When An Artist You Admire Is An Accused Predator

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by Tanya Steele
February 3, 2014 4:53 PM
83 Comments
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Recently, I read “An Open Letter From Dylan Farrow’ in the New York Times. Immediately, I posted it on my social networking accounts. I stopped paying to see Woody Allen movies when I learned of his marriage to Mia Farrow’s daughter, Soon-Yi. The fact that he married his lover’s child was enough to disgust me.

I was not aware of the other allegations until Ronan Farrow’s Tweet the night of the Golden Globes: “Missed the Woody Allen tribute - did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?” Honestly, I thought he was referring to Soon-Yi. However, when I discovered he was referring to his other sister, I was not surprised. Offenders have patterns.

I am a former counselor to victims & survivors of incest. I also counseled sex offenders. At a very young age, I was trained to understand the culture that is created around sexual violence, how sexual violence is enacted and how victims/survivors respond. I was also trained to understand how perpetrators respond. Because of this, I try not to become too involved in discussions about sexual violence. Who did what? Did he actually do it? Is it a rush to judgment? Usually, from looking at the patterns of someone’s life, professionals can identify a sexual predator. As a rule, I choose to believe the accuser.

I try not to become involved in discussions on these topics because the public is not trained to understand the dynamics of abuse, sexual violence or predatory behavior. And, people who are in denial about their own abuse, people who are predators or may be, unconsciously, acting in defense of a predator, in their own life, are also a part of the discussion. So, these discussions get stalled with word play, tempers, “you weren’t there” type accusations. For me, it’s best to avoid them.

Sexual violence happens in secret. It can happen to a child (includes teenagers); a girl or a boy. It also happens, primarily, to women and, yes, men. In this piece, I am not going to explain the dynamics of abuse. I will not explain why I believe Dylan Farrow and how I came to that decision. What I will do is try and help you find another way to approach the very complex terrain that surfaces when an Artist that you admire is labeled a perpetrator.

I was not aware that Marvin Gaye was involved with a 16 year old girl when he recorded the album ‘Let’s Get It On’. Mind you, I learned this, casually, as I sat with a friend who is a musician. She said, “did you know that he is singing to a 16 year old?”. Stunned. The first reaction was guttural. No. No. Just no. I did the research. Yes. Wow. Okay. Breathe. That is one of my favorite albums. What was I to do? Marvin Gaye had already entered the most intimate aspects of my life with that album. I had grown to love Marvin through that album (clearly, never knowing him). But, the gentle, tender way that he sang his love was arresting. Not to mention the genius with which it was constructed and delivered. As an Artist, I admired the craftsmanship. As a woman, I admired the sentiment. I have been listening to that album since I was a child. Marvin Gaye’s music was apart of me.

How was I to reconcile my beliefs with attachment to this music? Simply, I was not aware of his actions when I allowed the music into my spirit, into my soul. Marvin Gaye had firmly situated himself in my heart and mind long before I knew the transgressions in his life. This is not a question of my right and wrong, the issue is more complex. Marvin did not sing, “I am a 33 year old man molesting a 16 year old girl.” I had no knowledge of that. So, I won’t allow myself to feel like I am in any way complicit with his actions. I did not cause them. I did not give consent to them.

He reached that place in me, that Artists do, the crevices of my being. They come into your life and situate themselves in your interior, sometimes, more than friends can. Music, film, painting, literature, we form connections to these Artists. They sing our life. They help us to understand what love is. How to express it. They even assist us while loving our beloved. I am aware of that. And, I respect that my relationship with them was formed before my knowledge of their personal behavior. One cannot take these connections for granted. They are very deep and personal.

For the longest time, I couldn’t listen to the album. I couldn’t. One day, a song from the album came on my Spotify station. I sang along. At the end, I realized, holy crap, what did I just do? I stopped. I forgave myself. Look, I did not molest and form a relationship with someone under age, he did. I am not, in any way, complicit with his behavior. Although, it is easy to get caught up in the ‘right and wrong’ argument. I understand that Marvin Gaye was in my heart long before I knew what he did. I had to develop a way to reconcile these two worlds. So, what I do now is say, at this time, I choose to honor the 16 year old girl. So, I will not listen to the album. Slowly, this takes away my desire to engage with the Art. If I should listen, I make sure I’m consciously aware of the choice I’m making.

Similarly, as a filmmaker, I was influenced by Woody Allen long before I was aware of any of his behaviors. I stopped going to Woody Allen films when I learned that he married Soon-Yi. That was my choice. But, before this, he inspired me. There is one film of his that I love- “Broadway Danny Rose”. And, as a filmmaker, it is a reference source for me. “Broadway Danny Rose” made such an impression that I don’t have to revisit it. I fell in love with that film long before I knew about Soon-Yi or the molestation allegations. The imprint of that film is in me and influences me. I can’t feel guilty about that. I acknowledge it. And, I don’t let it interfere with my support for his accuser.

