of Freudian slip."

I don't know, but thanks for the correction. Fixed.

We proofread this too and missed it.

Ann Althouse said...

F wrote: "Anent Wagner's music, I've always liked Twain's comment: "it's better than it sounds." As for Woody Allen, the less said the better."

I had to delete it because he had a huge space included, presumably accidentally.

Strategist Jack said...

Althouse, I have read your blog daily for several years. I share your blog with my daughter and we discuss your postings. For many men with daughters, Woody Allen's behavior is our worst nightmare. I find your defense of Woody Allen and your willingness to continue watching his movies, unsettling to say the least. I'm curious to see what my daughters response to your post will be.

viator said...

I wonder if this was recovered memory?

Is this the cultural left turning on itself or another skirmish in the war again men?

Is Allen bad and Polanski good somehow?

There is an odor of vendetta here.

I would add "Match Point" and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" to the interesting list.

Allen has gotten some of the best performances of their careers from a A list of actresses in the last few decades.

Ann Althouse said...

Comments from people saying they too don't like Woody Allen movies have been made and noted.

Try to engage with some of the other issues.

Obviously, any given artist will be liked and disliked. That only makes your opinion on the question under discussion less apt, as I noted with respect to Gillespie.

This reminds me of the hoohah about what Phil Robertson said about homosexuality. It doesn't appeal to him, so the fact that he has an aversion to it has nothing to do with proclaiming it wrong. Commenters who say they too don't feel drawn into homosexuality… what are they adding?

Pick the artist you like best and imagine that he accused at the exact level that Woody Allen is accused and then address the question!

Bryan Townsend said...

I do watch Woody Allen movies sometimes as, yes he has done a lot of interesting movies. I have not yet seen Blue Jasmine, but I would certainly watch it. But I also have a problem with Woody Allen.

Granted, we do live in a fallen world and we are none of us without sin and these are unproven allegations. But still, considering the movies in themselves, some of them are problematic. Match Point, for example, I consider morally bankrupt because through mere chance a repellent psychopath gets away with murder. And the movie maker seems ok with that. I also have a problem with Vicky, Christina, Barcelona, but that is mostly because of the voice-over narration that makes me squirm and the crappy guitar-playing.

So I do think that one can morally question artworks, but the artwork and the artist are different things. Listen to Wagner or not, but because of the music, not because of whatever you think you know about his life and ideology.

Ann Althouse said...

"I find your defense of Woody Allen and your willingness to continue watching his movies, unsettling to say the least."

What do you read as a "defense" of Woody Allen and why, precisely, do you find it unsettling?

I'm asking that way because I sense that you are glancing at things and having feelings and not really absorbing the specifics.

I find that unsettling.

rhhardin said...

Think of some other accusation, to get free of the child abuse meme.

Child abuse is already theatrical itself, a confusion, Guggenbuhl-Craig says, of the myth of the innocent child and its theatrical reflex, the absolute evil person corrupting them.

Partial archetypes, in Jungian terms.

rhhardin said...

Does Dorothy Rabinowitz watch Woody Allen movies?

rhhardin said...

Borderline pedophiles make good teachers because they can sustain an interest in what the child says, said somebody.

Another clue that reaction might be the actual problem, some feature extracted, purified and sold to the viewing public.

rhhardin said...

Huge story, Jerry Sandusky.

Why?

Women liked it.

Be a little suspicious of your own reaction. Where does it come from?

It should have been a one day story, end.

Strategist Jack said...

Ann, This is "precisely" what I meant by defending Woody Allen:

"I think we are not doing something morally wrong to receive that work for whatever value it has, independently, as art."

You cannot separate the man from the art.

Mike

chickenlittle said...

Woody Allen should just issue another mia culpa and move on.

rhhardin said...

Only if it was a one day trial...

You watched it every day, that's why.

The MSM sells eyeballs to advertisers.

You, not news, are the product of news organizations.

Mary Beth said...

I've bought Hugo Boss for my sons, I have a Steyr, and I've bought products by IBM and Bayer. What Allen maybe did is not nearly as bad as what those companies did. If I liked Woody Allen movies, which I don't, I would still watch them.

If the state had probable cause, wouldn't they have charged him regardless of whether Farrow wanted to? Isn't there a way to protect the "fragility of the child" during a trial?

MathMom said...

I have seen one Woody Allen movie - Purple Rose of Cairo. I liked it. But I have never been able to get more than a few minutes into any of his other flicks, and don't care to learn more about his new ones because he is a perv, and an annoying human being, and when I give him money, I encourage that.

For similar reasons I don't pay to watch Meryl Streep, Ben Affleck, Cher, Tom Hanks and a few others. They are vocal in their disdain for those who finance their lifestyles, so they can do that without my help. I'll stream them free on Netflix if I must see what they have produced.

rhhardin said...

Hollywood and America should take a page from the Catholic Church.
It happens.


It happened before the 1970s, when child sexual abuse was discovered as a viable media hysteria, too.

Freud said he thought that his women patients were making stuff about it up. It couldn't be as common as it would have to be otherwise.

What was different before the 1970s was that it got the attention it actually needed, which was practically zero.

Yet the world did not collapse!

Two other topics we got along fine without the modern hysteria about were 1. loose dogs; and 2. drunk driving.

Inga said...

I most definitly would not/ will not see another Woody Allen movie. Child sexual abuse is a crime and it ruins the
lives of those who are victims, sometimes even making them perpetrators themselves, perpetuating this sexual perversion. It's sick and sickening. Why should I give someone who is so low and twisted a monetary reward?

Temujin said...

I've long had a problem, lingering out there, that we all knew Woody had some 'issues'. I mean, you just don't go after your adopted daughter, create an intimate relationship with her, then get divorced from her mom to marry her. Even in the moral grays of lefty relativism, that's just one notch apart.

But over the years we had time to digest that…hey…he's creepy but he makes great movies. And I have loved his movie making. "Hannah & Her Sisters", "Crimes & Misdemeanors", among the best (I've yet to see "Blue Jasmine"). But I know there was always the thought in the back of my mind that he was getting away with something so heinous that no one in normal life would have.

I'd hear an interview, read an article by him over the years, and loved his work. Even though he's a clearly lefty thinker- he was a great talent. And…now it seems, also a complete deranged, sick individual.

Not sure if its right to support this sort of thuggery/child abuse in any way, shape or form. In other words: if you knew of an individual who did the same things Woody is accused of, would you say, "Well, yeah sure: he raped his daughters, but he's such a great dentist". No- you probably wouldn't .

If these charges are true- and given his history with his other adopted daughter, there's a good chance they are true- he's removed from my list. My life will go on fine without Woody. Just as it did without Roman Polanski (also given lifetime awards by Hollywood).

surfed said...

Well said, Althouse, well said.

rhhardin said...

Speak for yourself, rhardin.

I don't even have a tv, nevermind cable.


Me either.

It turned up on the radio every day though.

Why?

Somebody wants details.

I got the story the first time.

Shouting Thomas said...

You seem to have missed entirely the doctrinal point I was satirizing, prof.

Allen used to be a feminist hero, because he portrayed the bumbling, sissified nebbish. Back in the old days, before he fell out of grace, Allen was the feminist model for what the New Man ought to be.

Feminists promised, back in those days, that if only boys would be sensitive, nice and a little effeminate, that the problems of the world would disappear.

You, and educational and corporate America, continue to push that theory with the anti-bullying campaigns, the kangaroo sex courts in college, sensitivity training... the whole line of BS.

If Allen used to be the iconic hero of this doctrinal belief, why did that fail so miserably? Could it be that the doctrine is in itself BS?

When I meet a man for the first time, in this here feminist era, the first thing I note about him is whether he presents himself with that guilty ridden liberal face, or whether he presents himself as a self-interested man.

I trust the guy who fits the latter description more.

Inga said...

Rhhardin seems way to invested in this topic.

Ann Althouse said...

"You cannot separate the man from the art."

If that's you're answer to the question asked, then you should explain why. I have seen so many Woody Allen movies since the accusations aired in 1992 that I tried to examine my thoughts.

Where are you coming from? Do you not even enjoy his movies or care to see them whether he's a saint or a sinner? Assume an artist who produces work that you love a lot. Now explain why you would avoid looking at his work. If the answer is: because the artist and his art are connected, then examine why this means that you can never look at the art separately.

