Woody Allen hired Selena Gomez to star in his latest movie, A Rainy Day in New York, (a romantic comedy about a middle-aged man pursuing a 15 year old girl). In the aftermath of the spate of accusations against Hollywood celebrities for sexual misconduct, Gomez is now the recipient of a backlash from some people who consider Allen a pedophile.
Someone with the username, Victorcircus1, wrote to Gomez’ mother, Mandy Teefey on Twitter: “Make Selena make an apology about the Woddy Allen film.” This followed similar demands by actors Greta Gerwig, Mira Sorvino, and Ellen Page.
Ms. Teefey replied to Victorcircus1 on twitter, “Sorry, no one can make Selena do anything she doesn’t want to. I had a long talk with her about not working with him and it didn’t click. Her team are amazing people. There is no fall person her. No one controls her. She makes all her own decisions. No matter how hard you try to advise. It falls on deaf ears.”
Gomez is vague about her reasons for working with Allen. When asked about “Woody’s past” in a recent interview in Billboard, Gomez said it was something she had been forced to “face and discuss” when the Weinstein accusations first surfaced during filming of Allen’s movie in October of 2017. However, she did not express any regret about working with Allen. She merely commented on the irony of the situation. “Wow, the universe works in interesting ways,” she reported thinking to herself, as she continued making the film.
Alec Baldwin, famous for his recent parodies of President Donald Trump on television’s Saturday Night Live defended Allen. In a tweet he said, “Woody Allen was investigated forensically by two states (NY and CT) and no charges were filed. The renunciation of him and his work, no doubt, has some purpose. But it’s unfair and sad to me. I worked w WA [with Woody Allen] 3 times and it was one of the privileges of my career.”
Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, now 22, recently published an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times wondering why Allen had been spared by the #Me Too Movement. A few years ago she wrote another op-ed article about how Allen had allegedly sexually molested her at age seven. However, as Alec Baldwin pointed out, officials in Connecticut and New York failed to find enough evidence to bring charges against Allen, and Allen has vigorously denied the charges and blames Mia Farrow for poisoning his adopted daughter against him.
Baldwin commented in a subsequent tweet, “Is it possible to support survivors of pedophilia and sexual assault/abuse and also believe that WA [Woody Allen] is innocent? I think so. The intention is not to dismiss or ignore such complaints. But accusing ppl of such crimes should be treated carefully. On behalf of the victims as well.”
I noted in a previous blog that this recent trend of accusing men of sexual misconduct was a rush to judgment. People are trying and convicting and punishing people on social media such as Twitter. People lose their jobs and reputations, often on the basis of anonymous accusations. Hardly any of the accused has received a fair trial, and none of the accusers have been questioned with respect to their accusations.
Some have described this series of accusations as a “witch hunt,” and it does appear to have an element of hysteria to it. When people are tried, convicted and punished in the social media before they even have a chance to have a fair trial, it brings about the deterioration of our legal system and of our quality of life. Women can say anything they want about men without any consequences and men are subject to accusations that may or may not have merit but nevertheless have a devastating effect on the man.
The Woody Allen scandal happened over 20 years ago. Although he was never found guilty of molesting Dylan Farrow, he did have an unethical relationship with Farrow’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, whom he dated when she was 17 and later married when she was in her early twenties. However Soon Yi has defended her husband and accused Mia Farrow of abusing her. Farrow herself admitted as much in her book, What Falls Away. “At one point, toward the end of that first week, I went to talk to Soon-Yi. She was sitting on the floor with the phone in her lap. I asked her when this had begun. ‘Senior year in High School,’ she said. Unbearable details emerged. I POUNCED ON HER. I HIT HER ON THE SIDE OF HER FACE AND SHOULDERS. I went into the kitchen, crying. In her room I heard Soon Yi sobbing, ‘I’m a bad girl. I’m a bad girl.'”
Mia grabbed the phone Soon-Yi was holding to beat her on the side of her face. That was later confirmed by the Nanny in her tell-all book about Mia.
Meanwhile, Selena Gomez remains mum about her reasons for working with Allen, perhaps because it has become somewhat dangerous to speak out in defense of anybody accused of sexual misconduct. That is another part of the hysteria. Obviously, she is a person who thinks for herself. Despite criticism, she maintains a relationship with “bad-boy” singer Justin Bieber. Allen remains one of America’s master movie makers and perhaps Gomez felt she would benefit artistically from working with him.
What ever happened to the slogan, “Live and let live?