I have not listened to R. Kelly for over a decade. If I am in a club or environment where he is played, I go and stand or sit in silence. I choose to honor the victims. And, that is what I say when I no longer listen to Marvin or watch Woody or, or, or. I simply say, right now, I am honoring the victim. It is a way to bring compassion to the victim. It is a way to relax that muscle that wants to flex in resistance because someone tells you you’re wrong for listening to or admiring the work of an Artist you loved before their truth surfaced. It is a way for family members to not get caught in the web of deciding whether or not to continue a relationship with a family member who abused another relative.

As a child, I was best friends with my grandfather. He taught me many things. I loved sitting on the bathroom sink and watching him shave as I popped the peanut M&M’s that he gave me. I loved my grandfather. Later in life, I learned that he beat my grandmother and molested children in the family. How in the hell am I supposed to reconcile that? He never harmed me in any way. Immediately, a burden is placed at my feet that I did not create. I have fond my memories of my grandfather. I hold them a little less dear because I honor the victims in my family. I give space to understanding the wreckage that he caused. When I’m in the presence of someone he abused, I do not mention him. I allow the survivor to speak in any way they choose to and I respect that. Their pain trumps anything in that moment. My memories of him will be what they are. I have enough space in me to allow their to grief to take center stage. My love is expansive enough to honor their pain.

Predators create a vortex. When it’s a celebrity, we are invited into that vortex. They commit their violations in private and then create a web of confusion. They blame the victim, speak of being the victim and create smoke & mirrors to divert from the truth. Predators are cagey and tricky individuals. They only show their demon side to the child or adult that they violate. They make a conscious choice to enact their violence in private. And, on the most vulnerable among us- children. Silence protects them. If it comes to light, the rest of us are asked to side with or against them. The same choices we are presented with in the discussions around Farrow vs. Allen, are the same choices that are thrust upon us in our families. It is the other level of horror that the abuser creates. Choose. Choose your family or me. Choose my financial contribution to your life or lose it. Choose to believe a “fickle” child or me. Choose to engage with my Art or lose it.

Honor the victim. I understand the complex nature of abuse. The dynamics that are created. Most importantly, I understand the insurmountable pain it causes in the victim. I am the person who honors the victim. And, if I could erase the artistic contributions of the perpetrator to ease the pain of the victim- I would. The perpetrator has infected the life of the victim. The perpetrator, as Artist, infects, in a different way, our lives, too. I cannot erase the footprints that were laid long before the truth of an individual is revealed.

What can I do? Certainly, I can sacrifice a song or movie, in protest, as an offer of peace to another human being. I can stand with the victim. The culture has been terribly lacking in support of victims when it comes to celebrity. Why is this happening? I don’t know. I think people are defending against the guilt they may feel for appreciating an Artist’s work. I let go of that guilt. The artwork is not the act of molestation. But, it is created by the individual who did great harm to another human being. So, I close my senses and pocketbook to the Artist as a form of protest. And, I open my heart to the victim. It’s the least I can do.

I do not want this piece to devolve into the right and wrong. What is true or not. I want this to promote understanding and healing for victims who live with a pain that is unfathomable.  Certainly, we can figure out ways to honor victims without throwing them under the bus in defense of Art. In that vein, I ask you, how do you show support to strangers who are victims of sexual violence? How do you show support to your loved ones who are victims of sexual violence? How do you show support for yourself as a victim of sexual violence?


Follow Tanya Steele on Twitter at @digtanya. Or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SteeleInk. Or visit digtanya.com.

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83 Comments

  • Ki | March 13, 2014 12:35 AMReply

    What a beautiful, well-thought out and soul-stirring blog. Thank you Tanya. It constantly amazes me how too many people find it so difficult to believe abuse victims, particularly if the abusers don't fit the "creepy stranger" stereotype--the stereotype that is the exception, not the rule.

  • Theresa | February 16, 2014 9:19 PMReply

    Contrary to what this writer is saying, false allegations of child molestation take place in great numbers. I have heard statistics up to 80% of accusations filed are proven to be false. Many times it is used as a weapon by divorcing parents. Should those accused be automatically found guilty? There is more to the Woody Allen tale than just "believing" the victim. And, Soon-Yi Previn was no longer a child when she got involved with Woody Allen. She was 19-20 years old and they have been married for 16 years. They have two children of their own that they adopted. The accused can be victims too and being judge and jury is just not fair.

  • Lauren | February 16, 2014 5:13 PMReply

    Wasn't there a fellow by the name of Presley who dallied with at least one 14 year old girl? Haven't seen him mentioned here and wonder if his music was dismissed after a certain point in time.

  • Zami | February 10, 2014 10:02 PMReply

    I make space for my pain and that of others as well. Thank you for writing this.

  • Sue Gambill-Read | February 8, 2014 11:08 AMReply

    I totally feel this. I have been hurt by perps and hurt again by the process of telling my truth but telling was what transformed me from victim to survivor, even when there was no justice. I cannot thank you enough, from the very bottom of my heart, for honoring the victim/survivor. I can see in the comments that this point is being missed by many. Just wanted you to know that some of us get it.

  • tanya steele | February 8, 2014 11:40 AM

    Thank you, Sue. I wish you continued healing.

  • Lauren | February 6, 2014 8:21 PMReply

    Because false accusations are rare, should I believe the accusations against Julian Assange, too?