I'll bet if you had a beautiful painting and you found out the painter was a murderer, you would not destroy it. I would think it would be morally wrong to destroy it. If so, how can it be morally wrong to look at it?

I'm assuming in that hypothetical that we absolutely know the painter is a murderer.

In Allen's case, we will never know exactly what happens, and Allen is not defending himself. So you have the ambiguous artist having created a work of art that you want to see. You're supposed to refrain from seeing it?

Do you carry this kind of scrupulosity into other parts of your life? Do you seriously demand it from others?

What a bunch of grim prudes we would be if we followed this principle to its logical ends!

That's why I think you must say more, more cogently, rather than to stand back and pronounce yourself "unsettled" by what I have said.

I said my part. You have to elaborate the other side or this isn't a conversation.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

rh have you heard of Jimmy Savile?

The irony is that the very business they were in at the BBC was selling eyeballs and they hid the pedo. So why are you wrong rh? Why did they not sell the pedo, their very own pedo, to get the eyeballs like you claim they would and do?

Many people knew, before the 70's, and did nothing, that Sevile was a pedo attacking youngsters in hospitals and on BBC property. They did like what you would do I presume, thinking it was those silly girls and their silly little soap-dramas again and ignoring their bloody orifices and tears.

You think your attitude makes you smart and above all the emotion yet it doesn't, although it does indeed make you less human per ubuntu.



Ann Althouse said...

"You seem to have missed entirely the doctrinal point I was satirizing, prof."

I skip your posts normally, because they have been egregiously abusive for a long time, and I only happened to see that one line of this one that I'm quoting, so you're damned right about me "missing" what you are saying.

You've got a long way to go before I'd be interested in reading you again, and I don't know how you'll ever get there, since I skip what you write.

You're not on the shit list of people I always delete without reading, but not because you don't deserve it.

rhhardin said...

Myth of the innocent child.

What happens if somebody says if she'd been a little smarter, she could have gotten a pony.

Does that undermine it interestingly?

SGT Ted said...

The truth is that we really cannot know whether or not Dylan is telling the truth or lying about all this, seeing as Dylan, as well as the entire side of her crazy moms family, seem to have their identity all wrapped up in being a victim of Woody Allen.

Some people NEED untrue things to be true in order to be comforted.

rhhardin said...

h have you heard of Jimmy Savile?

The irony is that the very business they were in at the BBC was selling eyeballs and they hid the pedo. So why are you wrong rh? Why did they not sell the pedo, their very own pedo, to get the eyeballs like you claim they would and do?


No actually, but it's the story that sells, not the perp.

A new danger brought to you by our network.

Seeing Red said...

So artists aren't mere mortals and should be allowed to do whatever they want because, we'll, they're not like commoners?

Or it's just part of their art?

Or is it more like I'm living in NYC, getting mugged is just expected?

The soft bigotry of low expectations.

mccullough said...

Mel Gibson gets blackballed by most Hollywood types but Woody Allen and Roman Polanski get lauded. Mel Gibson is guilty of thought crimes.

I can enjoy all of their movies.

rhhardin said...

bec7*ause iut wa7*s a7* suickenuing criume th7*at got covered up for too long...

Btw? Those radios have a button to turn off, if it's hard for you to listen to the news.


It's on Imus which I do listen to.

It's not hard to listen to, just boring and leaving you wondering who the hell finds it interesting.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Compare Gary Glitter to Woody Allen.

I support neither. Art is overrated. There is much more than anyone could possibly consume, so why consume that which is made by toxic people? Because you think they are so great and above others? You are wrong.

Find something you like by decent people. Don't be so lazy.

You have to decide who is decent or not for yourself.

I hate Michael Jackson too. Would never support him or his estate financially. Every dollar spent on Jackson molests those kids a little more; it shows them their life was and is dispensable.

lemondog said...

Chuck said...
"Chinatown" was good


That was directed by the other schmuck. However, "Chinatown" goes on my list of top 5 best movies.

Saint Croix said...

We don't judge people, or their souls. That's for God to do. We can only judge acts. What people do, what crimes they commit.

If Woody Allen raped a child, he should go to prison. I know very little of the facts. But I do know that the allegations came up in the middle of an extremely nasty divorce. Since nobody has convicted Allen of this crime--or even prosecuted him for it--I give him the benefit of the doubt.

I believe O.J. Simpson murdered his wife, and Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl. These are crimes and they should go to prison for them.

The art that an artist makes is a different act, and should be judged as such. I like Chinatown very much. Knowing that the artist who directed that film would later rape a young girl might affect how I view that film. And yet I still say the film is a magnificent work of art.

I still find the Naked Gun movies funny, particularly the second one. It's odd seeing Simpson in a comedy. I know that he would go on to murder two people. Yet I still enjoy the comedies that he participated in.

Woody Allen has made several excellent films. Hannah and Her Sisters is my favorite. If you think he's committed a crime, prosecute him and convict him. If I think he's committed a crime, I will cheer his conviction.

But I'll still admire his art.

Seeing Red said...

Man used to live in this baser-instinct world and it was a harsh world. We are supposed to try and be better.

acm said...

I hate this. I actually do find some room for agreement with rh. I hate shows like Law and Order SVU, and the Nancy Grace-types because they do thrive on child abuse hysteria.

But, at the same time, I don't think Dylan Farrow's account is an example of that, nor do I think Sandusky's, or Jimmy Savile's years of abuse and crime should have been condensed into one-day stories in order to avoid upsetting folks who would prefer to think (wouldn't we *all*?) that all child abuse claims are simple misunderstandings or nothing more than bitter bomb-throwing. The media may make circuses out of child abuse stories regarding well-known people or institutions like the Catholic Church, but the fact is that most child sex abuse stories reported to the police are scarcely covered in the media at all.

I did like some Woody Allen movies, and some Roman Polanski ones, too. But I won't support them financially.

mccullough said...

And OJ Simpson was a great football player.

Saint Croix said...

I believe O.J. Simpson murdered his wife, and Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl. These are crimes and they should go to prison for them.

In Simpson's case, "should have gone to prison" is what I should have said. Double jeopardy, of course, means that this particular guilty man cannot be tried for that crime again.

rhhardin said...

You're a minority in your thinking though. Most people hate this crime for good reason.

If it happens even once today, once is too much. Good people don't make excuses for convicted child molesters or pedophiles.

We work to sort out the accusations from the actual occurences, and don't deny they happen... like in the belated Sandusky conviction.


Just so you bring in those advertiser dollars.

Perhaps there are more important things to worry about than sexual fantasies that hook into the viewing public's psyche.

It serves to displace, for example, other news from public discourse.

Inga said...

"The myth of the innocent child"? Children are innocent, even if they experience sexual pleasure at the hands of their molesters they are weaker, smaller, under the control psychologically and physically of their abuser. They suffer terrible guilt and shame as adults and terror as children. I wonder why this must be explained? Are we moving closer to acceptance of pedophilia? If so we are truly a sick society. It's not prudishness to be disgusted by pedophilia, it's a sign that we as a society should not tolerate children being objectified as a sexual toy.

Pedophiles are criminals and don't deserve accolades for anything they do in life. How can one compartmentalize this activity?

SGT Ted said...

I'm asking that way because I sense that you are glancing at things and having feelings and not really absorbing the specifics.

I find that unsettling.


It is this unthinking feeling, divorced from rationality and consideration of all the facts objectively, especially from dads with daughters that mistakenly buy into the feminine "innocence" BS, that leads to child abuse hysteria and the railroading and public smearing of people, with no real proof given.

It is the same motivation seen in the old time lynch mob going after the darkies, for crimes they may or may not have committed.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"A new danger brought to you by our network."

It was an old danger hidden until after he was dead. Decades after you are claiming it was created by media. And it isn't our "network."

Here is how it works: He was a threat before you claim the media invented the threat.

So you are full of bullshit, and this example is exactly counter to you claims that the stories are made up and overhyped because people in the 1970's figured out it sells.

You have nuggets and kernels of truth, such as the satanic cult ritual abuse hysteria that convicted a bunch of innocent people we have all heard of, but you aren't making a logical argument, only emoting with a need to slap down women as silly tear-factories with no basis in reality.

acm said...

Eeek. I want to clarify that I found some room for agreement with rh before I read that bit about "the myth of the innocent child" and the possibility of a pony.

LordSomber said...

My favorite Woody Allen movie is "What's Up, Tiger Lily"?

It's hilarious, plus Woody Allen isn't in it.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm all for the justice system coming down on convicted child molesters like a hammer. I'm even in favor of the death penalty for child rapists.

