In a Los Angeles Times op-ed, Dylan Farrow criticized actresses who have condemned producer Harvey Weinstein amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct but continue to work with her estranged father, Woody Allen, after she publicly accused him in 2014 of molesting her as a child. Farrow especially took issue with how stars like Kate Winslet, Greta Gerwig, and Blake Lively emphatically voice approval of Weinstein suffering consequences for decades of alleged harassment but either dodge the question or praise Allen as an artist when asked how they reconcile working with him. (Allen has denied the allegations.)
Kate Winslet has worked with Weinstein on several movies, beginning with Miramax’s 1994 film Heavenly Creatures. When she won an Oscar for the Weinstein-produced The Reader in 2009, she deliberately refused to thank him when accepting her award. She worked with Allen for the first time for 2017’s Wonder Wheel, released almost three years after Farrow spoke out about her father.
From Los Angeles Times:
Discussing Weinstein, “Wonder Wheel” star Kate Winslet said, “The fact that these women are starting to speak out about the gross misconduct of one of our most important and well-regarded film producers, is incredibly brave and has been deeply shocking to hear.” Of Allen, she said “I didn’t know Woody and I don’t know anything about that family. As the actor in the film, you just have to step away and say, I don’t know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false. Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person. Woody Allen is an incredible director.”
Winslet echoed her sentiment on Allen when Los Angeles Times interviewed her while she was promoting Wonder Wheel.
At the end of the day, you look at the facts. He’s an 81-year-old man who went through a two-year court case. As far as I know, he wasn’t convicted of anything. I’m an actor; he’s a director. I don’t know his family. I’ve heard and read exactly what you’ve heard and read. I know as much as you do. That’s all I can say.
It’s worth pointing out that despite active criminal investigations in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Park City, Utah, Weinstein has never been convicted of anything either. Also, Allen wasn’t convicted because of an acquittal; instead, as Farrow stated in her op-ed, the Connecticut state prosecutor had “probable cause” to try the case in 1993, but opted to spare a “child victim” the trauma of a trial.
In regards to recent Allen muses Gerwig and Lively, Farrow wrote the following:
Likewise, Blake Lively said of Weinstein: “It’s important that women are furious right now. It’s important that there is an uprising. It’s important that we don’t stand for this and that we don’t focus on one or two or three or four stories, it’s important that we focus on humanity in general and say, ‘This is unacceptable.’ ” But on the subject of Allen, she said, “It’s very dangerous to factor in things you don’t know anything about. I could [only] know my experience.” Greta Gerwig, who starred in Allen’s “To Rome With Love” and has called him her “idol,” said of the revelations about Weinstein and other powerful men, “It’s heartbreaking and I think it’s overdue.” But when pressed by Terry Gross of NPR on whether she felt conflicted about working with Allen, Gerwig grew uncomfortable. “You know, it’s all very difficult to talk about….” she said. “I think I’m living in that space of fear of being worried about how I talk about it and what I say.”
Although Farrow is clearly frustrated with the inconsistencies in how contemporary Allen stars address the controversy associated with the director, she assigns some of the blame to the his powerful PR machine, which she says tends to deny access to journalists who intend to ask Allen difficult questions. Farrow posits that institutions that stopped enabling Weinstein are still protecting her father.
It isn’t just power that allows men accused of sexual abuse to keep their careers and their secrets. It is also our collective choice to see simple situations as complicated and obvious conclusions as a matter of “who can say”? The system worked for Harvey Weinstein for decades. It works for Woody Allen still.