  • Winston | February 6, 2014 1:04 PMReply

    "Marvin Gaye had already entered the most intimate aspects of my life with that album."

    Gross.

  • soan | February 5, 2014 10:26 PMReply

    I forgot that William S. Burroughs shot his wife in the head. What a world we live in. Naked Lunch, literary milestone, whatev. Not my milestone. I like my authors like my life; morally perfect, looks both ways when crossing the street, and fabricated.

  • Truthy | February 6, 2014 11:31 AM

    Amen!!

  • Barbara | February 5, 2014 8:47 PMReply

    I've only seen one of Woody Allen's movies many years ago. When he married his adopted step-daughter, I never (and never will) saw another of his movies.

    As for Marvin Gaye, I was not aware he 'dated' someone so young--half his age. This was not in the autobiography of him that I read. I don't think grown men should date teens; it's pedophilic.

    Marvin was violently raped by his Uncle when he was a teen. Troubled man.

    This was a very well written article. We should always support the victims of child abuse.

  • xyzl | February 5, 2014 1:14 PMReply

    Now a 40 year old adult, but sexually abused by my uncle (mom's sisters husband) for over 2 years when I was 7, I really think in the cases of child abuse or allegations there of, you have to go with the child. Especially, if they are telling the story when the incident is going on. I cannot tell you the nights, the days I didn't know who to tell. Would my Mom believe me? Should I tell my brother? Will he tell my father, who is very protective, and probably even kill the guy and be put in jail? As a child you think all these things, the predator acts lovely around others, people adore him, they are mostly very charming, quiet, fun people. At least my uncle was. So his word against mine. So I told my Mom, over a spring break when we would spend lots of time with my uncle's family. She couldn't believe her ears first, asked many detailed questions... poor woman. I got scared, thinking she was upset with me. But she hugged me, told me that some people were just sick, and that justice will be served one day. She said, the courts and police would not help us, and possibly my aunt would not believe us.. but she promised we would not see them again. To this day, most of my family doesn't know, my Mom passed away few years ago. My aunt and uncle are still alive. I waited for my adult years to tell the story, so other would be forthcoming. But, I just couldn't. It would crush my father, and my brothers. I do feel guilty that maybe he has done it to other kids as well, but he probably understood that my mother knew, and warned my other aunts not to leave the kids with them alone. So you have this secrecy, as if you are to blame going on in the family. And as an adult, you want to yell it, scream it and let it out in the open. This is why, a consular can understand that almost noone is lying. Anytime I told a therapist I could see tears in their eyes, still seeing the dilemma even at an older age. Even now, I have a hard time sending my daughter for sleepovers, she hates it, but I just learned unfortunately at an early age that even 'parent figures' cannot be trusted. So before anyone blames the victim, they have to really really really see the evidence what the motive is for them to come out and make a so called fool out of themselves. Why would this girl admit to such thing, to crush herself and others around her? come on! Don't get someone's status, and charms mixed up with what they do behind doors. My uncle is a man with great qualities on the book. He is very successful... but he is a child molester and I cannot prove it, but I lived it and we both know it. So for the people, who even think Allen is innocent, please do not have this type of mentality to the ones in your family. Believe them, believe the victim... as I would have been crushed if my Mom didn't believe me. I went on to have good adult relationships, now married for 15 years with 2 kids, because my Mom protected me. I wish I told her sooner, but anyone who knows sexual abuse, knows that predators make sure they get their way making sure you feel like it is a consensual thing for a long time until the victim comes out of the box. Coming back to Dylan's story, as a survivor, the details she tells, the dilemma that is felt, is exactly true. And the guilt, that you feel you let this man be around other girls... So I do believe her, and I am very sad to hear people confuse celebrity with someone's psychological health. Yes, he is a great director, but apparently a very sick man. I also feel sorry for my uncle now, after all these years. I am sure he is dreading his death just like Allen is afraid of death. They know they are doing something wrong and still keep doing it.

  • kaligrrrl | February 5, 2014 12:49 AMReply

    As a person who was both sexually abused as a child and had consensual sexual relationships with people over 18 when I was not, there is a huge difference between the two and that difference is agency. it does me and other abuse survivors a disservice when you elide the importance of actual consent in sexual relationships and arbitrarily assign age as the marker of harm. certainly, pre-pubescent children are not appropriate sexual partners for adults but 16 year olds are not prepubescent children and they can and do have positive, loving relationships. and before the lecture, i know all about the power/authority differentials.

  • loulou | February 5, 2014 12:17 AMReply

    I would like to believe that quite possibly, the timing of this story may have more to do with the victims healing process than anything else. I wouldn't think it would be easy for a grown woman to tell a story like this knowing that people will, bash, blame and disbelieve her like so many of you are doing..unless she is doing it for herself. Why can't we just let it be, wish her well and pray you never find yourself a part of any similar story.

  • tanya steele | February 5, 2014 7:23 AM

    Well said, LouLou. Thankfully, it appears, she protected her chance to fulfill her life. Having to deal with the awful knee jerk responses is another layer of the horror. She has created a life that, hopefully, is impervious to the backlash. I wish her, and all survivors, continued strength.