But being tough on crimes against children does not entail being tough on people who are only alleged to have committed them. The whole truth seems to be unknowable to outsiders so far. On one hand, you have the stories of Dylan and Mia. On the other, you have Woody passing a lie detector test, allegations of brainwashing by Mia from another son, and investigators saying that Dylan seemed to have been coached by Mia. How can one, in these circumstances, be certain of his guilt and call for his work to be shunned?

Kevin said...

Regarding the question of whether he attends awards shows, I do remember he directed a montage about Manhattan for the Oscars after 9/11. I don't remember if he was physically present to present it though.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm going to have to turn off comments here.

SGT Ted said...

You're a minority in your thinking though. Most people hate this crime for good reason.

I hate molesters too. I want them dead, when proven.

That doesn't change the fact that false charges of child abuse are made, often routinely, in the divorce courts and remains unpunished, despite the damage they can do to a reputation.

I've seen young girls make false child abuse charges to get out of trouble with their parents or the school, or to exact revenge for their parents enforcing discipline at home. Or to even please a parent looking to punish an ex using the judicial system.

Kids aren't stupid and they know that they have lots of credulous social workers and other do-gooder but clueless saps that can be manipulated by faked crying and playing the "innocence" and "abuse" card.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Ted, Althouse is much more logical than you.

You can see that in this very post, right?

If someone describes a reaction they have using terms connoting a feeling, it doesn't make you logical to state they are illogical and using only their feelings to converse.

Do you think smart people don't have emotions connected to their area of expertise? Think of the smartest person you can, and figure out if they are emotionally invested in whatever area you thinks makes them smart.

Inga said...

Freeman
Didn't Althouse ask the question of whether we could seperate the art from the person, with the idea that the artist was indeed a pedophile or murderer? If you knew for a fact that he was a pedophile, could you still respect him as a succesful award winning artist, to continue to see and appreciate his art?

rehajm said...

Has he ever appeared at any awards show?

The 2002 Academy Awards.

Ann Althouse said...

Comments are back on, but are under moderation, so please be patient.

If you have received multiple deletions this morning: 1. Stop posting. 2. All your comments are deleted unread. 3. Your comments are harassment as defined in the Wisconsin criminal code.

No one should discuss the comments deletion policy. I am putting this comment up simply for information, not for discussion.

SGT Ted said...

Pedophiles are criminals and don't deserve accolades for anything they do in life. How can one compartmentalize this activity?

What if the accused pedophile isn't really a pedophile, but a victim of unprovable, or even suspect, smears in a nasty divorce case?

I require conviction to condemn what I consider capital crimes, like sexual child abuse. Otherwise, we are just trying to burn witches.

The Crack Emcee said...

"I feel empathy for Dylan Farrow, but I think we are living in a fallen world, and we are surrounded by human beings all of whom have their sins, known and unknown."

Is there any difficult problem white people don't throw their hands in the air for? What does a "fallen world" have to do with your exercise of ethics? Did you "fall", too, and - if so - why are advising us on how you feel or teaching classes on law? You're tainted, unable to act in a moral way because you - admittedly - don't know what a moral way is.

That's not surprising to blacks, after slavery and everything else, but still mind-boggling for us to comprehend how whites live with themselves.

What did your commenter say yesterday?

Whites are "indifferent" to wrongs - obviously, no matter how massive - if it doesn't affect them directly.

Slaves, abused children, people trapped in cults - not your problem.

You'll leave it all for blacks to straighten out as you guys spend the money,...

Dale Light said...

I would recommend that people read.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/27/the-woody-allen-allegations-not-so-fast.html

Many people who comment on this matter are jumping to conclusions that are not warranted by the known facts. There is a lot of misinformation out there, especially regarding Woody's relationship with Soon Yi.

rhhardin said...

Pony and Myth of the Innocent Child :

"The one-sided, unipolar or split-off mythology of the innocent child and victim has the capacity to hinder our therapeutic work with sexually abused children - or adults. The manner and method many therapists use to deal with the guilt feeling of ``abuse'' victims amply demonstrates my point. Children who experience sexual abuse often feel guilty. They have the impression that they, somehow, were at fault. Older children, in particular, have ambivalent feelings about the abuse. They are uncertain whether the experience did not provide them with a certain pleasure. They often wonder if they failed to defend themselves or possible encouraged the perpetrator. Many psychologists reject these guilt feelings out of hand as completely unjustified. They maintain that in no way can there be a question of guilt. They encourage children to forget the guilt, to put it out of their minds.

This therapeutic position can be harmful for the psychological developmentof a child. Therapists simply think of and accept the child as a victim.They energetically reject and deny any attempt on the child's part to assumeany responsibility for what happened or at least to recognize his or her ownambivalence. Therapists thereby impose a victim psychology upon the child,a psychology which says that for everything that happens there is alwayssomeone to blame. They nip in the bud the child's growing awareness thathe is at least partially responsible for much that happens to him - or at least for the back and forth tension between rejection and acceptance. Thistherapeutic position does not take the child seriously as a human being."

Guggenbuhl-Craig, _From the Wrong Side_

SGT Ted said...

If someone describes a reaction they have using terms connoting a feeling, it doesn't make you logical to state they are illogical and using only their feelings to converse.

My experience shows otherwise, especially when judging unsubstantiated accusations of sexual child abuse. Otherwise sober people, even "experts", can go all Lynch Mob and lose their objectivity and rationality and railroad, or even kill, otherwise innocent people for a mere accusation.

It is PRECISELY because of the emotional reactions that naturally occur to horrendous crimes, such as sexual child abuse, that the emotional reactions be separated when evaluating accusations of such.

Otherwise, you are merely arguing that a lynch mob attitude be operational within the judicial system.

SGT Ted said...


Whites are "indifferent" to wrongs - obviously, no matter how massive - if it doesn't affect them directly.

Slaves, abused children, people trapped in cults - not your problem.

You'll leave it all for blacks to straighten out as you guys spend the money,...


I respect your viewpoint usually, but this is just bullshit.

JoyD said...

Quote from Althouse, below. Excuse me for reprinting the whole paragraph here, but that's better than paraphrasing. I want to thank you for stating so succinctly what I also think. I'm going to share your words with some of my friends. I'm tired of the gossipy nature of speculation, though I've been guilty too.
Althouse:
I feel empathy for Dylan Farrow, but I think we are living in a fallen world, and we are surrounded by human beings all of whom have their sins, known and unknown. To purport to know what cannot be truly known is also a sin. To punish and shun one person out of preference for another when the truth is not known is surely not an exalted virtue, if it is a virtue at all. The works of art exist and are real and apart from the artist. And when someone chooses — as Woody Allen has — to remain silent all these years, to keep to himself, producing good work, incurring no further charges of harming anyone, I think we are not doing something morally wrong to receive that work for whatever value it has, independently, as art.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'll do anything for New York," says Woody Allen, introducing the "Love Letter to New York in the Movies," in 2002. He's expressing love for the city (not adulating an individual or accepting any award for himself). His most strongly expressed idea is that filmmakers should keep coming to NYC to make films (despite the terrorist attack).

Also, he did not himself do that montage. He gives Nora Ephron credit for it.

SGT Ted said...

Whites are "indifferent" to wrongs - obviously, no matter how massive - if it doesn't affect them directly.

Turn about is fair paly.

What are we to make of the black communities seeming indifference to their own neighbors shooting each other and selling crack cocaine and, instead of calling the cops and "snitching" on thre actual criminals, they seek to lay the blame at the feet of white people they don't know?

Maybe if the black community showed the "concern" towards their own that they demand from unknown white people that don't even live in the same neighborhoods, things might get better?

You need to do better "concern" trolling crack. This was an ameteurish effort on your part.

Kelly said...

From my understanding Hollywood is full of pedophiles. If Woody Allen was blacklisted that would be a little hypocritical. There was an insider that use to post on the blind item gossip boards and it was speculated it was Robert Downy Jr, if I recall correctly the user name was Himmmm (http://jezebel.com/5892565/is-robert-downey-jr-spreading-insider-celeb-gossip-on-blogs). Basically, the parents are as guilty as the abusers trading their kids for money and fame. And we wonder why Hollywood kids grow up so dysfunctional?

This seems to go beyond simple vindictiveness on the Farrow families part.

acm said...

You know what we needed in this discussion? Race!