  • lamerc | February 5, 2014 12:29 AM

    Evidence is one thing. Also assuming is a very bad move on anybody who's taking this shit seriously. She also wouldn't be blamed and bashed as so many would have you believe because, despite her step father's celebrity, her mom's a celebrity as well and she knows a man who happens to champion people in these circumstances. Blame, blame, blame. I've heard that word so many times regarding this topic that you'd think people hate those who are raped because...sometimes a few people attempt to hide the truth. That is, as we should all know, is not strictly associated with rape.

    This is a case of wrongful accusation that needs to be delved into and not left to the far left leaning liberal cowards of the internet who couldn't manage a three dimensional argument if they tried. However, those who try are condemned. Yay.

  • aopvm | February 5, 2014 12:10 AMReply

    Dylan wrote a piece that does little to dismantle the allegations to the 92 court decision. In other words, she doesn't go into depth as to why certain things were overlooked or what the tapping on the shoulder and video editing evidence meant. These are things which could actually hurt Allen's claim and disprove him. Instead, what she does is detail very base torments usually accustomed to victims under this circumstance and some recollections of her own life. She leaves an open ended message that asks us, the audience, to judge ourselves along with him. It's an unfair, cheap, and purposely open ended letter. She doesn't give specifics, either because she has none or she's meaning to make us choose sides. When people choose sides there's no need for truth.

  • Kim Casper | February 4, 2014 9:20 PMReply

    There are FACTS that need to be heard here. Five independent Psychologists trained to find out from a child if what happened did; ALL independently agreed that Dylan herself was not molested in any shape or form. Even she herself sounded scripted and did not have any fear or worry about her dad at all. Mia Farrow left a voice mail tape that Mr. Allen kept and showed police of Mia saying "I've got something nasty planned for you" with laughter. The next day an article came out accusing him. She told the police that it happened in the attic and that was not only laughable because anyone who knew him, even his fans, knew he was a claustrophobic and unable to be in small spaces. Also, there was no dust moved up there to show anyone had been there in years. Mia Farrow was angry (rightly) about her daughter getting back at her (allegedly Mia used to hit her with a hair brush) and she went after Woody Allen whom she had only met once a few years earlier. He never knew her and was not a daughter in any sense but still rather foolish of him to take the bait. Mia has let others be accused in the past with famous people in order to get the attention she needed. This is HER pattern. We must all protect victims and in this case Mr. Woody Allen is the victim.

  • Amy Graham | February 9, 2014 11:41 AM

    I'm afraid you have all your facts wrong. You should really read the judge's report:

    He was in therapy for inappropriate behavior with Dylan before the 1992 allegations. His hair was found in the attic. Three adult witnesses described what happened. One in a fair amount of detail. The "independent psychologists" were on Allen's payroll.

    Please read this and get your facts straight. I am a fan of Woody Allen, but I think he was really messed up back then. I think he has changed by now, and doesn't want to tarnish his reputation for something he did long ago, but that doesn't make him innocent.

  • aovna | February 5, 2014 12:01 AM

    But he's not a woman! Seriously, you don't get it. Many people who've actually been molested are feeling strengthened by this piece of patchwork controversy and are going to be sorely hurt when it all turns out to be a sad turd on the media millennium.

  • Micaela Corazon | February 4, 2014 7:19 PMReply

    Tanya Steele's article about separating or not separating the art of a predator from their hideous acts is spot on. I also counsel adults who were devastated as children when those who should have protected them and nurtured them did not, and instead raped them. The abuse ranged from brutal, (I spoke to a woman whose father raped all his 7 kids at knifepoint in their beds) to part of a courtship, showering the child victim with gifts and attention. We don't know what happened between Dylan and Allen. But we do know that Soon-Yi was 11 years old when Allen came into her life as her mother's lover, an adult, a parental figure. She was 21 when they married, how old was she when he first noticed her? Not illegal, but very, very creepy and very unethical.

  • Amy | February 9, 2014 11:45 AM

    Wikipedia aside, you can read the report from Judge Wilk that denies Allen custody, and outlines all of the facts about Dylan, Soon-Yi, and relationships with other children. I can't post a link here, but you can find it if you google "10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation" and click on the link at the bottom of the page. I think everyone should read this report before forming an opinion. It is non-biased, but gives you an idea of what went down.

  • Winston | February 6, 2014 1:08 PM

    @Yeah, search Wikipedia . . . because that's the most reliable source in the world.

  • edayoub | February 4, 2014 8:54 PM

    Let me point out that your facts are a little twisted. You might be confusing a few things: It was Mia Farrow that was 21 when she married the 50 year old Frank Sinatra. Previn was 27 when she married Woody Allan who was 56 at the time. This may be creepy but not as creepy as Sinatra/Farrow. You can get all this information from Wikipedia.

  • oaavmpoa | February 4, 2014 8:35 PM

    The answer to your question is 19.

  • MickeyTheKnife | February 4, 2014 7:03 PMReply

    Not to muddy the waters, but imagine how it felt for the thousands of Penn State alum, students, and football fans when Sandusky's heinous indiscretions came to light. The amount of betrayal they felt. And the punishment the College Football Association levied on Penn State players that had nothing to do with what happened. We, in the arts, have a much grayer version of right and wrong because much of our inspiration comes from discord and conflict. Hollywood is not the College Football Association and will never exact an accusation on an artist that makes them money. Now about Polanski. A very different story than what Woody Allen is accused of. The mother brought the girl to his house. The girl as a woman did not want to press charges. I am in no way defending Polanski, but there is something about parental accountability (ie Mia Farrow) that fails the victims in many of these situations. I think this goes for MJ, as well. Besides, Polanski's family was exterminated in Auschwitz and his pregnant wife was murdered by Charles Manson disciples. Is no one outraged by these tragedies while they're accusing him? (OK, done :)

  • CareyCarey | February 4, 2014 6:29 PMReply

    "And once again the ultimate point is missed... and commenters do exactly what the writer is trying to avoid and fails to answer the question(s). " ~ JMac

    "I do not want this piece to devolve into the right and wrong. What is true or not" ~ Ms Steele

    JMac, once again I feel your frustration. Now check this out. I know Tanya's posts are always ripe for "controversy" and all it's implications, consequently, I read the comments before the post. Then I started reading from the last paragraph to the top. Why? Well, having read all of Tanya's articles, I knew she sets-up (frames) her "issue" before getting to her central message/question/point. So, I thought it was best that I get to the meat before getting sucked into the trivialities/non-issues that many have fallen prey to. Hey, it worked. My mind was set on addressing Tanya's questions and propositions, not whether or not "she said, he said", and not whether or not "he" was wrong or "she" was right.

    So Tanya, my short answer to "When a artist you admire is an accused predator" is, it does not matter to me, AT ALL. In fact, my long answer would include "When an artist you admire is an accused __________**fill in a number of sins, crimes or character flaws** my answer would remain the same. I could care less. Why? Well, if anyone really cares why I feel that way, let me know and then we'll chop it up.

  • CareyCarey | February 4, 2014 10:24 PM

    AOPVM, I believe you've missed my point. Listen, I am saying that there's arguably a thousand incidence in which an artist has been accussed of committing a grievous error in judgement, and thus, has harmed others. Off the top of my head I could easily list 100 that you and the general public would be familiar with. So I am suggesting it would be impossible, unless I cheery-picked and closed a blind eye "to some", to pay tribute to every alleged victim of every alleged crimes. Do I need to list the details of the crimes, the names, sponsors and supporters who are connected to the alleged perps, and the ways my life would stop if I discontinued supporting their craft (listening to them. Buying their products. Buying their tickets. Watching their movies/programs. Watching them play sports. Drinking their beverages. Etc)? Yep, that's enough data/people/places and things for a small book.

    Again, Tanya's suggestion is honorable but looking at it on a large scale, it's outside of reason.

  • aopvm | February 4, 2014 8:48 PM

    It's not hypocritical to enjoy someone's art and not someone's personality. Why does an isolated piece of fiction that might move or fascinate me have to do with what I think of the person who made it? Can you not enjoy the filmic mastery of Leni Riefenstahl's work and still think the Third Reich might've been a bad idea? That's up to each person to feel and judge for themselves.

    I choose to not burn Woody Allen's works of greatness from my memory over whether or not a public assertion that one person is above all evidence of doubt and motivation, is right. Again, it's not an assertion that she isn't the one really saying what happened, I'd just like some physical evidence first.

  • CareyCarey | February 4, 2014 8:03 PM

    Good point Bill. And my concerns go even deeper. So much so that I believe the suggestion that one cannot and/or should not separate "art" and it's creators from "reality" is a ridiculous suggestion, that's, in my opinion, from my perspective, an impossible task (without a person being a complete hypocrite).

  • Bill | February 4, 2014 6:38 PM

    While this is probably not your point, CC, it is indeed a bit disheartening to realize if ANY person came forth and made claims that I'd touched her inappropriately, I'd be instantly guilty in the eyes of Ms. Steele and her ilk. Somewhat sad and sorry state of affairs today.

  • Yonnie | February 4, 2014 5:24 PMReply

    I'd hate for you to inadverently leave Bill Cosby off of your list of artists/entertainers you're not going to support

  • CeCe F | February 4, 2014 2:42 PMReply

    Thank you.

  • Bonnie | February 4, 2014 8:18 AMReply

    Having a sexual relationship with a 16 year-old is not even close to molesting a 7 year-old. My first boyfriend was 23 when I was 16. We dated for 3 years and had a great relationship. I'm 30 now and you could not convince me that I've ever been raped. In many countries and through virtually the entire world anytime before the last century, nothing would be thought of such a thing. Hell, my grandparents got married when they were 17. Just saying.

  • Hank | February 4, 2014 5:53 PM

    Bonnie, I agree. I think we clearly need to demarcate the difference between a 16 year old and a toddler (or any prepubescent woman.) I think the term "statutory rape" woke okay for adolescents. In trying to upgrade this to the same idea as violent "rape," advocates show that they are unreasonable.