It just wasn't crazy enough with the assertions that everyone should just shut up and spend only one day acknowledging decades of abuse, and the warnings to be so, so careful of those crafty, manipulative first-graders and the hysterical women who dare worry about sexual abuse.

Ann Althouse said...

@ Crack From a legal perspective, I think crimes should be defined and then the law should be enforce, equally and with due process.

Let the crimes be treated according to the legal process with the penalties that are properly defined. And don't make crimes out of things you wouldn't want your own friends prosecuted for.

Then, when people are free, we should treat them as fellow human beings, and we should all try to be better, which includes forgiveness and not carrying hatred around in your heart.

If someone has served a prison term for a crime, for example, I would not continue to punish them or make life impossible for them, especially if they go on to try to live a good life.

The Christian ethic is to forgive sin, to love everyone, and to look to one's own imperfection first.

The question of what to do about wrongs in the past, committed by people who are now dead, is different. You want people to recognize the historical wrongs. I'm not sure how you would connect the wrongs of the past to the people now living.

I would say that recognition of these historical wrongs should be considered as we attempt to figure out how to live good lives today. It doesn't make a particular solution (e.g., paying damages for slavery to the descendants of slavery) obvious.

Howard said...

Do Catholics oppose the church displaying paintings by the murderer and homosexual Caravaggio?

Ann Althouse said...

"If someone has served a prison term for a crime, for example, I would not continue to punish them or make life impossible for them…"

Ostracizing someone forever as a "registered sex offender" seems terrible to me.

And, by the way, if the problem is that sex offenders are always going to re-offend, the absence of additional accusations against Woody Allen ought to mean something.

acm said...

I did roll my eyes at the race injection, but I have to wonder:

If this was a letter from a young women describing abuse at the hands of R.Kelly, how different would our reactions have been? I don't think there are as many R. Kelly fans here, and the girls he's alleged to abuse are older (12-15). Being older means that "brainwashing" is pretty much off the table as an explanation, but lying is a much more reasonable possibility. Both men married very young women with whom they had a father-figure relationship (Allen's relationship with Previn was of course much more fatherly than Kelly's with Aaliyah). I'm really curious. What was the black community's reaction to Kelly's leaked (oh hell, no pun intended) video?

SGT Ted said...

It just wasn't crazy enough with the assertions that everyone should just shut up and spend only one day acknowledging decades of abuse, and the warnings to be so, so careful of those crafty, manipulative first-graders and the hysterical women who dare worry about sexual abuse.

Justice requires that any accusation be backed up by facts and evidence. There is no exception to this for sexual child abuse allegations, despite the wishes of certain advocates.

It is not "victim blaming", or out of line to point out the truth of false allegations, often made by pissed off ex-wives or conniving, or even just coached kids, that are made precisely to cause a lynch mob response, rather than to seek actual justice.

This emotionalism has a parallel in the campus feminist movements attempts to have the accusation be all the proof needed of a sexual assault occurring to convict someone of the crime.

"Women don't lie about sexual assault" is the same sort of fact free propaganda as claiming that "children don't lie about sex abuse."


It is just as evil to want to put people in jail based on an evidence free accusation as it is to molest a child.

SGT Ted said...

If this was a letter from a young women describing abuse at the hands of R.Kelly, how different would our reactions have been?

I would want actual evidence of the crime. Race has nothing to do with it.

Why are you race-baiting?

Strategist Jack said...

Ann,

"Assume an artist who produces work that you love a lot. Now explain why you would avoid looking at his work. If the answer is: because the artist and his art are connected, then examine why this means that you can never look at the art separately."

Because the art was created by the artist. It is an extension of the artist. You cannot separate the two and look at them as independent ideas or concepts. They co-exist, the art is not the result of a mechanical act, but comes from the soul of the artist creating it. I watch a Woody Allen movie now and I will hear the words of Dylan Farrow.


"I'll bet if you had a beautiful painting and you found out the painter was a murderer, you would not destroy it. I would think it would be morally wrong to destroy it. If so, how can it be morally wrong to look at it?"

Actually, if he murdered the man raping his seven year old daughter I would value it even more."


"In Allen's case, we will never know exactly what happens, and Allen is not defending himself. So you have the ambiguous artist having created a work of art that you want to see. You're supposed to refrain from seeing it?"

I've seen enough to form a judgement on Woody Allen. I form judgements and conclusions every day with imperfect information. I have to, in order to survive.

"Do you carry this kind of scrupulosity into other parts of your life? Do you seriously demand it from others?"

Ok, you're getting condescending now, but I'll go with it. My scrupulosity has a huge grey area, where thinking men can disagree - this is not a grey area for me.

"What a bunch of grim prudes we would be if we followed this principle to its logical ends!"

You're premise is wrong here because we're not following your definition of scrupulosity to it's logical ends. AS I STATED IN MY ORIGINAL COMMENT THIS IS A FATHERS WORST NIGHTMARE.
It's not like he had an affair when married to Mia Farrow or cheated on his taxes.

"That's why I think you must say more, more cogently, rather than to stand back and pronounce yourself "unsettled" by what I have said."

The reason I called this unsettling, is because for many years I followed your blog and while not always agreeing, I almost always found myself respecting your point of view. I'm afraid your response to Woody Allen has demonstrated your true moral character which is what I find unsettling.

SGT Ted said...

And, by the way, if the problem is that sex offenders are always going to re-offend, the absence of additional accusations against Woody Allen ought to mean something.

Bingo.

sydney said...

I have discovered that I can not separate the artist from the art. The Catholic chapel at my daughter's college has a beautiful sculpted crucifix that I felt drawn to the first time I saw it. Then I went home and looked up the artist. I felt like I had been tricked into adoring evil.
The Church feels differently, though. His work stands in churches throughout England and even in Winchester Cathedral.
I wonder, if Hitler had been a better artist, would we celebrate his work today? Or would the man overshadow the work?

Pogo is Dead said...

1. From a Christian perspective, beauty glorifies God, and man 's artisitic efforts faintly mirror Creation, so it is good.

2. But because man is fallen, God cannot be too fussy about how clean his tools are, for when and from whom artistic beauty arises. He alone will judge their souls.

3. But still we are asked to live moral lives, so I used to find it passing strange when artists thumb their noses at bourgeois Christian values and lifestyles demand their transgressions be forgiven according to those same rules. Now I understand it is just an Alinsky rule 4 undermining of those values. They don't believe in Jesus' admonition at all.

885b753c-8c30-11e3-bcd9-000bcdcb8a73 said...

Undisputed is that Allen and Farrow adopted and were raising children together. Allen then began a sexual relationship with one of these children's siblings. Soon-Yi was being raised in the same household as the children mutually adopted by Allen/Farrow. She did not appear on the scene as an adult but was being raised alongside the children Allen was raising as his own. Legally Soon-Yi was not his child and they could marry. Morally for Allen to have even begun the relationship is reprehensible. I find it concerning how many people seem ambivalent about his relationship with Soon-Yi. Mia Farrow is also attacked By Allen defenders. Which again ignores the biggest moral failing. Not what he did to his girlfriend/wife, but marrying his children's sister.
I actually find marrying Soon-Yi a bit worse than the allegations of abuse against Dylan. The normalization of such a wrong is harmful to society. If one of these girls held captive for five plus years where to marry her kidnapper does that make the crime ok?
Years ago I enjoyed some Allen movies, but not being an avid fan made it easy to stop watching. Viewing an Allen movie now would turn into a search for subliminal messaging. Are all the extras old men and young girls? Are there many scenes with little girls being smelled by old men?
I also try to vote with my dollars. There is such a abundance of entertainment options now that not seeing an Allen movie is easy. If Allen owned the only store for miles. I can't say I would never enter, but I would try extra hard to stock up so as to avoid using his store.
The award is a whole other level of disgusting. But I suspect that is exactly why someone like Allen is chosen by Hollywood.

jr565 said...

"Farmer nailed it. Most artists are dicks. So what is else is new?"

Being a dick and being a molester are two decidedly different things.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
Ostracizing someone forever as a "registered sex offender" seems terrible to me.

And, by the way, if the problem is that sex offenders are always going to re-offend, the absence of additional accusations against Woody Allen ought to mean something.

If its a statuatory rape issue where a young man in high school dates his freshman girlfriend Id agree. But there are people who habitually try to rape kids.
I have no problem with them being ostracized for being child molesters.

Inga said...

Speaking of Catholics, how long did it take the Catholic church to get their own pedophiles under control and quit covering up the crimes of these respected priests? How many of the victims were disbelieved, shunned by the congregation, how many priests were sent to other parishes quietly and then abused another whole set of children? Pedophiles are ostracized for a good reason, they aren't safe around children, even after many years of incarceration. Testing shows they continue to have erections during children's TV shows and while being shown pictures of children and because of that they are put on female hormones for good reason, however some pedophiles are never prosecuted and continue to abuse or never get caught.

Naked Surfer said...

“ .. but I think we are living in a fallen world, and we are surrounded by human beings all of whom have their sins, known and unknown. To purport to know what cannot be truly known is also a sin. To punish and shun one person out of preference for another when the truth is not known is surely not an exalted virtue, if it is a virtue at all ..”

Thank you for this. Thank you because I have harbored ungrounded condemnation toward Woody and I’ve needed to be made aware of both my condemnation and its ungrounded state. My silly Ptolemaic (cycles inside of more cycles) work-around for my own judgment has been to ‘forgive’ Woody because of the sentiment about the fallen world in general and about people who have their sins. I needed to invent the cycle of forgiveness to remedy a cycle of judgment that never needed to be invented in the first place. The clearer minded way forward, however, is not faux forgiveness.

I’ve known and felt the dumbness of this cycle intuitively - and just quit thinking about it all because it’s too expensive and silly to be consumed in another’s melodrama.

There’s still a fine line between suspicion and judgment in a subject as volatile as child molest in the first place.

And there’s always this background question whether Woody has ever taken the initiative - out of free choice and not guilt - to reach out to Dylan and help heal either a true or false perception and experience. A question of Woody acting out of empathy and generosity for Dylan. No matter what. Damn the legal torpedoes. And just love for love’s sake.

This question too isn’t mine to answer. Who knows whether this has happened - despite dueling assertions from any source?

For my part, my own mere suspicion (even if I hold back on judgment) could ruin my enjoyment of his films – my suspicion means that I’m robbing myself.

SGT Ted said...

AS I STATED IN MY ORIGINAL COMMENT THIS IS A FATHERS WORST NIGHTMARE.

Which is why there should be solid proof of a crime occurring before descending into Judgment Land.

rehajm said...

If you knew for a fact that he was a pedophile, could you still respect him as a succesful award winning artist, to continue to see and appreciate his art?

Sorry for proving Godwin's Law, but doesn't every film student regularly struggle with similar angst watching Leni Reifenstahl?

acm said...

Of course no one should go to jail on nothing more than an accusation. We're not even discussing that. It's certainly possible that Dylan Farrow isn't lying, but that the evidence wouldn't have been strong enough to convict Allen beyond a reasonable doubt. People choosing not to support artists don't have to abide by the same standard as the courts and there's nothing morally wrong, in my opinion, with choosing to withhold support from an artist who's done nothing illegal. It's perfectly reasonable to decide that, say, Kanye West is just kind of a sleaze, even if he's done nothing illegal.

R. Kelly popped into my head because of Crack's race comment, which seemed bizarre given that we're talking about a white man accused of molesting his white daughter, and who had an...odd...relationship with his Asian stepdaughter. I think I'm more interested in the non-race differences---the ages of the girls allegedly abused and the different relationship/circumstances of the allegations. But the difference in how black people reacted to the video of R. Kelly is interesting to me, too.

William said...

In the current New Yorker, there is a review of the life and work of William S. Burroughs. The man was a monster, but the review was respectful of his work and not unsympathetic of his crimes. Burroughs shot and killed his wife as part of a drunken prank. He abandoned his children, but later helped his son cope with the loss of his mother by introducing him to heroin. The son died of an overdose. The writer implies that these crimes helped Burroughs explore the dark side of human existence. WTF.......Burroughs grandfather invented the adding machine and made a fortune manufacturing them. I think you could fairly argue that Grandpa Burroughs did a great deal more to improve human productivity and happiness than his grandson. But I know that if he had committed such crimes as those of his grandson, the crimes and not the good works would be what he would be remembered for......That's my problem with the ethos involved in judging Allen. Crimes committed in the advancement of art are judged differently than crimes committed in the furtherance of industry.

FedkaTheConvict said...

Is this allegation the result of recovered memory therapy?

Isn't it odd that this surfaces just when Ronan, who recently attacked Woody Allen, is about to debut a show on MSNBC?

somefeller said...

I'd agree that in practice people separate the art from the artist all the time and have to unless they want to have a really limited set of artistic enjoyments. But if Dylan Farrow is telling the truth, this seems like a bridge too far on that front (these allegations are much worse than anything Richard Wagner said or did) and there are other movie-watching options.

I'd also agree that these are serious charges that require serious proof. However the absence of other similar allegations can be explained within the argument Farrow provides: Woody Allen's fame and power in Hollywood protected him and some very bad things were kept quiet. We'll probably never know what really happened.

jr565 said...

We shouldn't excuse Allen if he did molest his daughter because artists can be dicks.
Are you kidding?
That being said, this is the first time I heard of this allegation. It could be that its being dredged up by a vindictive woman to try to discredit Allen.

As far as separating art from the artist. It's tough. What are the crimes they are accused of? HItler was a painter, but what if he was a great painter of note, who also gased the jews? It might be tough to appreciate his art knowing what he did (unless you were looking at the work with morbid curiosity. Would there be a show of Hitlers work that celebrates the artist at the Met? probably not.

dbp said...

A good way of thinking about these kind of issues is through hypotheticals:

1. If you knew for a fact that Allen had sexually molested a child, would you still see his films?

2. Can you be sure that any artist is innocent? Allen is accused by people with an ax to grind. How does that improve the probability of his guilt as compared with people who have never faced a public accusation?

To # 1. Maybe: If the film was not in any way an apologia to deviant behavior and if I could see it without giving monetary benefit--I would watch it on TV.

To # 2. Given the source of the accusations: I don't think it any more likely that Allen is an abuser of children than it is for some random person.

jr565 said...

How many kids did Polansky anally rape after fleeing the country?
Just because he didnt rape more doesn't mean that he didn't rape the one.

Martha said...

Perhaps relevant is the fact that Mia Farrow's younger brother, John Charles Villiers-Farrow was arrested in Edgewater, Md. in 2012 on several counts of sex abuse of a minor and two counts of second-degree child abuse and perverted practice. Two men alleging to be his victims informed authorities at the Anne Arundel County Police of the offenses in August, claiming that the abuse happened from 2000 to 2008 when they were between nine and sixteen years old.

Woody Allen was never arrested or charged with the crime of pedophilia.

SOJO said...

Don't have one. He has always creeped me out. If you did 'Manhattan', you creep me out. Even before Soon Yi, he was over in the Polanski column for me. And no, I don't, in fact, think art makes everything all right. Besides, let's drop the 'art' schtick. What Hollywood means is that money/fame make everything all right.

AReasonableMan said...

Strategist Jack said...
Althouse, ... I share your blog with my daughter and we discuss your postings. For many men with daughters, Woody Allen's behavior is our worst nightmare. I find your defense of Woody Allen and your willingness to continue watching his movies, unsettling to say the least.


For an academic lawyer Althouse has an oddly selective sense of the application of justice.

acm said...

Fedka, no, it was brought up when Dylan Farrow was still a child, and Mia Farrow attempted to have Allen prosecuted at that time. Recovered memories do seem to be hogwash.

I do think it's odd that we've been suddenly hearing so much about Ronan Farrow lately, right bbefore the open letter, though. I kind of think this was a bad idea for her to do, no matter how true the allegations may be. It opens her up for a lot of harsh treatment and gains her and her brother very little.

Pogo is Dead said...

The 1959 campy horror film "A Bucket of Blood" centered on a loser trying to get in with the beatniks, who killed a cat and covered it in clay.

By this piece he was 'discovered' as a great sculptor. He began to kill people and made them into similar artwork, and garnered more praise until his art show when the deception was revealed.

It was high art, until it wasn't.

PackerBronco said...

I'm a Woody Allen fan, but I have to say I stopped going to his movies after the controversy over his adopted daughter broke out.

I think there is a difference when he's acting in one of his films because you never really see him in his roles as other than Woody Allen. So if you find him to be a creep that's going to affect your view of his performance.

That's not so much of an issue when he's directing but not appearing.

James said...

Talk about fair-weather feminism! Why doesn't Dylan just forgive, forget, and shut the hell up already, right?