  • rachgee | February 4, 2014 2:08 PM

    are you kidding me. however your lust-fest was, it was still rape. BUT that's not the point...23 and 33 are no comparison...what exactly is your point even. Are you saying it was okay for MG to sleep with a 16 year old? Could you possibly be saying that?

  • Ed | February 4, 2014 8:11 AMReply

    There is no statute of limitations for sexual assault against children in NY state. I don't understand why this is being aired on social media and not a courtroom. It is hard to balance "innocent until proven guilty" with the moral complications of an abused child who was scared into silence. But if she is strong enough now to write an article in the NY Times, I don't understand why she wouldn't do it an arena where guilt can officially be labelled rather than "he said, she said".

  • Em | February 4, 2014 8:52 PM

    The justice system doesn't do anything, didn't do anything, and won't do anything for Dylan. She has done her fighting by speaking out in public, in the New York Times of all places. There is nothing the court system can do to Allen that will effect him as much as this letter has. Also, just because the courtroom makes a decision and a label, that doesn't make it true or right.

  • Alison | February 4, 2014 12:56 PM

    If you do research first before rushing to judge based on social media, you will see it was tried in the courts at the time it happened, and overturned. This incident probably never happened. If you look up the article caled "The Wood Allen Allegations: Not So Fast" you will see a much more informed take on the situation

  • oanaof | February 4, 2014 2:49 AMReply

    People wonder why this woman would have an agenda and all I have to offer is it's the Marrow family. They're drowned in agendas. Moses Farrow apparently estranged himself after having learned the "truth" behind the Frog Hollow incident and that he was brainwashed and now hangs out with Woody.

    What I see today is a solidarity that doesn't question itself. Women should be questioned just as much as men. I know of a news story where a woman continually faked rape allegations in order to earn said men's money and eventually murdered one of her boyfriends over that same allegation. I hear a lot of victims never lie propaganda here. I only question accusations left questionable, and someone from the Farrow family against Woody Allen is someone surely worth questioning.

  • oanaof | February 4, 2014 6:30 PM

    Yes. 2%. But every single person's word cannot be taken at face value. That's what a court system is for. You simply can't take someone's word for it. You can't or the whole justice thing doesn't work. If 2% get overturned, then this is one of them because, guess what, it was overturned. If you're willing to immediately believe a victim without getting the evidence, then you are equally willing to disbelieve anyone convicted of a crime without evidence. I wouldn't be making this argument if this was an open and shut case, but this is not such a case. Wish it was.

  • rachgee | February 4, 2014 2:10 PM

    is him marrying his lovers daughter propaganda as well?

  • edayoub | February 4, 2014 2:06 PM

    thank you

  • Nika | February 4, 2014 11:36 AM

    The instances of false rape allegations are less than 2% of all allegations. The same as false allegations of car theft. Do you want car theft victims to face as much scrutiny? The only propaganda is the idea that there are just tons of women out there lying about being assaulted. There are not- and the national, state, and county crime statistics within the United States prove it. The only ones disputing them are the FOX News/GOP Press, and supposed "Men's Rights" groups, who are still arguing that men have a right to access a woman's body at any time with or without her consent.

  • oanaof | February 4, 2014 2:51 AM

    Woops. Farrow.

  • sosgemini | February 4, 2014 1:01 AMReply

    I've always been creeped out by Prince's courtship of Matye. They met when she was a teen and her mother would send Prince videos of her belly dancing. While he waited till she was 18 to start a romantic relationship, the fact that he still engaged in a non-sexual correspondence with her and waited till she was legal always rubbed me the wrong way. I still listened to his music though---well, till his output turned to pure crap.

  • sosgemini | February 4, 2014 2:24 PM

    Mayte. Errrr..

  • yoyo | February 3, 2014 10:30 PMReply

    I always thought Woody Allen was a terrible actor. Now I know why.

  • Dave's Deluxe | February 3, 2014 10:26 PMReply

    Bottom line: airing your personal problems in a public forum is crass. There are MANY ways this woman could have sought restitution for said crimes WITHOUT standing on the soapbox of the NY Times. Instead she comes off as jealous and hateful, in my opinion, regardless of the truth of the crime.

  • noddy | February 5, 2014 12:00 AM

    I'm pretty sure if Woody Allen had been a woman, there'd be a bloodbath here. Woody Allen isn't being let off because of his great art (highly subjective on that anyway) but because he's MALE.

  • noddy | February 4, 2014 11:50 PM

    Said a male.

  • Dave's Deluxe | February 4, 2014 3:08 PM

    Diana, just because a person is "famous", that means his or her personal life should be smeared all over the news? I don't think so. She's getting him where it counts? I REALLY don't think so. All she's doing is standing in the spotlight. She might even be telling the truth, but because she waited until Oscar time, it certainly does make her look like a jealous hater. And calling out Cate Blanchett's name and others who had NOTHING to do with this crime was just bad, bad form. Take a lesson, Diana: "famous" people don't owe you a damn thing just because you have the American freedom to follow dirty laundry.

  • diana | February 4, 2014 1:27 PM

    DUDE. the NY Times is a fillting platform to share information about one of the most famous directors in the world. His audience reads the Times. This is not about a neighbor, this is about a world famous person. Jealous? what the heck are you talking about? HAteful? Would you be hateful if your step dad took your innocence? Come on now. This is terrible stuff, and you ought to tread lightly on your judgement. She knows that e is worshipped. She's getting him where it counts. Crass? Wow. do you have better things to be doing just now?

  • RLMadd | February 4, 2014 6:55 AM

    Actually there is nothing she can do for restitution now because the statute of limitations is on his side.

  • JMac | February 3, 2014 9:56 PMReply

    And once again the ultimate point is missed... and commenters do exactly what the writer is trying to avoid and fails to answer the question(s).

    If this latest incident is the only reason why you would look sideways at Woody Allen I guess you have a higher tolerance for disgust than the average person. The Brad Pitt scenario below is spot on.

    Anyway, instead of bickering on lies vs. truth, why not answer the intended question? Or is the argument the answer: until you see hard evidence (extremely unlikely esp. when someone has fame and finances to cover up the evidence) or the accused admits to the allegations, you are free to fully enjoy the art as long as there is one tiny shred of doubt the events never took place. And if there is hard evidence, then what? I'm in that category of persons who, if aware that repugnant acts may have been committed by an artist, can't and won't fully enjoy the work - past or present.

    With the Michael Jackson allegations, the decision many of my peers took was that it was okay to listen to and purchase his music/memorabilia as long as they pre-dated the allegations. Silly but workable. As a consumer, I make the conscious choice to not put money in the pockets of someone I believed engaged in unacceptable acts - obviously my view of "unacceptable" varies as well as my burden of proof for "belief." I will listen to Alicia Keys or Fantasia but I won't buy their music or purchase anything related to them of which they may have a financial interest. I will watch The Bounty and Braveheart on tv but I won't buy a ticket to see anything Mel Gibson is attached to (and I won't purchase a premium channel or payperview to watch it). If it comes on a channel I already have and I want to see it then I might. Roman Polanski's crime and actions after the fact are so abhorrent I won't watch anything he's involved in. At least MJ was man enough to go to trial. Frankly, nothing Polanski has done is so great I'd feel tempted to watch his "art."

    Of course if I was an artist looking at the accused's art as a source, my process would differ. I would only examine the work as an educational piece, a tool, but not for purposes of entertainment. I still would try to avoid financial enrichment to the artist.

    So again, "how do you show support to strangers who are victims of sexual violence [when those acts are committed by artists you admire or whose work you like]?" Or do you say f them, I didn't do anything. I'll patronize who I want when I want?

  • artbizzy | February 3, 2014 10:55 PM

    Patronizing who you want when you want isn't necessarily an "f them." Someone enjoying Chinatown when it comes up on Netflix Watch Instantly has nothing to do with condoning what heinous acts the man who has made the film has committed. Most people aren't answering the question that Tanya posed because the question is limiting. If she asked what can we do to show our support for survivors of sexual violence then we might have a range of answers. It's a personal choice. It's certainly a persons right to not purchase that artists work. Lots of people are disgusted with these guys. Because they make money doesn't mean that they are off the hook at all. There's as much vitriol for their crimes as their are accolades for their accomplishments. In a way I find R. Kelly to be a bit of a different story from Allen and Polanski because Kelly seems to continue to flaunt his pathologies in our face. Very cynical and destructive. His new album, (yes I heard about 2 songs) Terrible. And I believe unfair to his victims, his daughters, his fans who maybe expected him to go a different route with his music after he avoided jail.

  • GDR | February 3, 2014 8:01 PMReply

    Americans are so cute, believing that magical things happen at 18 (or 21, for that matter). Gaye's relationship with a 16-year-old would have been both legal and (perhaps inadvisable but) fairly normal here in western Europe. It's not even from the same book at Allen's relationships, which involve violations of trust relationships within a family dynamic. Why on earth would you put them both in the same basket?

  • zoticus | February 4, 2014 4:24 PM

    by that I mean, anyone AND everyone. of course SOME people under 18 are victims.

  • zoticus | February 4, 2014 4:23 PM

    Very well put, GDR. Nothing better illustrates the insincerity of much moral outrage than the inane contradictions and absurdities that are offered as ethical "absolute truths." The idea that anyone under 18 is a "victim" is a joke.

  • Donella | February 3, 2014 7:53 PMReply

    Fortunately, I've never been a Woody Allen fan. Midnight in Paris is the first movie of his I paid attention to.

  • Naomi | February 19, 2014 6:37 AM

    What about a seven year old child who has to live with the reality that her father married her sister?

  • Mcozier | February 3, 2014 6:38 PMReply

    Really what d0 Dylan have to gain by telling her side of the story. This is a healing process for her. I notice when victim start to share their pain everyone throws them under the bus. Woody Allen is a well known director love by many. A predator is somewhat of a manipulator that coax other especially kids to trust them. A director leads actors to follow his cue on how is the vision should come forth. This is the same man who was taking pictures of his future wife at age fourteen. Also in many of his films reality becomes life. The character is usually a man fallen in love with with a younger women under the age of seventeen. Woody Allen might be the martyr to his followers. The real victim is Dylan because know one will never believe her side. In actuality she is the victor for telling the truth.