AReasonableMan said...

Althouse, and some other's, defense of Woody Allen reminds me of the feminist defenders of Bill Clinton. Allen is a director who is good for women, just like Clinton was politician who was good for women. This fact seems to block out acknowledgement of any other relevant facts.

FedkaTheConvict said...

acm, thanks for filling in the details. I'm entirely in the dark about the alleged events and I avoided the story when I saw it posted on Drudge yesterday.

However, I just found a story in the Hollywood Reporter that suggests the allegations are timed to hurt Woody Allen's Oscar chances rather than to bring attention to Ronan Farrow's show: Dylan Farrow's Op-Ed Targets Woody Allen But Could Hurt Cate Blanchett More (Analysis)

SGT Ted said...

Even the investigators concluded that Dylan most likely had been coached to say what she said at age 7 by her mother.

How come the "Woody Allen is a baby raper" accusers aren't acknowledging that as damning evidence that Mia was trying to use the justice system to punish Woody?

Mia Farrow is a Crazy Cat Lady that has enough money to adopt kids instead of cats. She isn't credible.

I typed "incestigators" above before editing.

Heh.

Oh, I haven't watched a Woody Allen Film since the late 70s.

SOJO said...

Reading more on the thread: I didn't like Allen's movies precisely for the reason he was later accused, so I don't feel the need to 'pick my favorite artist and pretend.' I also formed my opinion when I was within pederast object age range, and will not betray my former self now like some sad woman that chooses her boyfriend because she needs 'stability' even after he starts eyeing her daughter.

I do not consider this 'grim'. I, in fact, consider it grim to sell out the young for money and power, let alone diversion.

From Inwood said...

William

Perceptive, thoughtful comment on the Burroughs.

Glad I kept reading (was gonna stop after about 100).

Saint Croix said...

I have discovered that I can not separate the artist from the art.

Love the sinner, hate the sin.

Lydia said...

Woody Allen was never arrested or charged with the crime of pedophilia.

But he was investigated and one official said there was "probable cause" to charge him:

"Allen was investigated on child molestation claims for the alleged 1992 incident in Connecticut, but prosecutors elected not to charge him.

The handling of the investigation was criticized after Litchfield County state attorney Frank S. Maco said in a press conference there was 'probable cause' to charge Allen, although he chose not to. "

SOJO said...

For those who don't remember, The Soon Yi thing was a big deal when it first broke. Even the French were ruffled. That was without the Dylan allegations.

Everyone made their choice about how they would view it, and made their peace with it. Yet here is Dylan, all these years later, calling people out on that choice -which is what happens when things aren't settled properly the first time.

I see more than a few parallels with the Catholic Church abuse situation, but in a secular sense.

Richard Dolan said...

Separating the art from the artist is such an old idea, at least as old as distinguishing truth from beauty. A few years ago there was quite a to-do when some wartime articles by Paul deMan surfaced, written when he was living in occupies Belgium, and reflecting the Jew-hatred of his masters. DeMan had gone on to become a celebrated professor at Yale, one of the original deconstructionists. The same issue -- whether his work was discredited by his conduct -- was batted back and forth. Before him, the same was said of Heidegger(and Nietzsche); in music, it was von Karajan -- he conducted Beethoven and Wagner for He Who Must Not Be Named. i(It is said that on one of von K's early Beethoven recordings, you can here a cough which is supposedly by Hitler.) withput much trouble, you could multiply that list ad infinitum.

Most of the art by men (it's usually men) of execrable personal character mirrors the personal qualities of its maker. No one pays much attention to the preferred art of the Nazis, or the Stalinists, because it was just a visual or aural representation of all that was reprehensible about them. Same with official Nazi and Soviet science -- all that race and genetics stuff that seems so loony today.

Works of true merit, in any field, stand on their own, precisely because they are not just a presentation of whatever is execrable about their makers. No one would seriously think of ignoring some advance in science or math, for example, because of the personal qualities of those who made the discoveries. The same was true of DeMan's literary theories -- most people noted his personal failings, and then addressed them on the merits. i don't think that the visual or musical arts are any different.

I have my doubts about Woody Allen's character -- his movies certainly invite the conclusion that he is sex obsessed, and it's a small step from that to acting on the obsession -- but i have no trouble watching his movies.

And for all those tone-deaf yahoos who, like Twain, dismiss Wagner without listening to his music, please stop embarrassing yourselves.

William said...

The weirdness and criminality of Phil Spector is far greater than that of Woody Allen. But I don't hear anyone calling for a boycott of his music or claiming that every time you listen to one of his songs you're supporting the murder of cocktail waitresses......I think that would change if the Grammys started presenting him with a lifetime achievement award or he was honored at the Lincoln Center. Both his work and his crimes are given the recognition they deserve.......There's something out of joint about both the praise and the criticism of Woody Allen.

Revenant said...

I find it vastly more likely that Dylan was brainwashed into "remembering" something that never happened than that Woody Allen molested her.

This sort of thing is sadly common. Many of the McMartin Preschool kids "remember" horrible molestation that never happened, too.

Saint Croix said...

Our Constitution was written by slave-owners.

It's not art but it's pretty good.

Inga said...

"Talk about fair-weather feminism! Why doesn't Dylan just forgive, forget, and shut the hell up already, right?"

2/2/14, 1:00 PM

Should all the men who were sexually abused by priests as boys just shut up too? When the perpetrators still live freely and with the respect of society, justice hasn't been done. How should a society keep it's deviants under control?

Pogo is Dead said...

It was once written of indigo farms in Bengal in the 1850s, "not a chest of indigo reached England without being stained with human blood".

A pigment for fashion and art made brutally. What to do?


April Apple said...

ARM - Clinton is good for women? Are you high?

Woody Allen shacked up with his own adopted daughter. How many people do you know who do this?

Woody Allen is more than likely a pedophile, but he makes clever movies - so it's all a big whatever.

@ Temujin - best comment.

SOJO said...

@william. The thing is Spector was credibly accused of terrorizing his wife, Regina. She had to leave the house in the dead of night.

If people, including the public, had called him on it then instead of ignoring his abuse because they like his songs, there wouldn't be a dead cocktail waitress AND Spector wouldn't be in prison.

And yes, it absolutely does color the Constitution that it was written by slave owners. It doesn't negate the good principles, but it is hardly accidental IMO that the 14th amendment, meant to correct the error, was reinterpreted to support the powerful under the guise of corporate personhood. Without the flawed beginnings, no correction would have been necessary in the first place, much less a flawed correction open to further error.

Freeman Hunt said...

As far as separating the art from the artist, I don't think this is entirely possible unless the artist is dead. As long as the artist is alive, justice seeks him out.

If I were convinced based on evidence that Allen was a child molester who had never faced justice, I would not support his work. (Better a millstone around the neck and all that.)

AReasonableMan said...

April Apple said...
ARM - Clinton is good for women? Are you high?

Woody Allen shacked up with his own adopted daughter. How many people do you know who do this?


I think if you read the post with comprehension you would see that we are in agreement.

Lydia said...

A couple of commenters here have said that Soon Yi is Allen's adopted daughter; she's not -- she was adopted by Mia and Andre Previn.

AReasonableMan said...

Freeman Hunt said...
As far as separating the art from the artist, I don't think this is entirely possible unless the artist is dead.


This is the problem. Allen is not dead, and he still profits from a public willing to ignore his transgressions. The transgressions of the Dixie Chicks were orders of magnitude less than those of Allen, yet no one rushed to their defense to the same extent that Allen's defender's do.

Oso Negro said...

I believe that many people here are conflating two acts that they find reprehensible.

The first of these is Allen's relationship and marriage to Soon Yi. The fact that this occurred is not debatable, but the circumstances surrounding the relationship have been shaded according to the needs of the presenter. Relationships between older men and younger women are presently among the most taboo in our society. This is remarkable in that it is a longstanding practice in the human experience. 90% of the hysteria women feel about polygamy is the notion of an older man with a younger woman. But let's be clear - his relationship with Soon Yi is neither pedophelia nor incest. It just creeps a lot of people out.

The second of these are the allegations by Dylan, in which here are no established facts. An allegation occurred in the middle of a bitter divorce proceeding - not the best tableau for reason and honesty. Further, behind the complainant stood Mia Farrow, who isn't a shining example of conventional morality on her own.

My take is that Soon Yi was part of a pattern of Allen being attracted to younger women. This is neither illegal nor immoral, just not as socially acceptable as it used to be. Being attracted to younger women is NOT, presumably, a gateway behavior to an attraction to pre-pubescent women. I am aware of no other such allegations against Allen and one would think that 20 years is enough time for that to drag up. I think Dylan is lying.

sydney said...

Richard Dolan said:
"Works of true merit, in any field, stand on their own, precisely because they are not just a presentation of whatever is execrable about their makers. No one would seriously think of ignoring some advance in science or math, for example, because of the personal qualities of those who made the discoveries"

This is a good point. I am not used to thinking of art in the same terms as I think of science. Art=subjective; Science=objective truth in my brain, but I think perhaps you have hit on a fundamental truth, here. If I were to see Gill's sculpted crucifix centuries from now when all of his misdeeds and even he himself were long forgotten, it would still be beautiful. The work can stand on its own without its creator.
Having said that, though, it still makes me uncomfortable to see men who have not repented of their misdeeds, who have used their fame to harm others, bask in more glory and fame, as if their talent justifies them.
In medicine, there was long a tradition of naming discoveries after the men who did the work. Unfortunately, since much of modern medicine's pioneering work occurred in early 20th century Germany, a lot of those men have shameful histories. There's a movement to divorce the men from their work. The men are shunned, but their discoveries aren't.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger April Apple said...

Woody Allen shacked up with his own adopted daughter. How many people do you know who do this?


April - this is a false statement. Soon Yi was Mia Farrow's adopted daughter, NOT Woody Allen's adopted daughter.

C R Krieger said...

I am with Temujin and at least one other who said they stopped watching Mr Allen after he divorced Mia Farrow and married the adopted daughter.  I thought that showed a total lack of class and so I shunned him.  However, I am open as to if he will be in Heaven.  I believe Prof Althouse is on to something there.

Yes, this latest could be falsely recovered memories, which is why I won't vote for Martha Coakley (Fells Acre case).  I believe I am being consistent here.  If he did molest Dylan it would be consistent with his marriage after Mia—bad moral judgment.

I am curious as to why this showed up in today's edition of The New York Times.  It seems counter-intuitive.

Regards  —  Cliff

April Apple said...

I thought Mia and Woody were still together when Mia adopted the girl.
In any case- who shacks up with their former significant other's adopted kid?

April Apple said...

The "Don't Judge me" generation is all part of the decline.

James said...

Roger Friedman weighs in:

Mia Farrow Uses Close Pal Journalist in Woody Allen War: Writer of Latest Piece is Close Friend

"Mia Farrow has thrown another grenade at Woody Allen. She’s gotten daughter Dylan to accuse Woody of sexual abuse in a blog in the New York Times. It’s not in the main paper. It’s in Nicholas Kristof’s personal blog. And what Kristof says as “full disclosure” is that he’s a friend of Mia Farrow. it’s not in his preface to Dylan’s open letter, which everyone is now reading. That’s how Kristof puts it in his Op Ed piece that accompanies the blog revelation.

But Kristof and Farrow aren’t just ‘friends.’ They are close friends. Romantic? I’m not suggesting that. They travel together, Kristof writes about Farrow often, he Tweets and re-Tweets her. They are too close for him to be delivering Dylan’s accusations. There isn’t a chance that Kristof hasn’t heard complaints about Woody Allen from Mia Farrow non stop for the last five or six years. At least. Read this column from Kristof about Farrow from 2008 http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/mia-farrow-gold-medalist/

The Mia Farrow Kristof writes about is Gandhi, Mandela, and Mother Theresa all rolled into one."

James said...

More Friedman:

Mia Farrow: Where is Her Outrage Over Her Own Brother, A Convicted Sex Offender Now In Prison?

"Mia Farrow has waged a war against Woody Allen, claiming he’s a sex offender, for 22 years. Allen has never been charged with anything. But Mia says nothing about her own brother, John Farrow. He is currently serving 10 years in a Maryland prison on a 25 year sentence for sex abuse of two young boys.

And that’s not the only trouble surrounding Mia’s family. Her other brother, Patrick, committed suicide almost five years ago.

Is Mia projecting her anger toward her brothers onto Woody Allen? Think about it. Where is Mia’s public outrage over an actual convicted offender? Will Ronan cover that story on MSNBC, or Tweet about it?

More importantly: were Mia’s kids ever harmed by this man? No one has ever spoken about that.

John Farrow, 67, was convicted this past October in Maryland. Two young men revealed Farrow had molested them between 2000 and 2008. They are now 20 years old."

Cedarford said...

Mary Beth said...
I've bought Hugo Boss for my sons, I have a Steyr, and I've bought products by IBM and Bayer. What Allen maybe did is not nearly as bad as what those companies did. If I liked Woody Allen movies, which I don't, I would still watch them.

==================
A mystifying equation of Allen to firms that class action lawyers in the Holocaust Industry got to participate in "reparations". I think Hugo Boss did have culpability as a early supporter of the Nazis...but firms like Bayer, Steyr, IBM, and General Motors just happened to be located there or had subsidiaries there in WWII and were required to be part of the war effort.

Had the Germans and Japanese somehow won, 50 years later they would have had packs of opportunistic lawyers suing the same way. Just Bater's subsidiary in the US, Siemens subsidiary, US part of GM and IBM and of course any industry that helped the American war effort by making firearms, ships, warplanes, bombs, and cornflake cereal for the "hero soldiers".

Lydia said...

Did Althouse say we should assume the child was telling the truth and appreciate Allen's work anyway? I thought she said we don't know if he's guilty, and it's that ambiguity that should stop us short of shunning him.

Inga said...

Lydia, this is the hypothetical that Althouse puts forth.

"I'll bet if you had a beautiful painting and you found out the painter was a murderer, you would not destroy it. I would think it would be morally wrong to destroy it. If so, how can it be morally wrong to look at it?

I'm assuming in that hypothetical that we absolutely know the painter is a murderer."

2/2/14, 10:14 AM
---------------------------------

Lydia said...

But then right after that, she says:

"In Allen's case, we will never know exactly what happens, and Allen is not defending himself. So you have the ambiguous artist having created a work of art that you want to see. You're supposed to refrain from seeing it?"

A bit confusing.

Scott M said...

"Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex* But Where Afraid To Ask."

The Brain Room segment with Burt Reynolds and Tony Randall is brilliant. Even as a kid, I always laughed my ass off when they showed the pleasure center.

rhhardin said...

I have a pile of Woody Allen DVDs, mostly unviewed, on speculation from liking them long ago, but the gags were better then.

Just now I watched Get Smart (2008) instead, even though I've seen it a thousand times. A better analysis of man woman relations than any of Woody Allen, too.

In spite of a slightly garbled plot, and the intrusion of gags, and the slightly wrong ending.

No crimes were involved as far as I know, though Hathaway seems to be a douche outside the film (never date an actress), but I like the film performance.

Some moments are perfect.

Women can do anything men can do but the men are more at home there; the rookie and the pro.

cubanbob said...

"Farmer nailed it. Most artists are dicks. So what is else is new?"

Being a dick and being a molester are two decidedly different things."

Indeed they are. However it's not proven that Allen is a molester.

FullMoon said...

I am sure some of the "McMartin daycare kids" still believe they saw animal sacrifices in a secret ceremony with witches and demons.
And, is Dylan accusing Allan of anal sex, or what exactly?

I think the abuse claim is total bullshit.

Strelnikov said...

Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Freeman Hunt said...

Crimes and Misdemeanors is my favorite too.

James said...

Should all the men who were sexually abused by priests as boys just shut up too? When the perpetrators still live freely and with the respect of society, justice hasn't been done. How should a society keep it's deviants under control?

I hope you understand that I'm criticizing Althouse's position, and that I characterize her position as essentially saying Dylan should forgive and forget any inappropriate conduct that may have happened.

To your question about boys who were molested, I imagine Althouse would probably want their stories told, since the priests didn't make any movies she likes.

Revenant said...

reinterpreted to support the powerful under the guise of corporate personhood.

Corporate personhood is a legal concept that predates the 14th amendment.

Also, anyone who thinks corporate personhood favors the *powerful* isn't thinking clearly. The powerful don't need corporations to enact their will. They're already rich and well-connected.

It is the NON-rich who need to pool their resources in order to accomplish things. That's what corporations are primarily for. In the absence of a corporate right to freedom of speech, the only people capable of free speech would be the rich.

Brian said...

I haven't scanned the comments yet, but when I do I hope someone makes the point that a custodial parent, e.g., Mia Farrow, has the power to make a 7-year old child believe almost anything; not just believe it, but sincerely believe it.

And when the child becomes an adult, that adult may not remember an event that did not happen, but will remember what she - as a 7 year-old - sincerely believed it happened, and thus credit that belief.

I don't know what happened. But I do remember that when Woody Allen left for Mia Farrow for Soon-Yi Previ, Farrow made a very public display of going bonkers, while Woody tried his best just to make a fast exit. And it was only after this public break that the abuse charges surfaced.

AReasonableMan said...

Brian said...
I haven't scanned the comments yet, but when I do I hope someone makes the point that a custodial parent, e.g., Mia Farrow, has the power to make a 7-year old child believe almost anything; not just believe it, but sincerely believe it.


This is nonsense. A seven year old is not a tabla rasa or anything like one.

Tarrou said...

Points which have been made in places, combined as apply to me:

1: I've never seen an Allen movie, and couldn't possibly care less about him or his art.

2: Art and artist are separate, because the experience of art is subjective and unique to the consumer. Also, most art is made by severely damaged people, start boycotting artists for their behavior and enjoy your philistine life.

3: You can believe who you like, but it has never been anything like proven Allen did anything. He seems to me like a pretty creepy dude, but I like a little proof before I write off a human being.

Tarrou said...

This is nonsense. A seven year old is not a tabla rasa or anything like one.

And you don't need to be a "tabula rasa" to generate false memories. Anyone can, and children are particularly susceptible. This is basic psychology, welcome to state of the art, 1982.

A small sample of the literature available on the subject:

http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/rev/110/4/762/

Kirk Parker said...

rhh,

"Three other topics we got along fine without the modern hysteria about were 1. loose dogs; 2. ... ; 3. shooting loose dogs when you found them troublesome"

FIFY.

Ameryx said...

If Shakespeare returned to the earth to-morrow,
and if it were found that his favourite recreation was raping little
girls in railway carriages, we should not tell him to go ahead with it on
the ground that he might write another KING LEAR. And, after all, the
worst crimes are not always the punishable ones. ... One ought to be able to hold in one's head
simultaneously the two facts that Dali is a good draughtsman and a
disgusting human being."

George Orwell, "Benefit of Clergy"

Revenant said...

"the custodial parent [...] has the power to make a 7-year old child believe almost anything; not just believe it, but sincerely believe it."

This is nonsense. A seven year old is not a tabla rasa or anything like one.

There is a wealth of research on memory creation in children. I suggest you read up on it, because you're deeply mistaken about what you're saying here.

Young children can be, and regularly are, convinced of the truth of things that never happened. If you keep asking a young child if his or her parent molested them, and refuse to take no for an answer, eventually the child will start saying yes. Eventually the child will start "remembering" the thing you've asked them to remember.

It works on adults to, albeit not as well. It has nothing to do with children being blank slates, it has to do with how children react to authority figures.

In all likelihood, the only child abuser here is Mia Farrow. There is no evidence of molestation and Allen's behavior before and after is inconsistent with that of a pedophile.

Kirk Parker said...

Paco, Shouting, MathMom: surely the reason you aren't citing Crimes and Misdemeanors as an exception is because you haven't seen it? Surely????

Lydia said...

From the testimony of Dr. Susan Coates ("one of several psychologists and psychiatrists whom various members of the couple's family had seen over the years") at the custody trial in 1993:

"[Dr. Coates] testified that while she considered Mr. Allen's relationship with his own adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, to be 'inappropriately intense,' the therapist never observed him acting in a sexual way toward her. And she reported that an evaluation of Dylan conducted in 1990 found the girl easily 'would be taken over by fantasy' when asked to describe something as simple as an apple tree."

And on Mia:

"Dr. Coates characterized Ms. Farrow's behavior as increasingly erratic as the months progressed. Dr. Coates testified that on Aug. 1 of last year Ms. Farrow called her after having learned that the affair with Ms. Previn was continuing. Ms. Farrow described Mr. Allen as 'satanic and evil,' Dr. Coates said, adding that Ms. Farrow pleaded with her to 'find a way to stop him.'

Dr. Coates testified she was taken aback after Ms. Farrow mentioned at another point in the conversation that she and Mr. Allen had the week before been discussing the possibility of getting married.

'Do you think I should marry him?' said Dr. Coates, reading from the notes she took at the time and quoting Ms. Farrow.

"I said, 'Are you serious?' " Dr. Coates said. 'She heard my reaction to it, and realized there was something absurd about it'."

Quite an understatement that "taken aback."

Jon Burack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon Burack said...

The comments on many other sites in response to Dylan's open letter resemble the mood and rationality of a lynch mob. One theme crops up repeatedly, which is that Woody is especially "slimy" (the favorite word from what I can see). I detect possible anti-Semitic sentiment (maybe anti-gay?) in that notion that Woody is especially slimy. (Had it been Bruce Willis, would that be less slimy?) It is interesting since Woody himself has often adopted in his films a persona that might be ridiculed in that sort of way. I have no idea what he is actually like, but I find the idea of some special sliminess about him to be itself very slimy and disgusting.

Other purely factual errors abound in the reactions. Such as the bizarre one that Dylan is Woody's daughter, which was said in one comment here. Woody Allen and Mia Farrow were never even married, and he appears hardly ever or never to have stayed overnight in her apartment. Nor is his wife now his daughter, step-daughter or adopted daughter. But errors about all this and more do not seem to deter the lynch mob mentality. Sentence first, verdict later is too kind a characterization of it.

No one apart from the particulars is in any position to make any judgment at all about this case. Dylan's completely uninformative attack on Allen does not change that one iota. That many feel so entitled anyway is the one aspect of this flare up of an old, old story that I find to be the worst aspect of it.

AReasonableMan said...

Jon Burack said...
Had it been Bruce Willis, would that be less slimy?


No. And why pick on Bruce Willis, who comes across as a decent family man, despite the crap movies that he makes.

acm said...

Such as the bizarre one that Dylan is Woody's daughter

---------

You could not be more wrong. Dylan is Woody Allen's legally adopted daughter. Her brother, Moses, was adopted by Allen as well. They both were adopted first by Mia as a single parent, Dylan in 85 and Moses in 78. In 87, Farrow and Allen went to court and had Allen legally adopt them as well---it was nearly identical to a typical stepparent adoption, even though they were never legally married. This is not unheard of, though it is unusual. After all this, Farrow petitioned the court to nullify Allen's adoption (and to terminate his parental rights to their shared biological son, Satchel Ronan Farrow) but was denied. Legally, Moses, Dylan and Satchel Ronan all had Allen's last name til they turned 18 and changed it themselves.

It's true enough that Farrow and Allen never legally married, so Soon-Yi was never technically Allen's stepdaughter, but come on. They considered themselves all one family, and Soon-Yi was definitely the daughter of his long-time, live-in girlfriend and the sister of Allen's three children.

Jon Burack said...

acm
His "legally adopted daughter" is not the same as "his daughter." It may be immaterial to you, but people flinging around charges here do so on the basis of an implied knowledge of the basic facts of this case. Very few people taking after Woody here or in all the other places have such knowledge. Often their errors are vastly more egregious than this one, but it is one nevertheless.

As to Soon-yi, like many here and elsewhere, you do not have the facts right on this either. Soon-yi was NOT the daughter of Woody's "live-in girlfriend," she was the adopted daughter of that girlfriend and Andre Previn. Moreoever, Woody and Mia were not live-ins. So your indignation is directed at a man who married the adopted daughter of another couple, one of whose members was his girlfriend. None of that has a thing to do with Dylan's charges of course, but it is all dumped into the pot anyway. If it bothers you that a 55-year old man becomes involved with his girlfriend’s 19-year old adopted daughter, say so. Why get the facts wrong and make it seem incestuous in a way it is not if you think it is bad anyway. As for me, I could not care less.

You do not know what happened, if anything, with Woody and Dylan. And therefore have no business passing any judgment at all.

AReasonableMan said...

Jon Burack said...
You do not know what happened, if anything, with Woody and Dylan. And therefore have no business passing any judgment at all.


Given the vehemence of Dylan's accusatory letter it is obvious that something happened. Allen will not be getting a father of the year award any time soon.

Trashhauler said...

"Woody Allen has consistently made interesting movies."

For certain values of "interesting."

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