  • artbizzy | February 3, 2014 6:29 PMReply

    I feel like this article kind of paints a person into a corner. While I sympathize with Dylan Farrow and other victims of sexual abuse and violence I do believe that the Farrow family taking things to social media, the New York Times kind of dilutes the impact. They want justice. I get that. But...I don't know. From Mia and Ronan's tweets... to Dylan's letter. I feel like I am living in a social media reality show. It's just TMI. It becomes an odd form of entertainment. I mean, every other day there's a villain, usually an artist or a celebrity or a politician we're supposed to cut ourselves off from and shut out because they are accused of horrendous things or not so horrendous things. It's exhausting. I love Polanski's "Chinatown" and Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" and just about everything Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson. I don't feel guilty about it. I just like great art that feeds my soul and sometimes, a lot of times, that art may have been made by a deeply troubled individual. So I think the conversation we need to have in this society needs to go further because artists channel a lot of things that transcend the vile things that they sometimes do and that's why it's difficult to just shut that artist out. In a lot of ways I believe that art is the remedy, the salve at least and many people use their art to channel ways they've been victimized so that they won't act on destructive impulses.

  • CareyCarey | February 4, 2014 10:48 PM

    " I mean, every other day there's a villain, usually an artist or a celebrity or a politician we're supposed to cut ourselves off from and shut out because they are accused of horrendous things or not so horrendous things. It's exhausting."

    That's exactly what I am talking about. My life is just too complicated (as much as I want it to be) for me to be overly concerned with the lives of strangers.

    Consequently, I could give a rat's ass about what Peter, Paul or Mary did to "who shot John".

    And, your last 6 lines are worthy of a discussion. Art is.... and art can... and Art has proven to be...

  • richard | February 3, 2014 6:19 PMReply

    fot those people who thinks that Allen relation with Soon-Yi is normal , imagine Brad Pitt having the same relation with Zahara when she becames a 17 years old teen. Would that also be normal?

  • sosgemini | February 4, 2014 12:58 AM

    Not the same. Pitt is Zahara's father. Woody never lived with Soon-Yi nor had a father-like relationship with her. Not saying what they did wasn't creepy or stupid but Allen was not part of Soon-Yi's life until she was an adult. Just read Dear Abby or other advice columns for evidence of husbands hooking up with ex-wife's daughters to realize Woody wasn't the first or last to do such a thing.

  • Avi | February 3, 2014 6:17 PMReply

    I read that Daily Beast article. It is full of crap, it is lacking any real substance and it is a piece of rape apologia.
    Bob Weide is not an objective observer, he is biased by his emotional and financial relationship to Allen and his article is extraordinarily vindictive and hateful.

  • Ella | February 3, 2014 6:26 PM

    Don't use the word RAPE. Even if the allegations are true, what Dylan, or whatever the hell she calls herself, went through is NOT RAPE, it's sexual harassment. Don't insult actual RAPE victims by using that word as if it had no real meaning.

    FYI, you're ignorance/unwillingness to accept the FACTS alone, that ALONE, insults me to my very core.

  • joeaim | February 3, 2014 6:24 PM

    You're right. Attempting to debunk an overturned case that's already been debunked and now resurrected with facts and important pieces of evidence that support Allen's innocence are completely hateful and apologetic of rape.

  • James | February 3, 2014 6:07 PMReply

    First of all to admit you were molested isn't like saying I got robbed or scammed on the net. Think about what is their to gain by accusing someone of molesting you? It says a lot that people would think the victim would make this up-as an adult no less. Ok I ask then for what? Why make up that kind of lie?

    Anyway I guess I felt the same about Polanski. Chinatown was heavily referenced in my youth and I had to see it when I got old enough. I also noticed that his presence always bought up the statutory rape. And in some ways though I never said it I just stopped feeling him. It doesn't help he can't even enter the country without a pair of cuffs on his wrist. That doesn't look to good to the potential next wave of your new fans. And then there is Mr. Bump and Grind. He was the soundtrack to romance all through out my adolescence years. Yet once the dirt got exposed -and his music got too gawdy (as if he was throwing it in our face) I just stopped supporting him.

    As to why people buy into the celebrity can't do no wrong thing. Green lights and blue sky theory. Sports and entertainment are the candy store of life. It's the last area in which we can escape. I feel people would rather keep it that way. They really don't want to know that their favorite Star is a jerk, or worst a sexual predator. It keeps the fantasy alive and fresh.

  • kdeg | February 3, 2014 6:21 PM

    I, personally, know I won't give a shit as to whether it's true or not in a year or two. It's not gonna change my admiration for his work. It's not a fantasy to disassociate the artist from their art. Whether you accept their problems or not is where the fantasy comes in. People have come to accept Jackson, Chaplin, and Edgar Allen Poe.

    Years after all this shit is cleared and studied and finalized there will still be Allen's movies which are, to be fair, genius. I think it's interesting that Lena Dunham's humor is so reminiscent of Woody Allen's and now she's a supporter of his downfall.

    And like I said below, there is always opportunity in fighting a celebrity's credibility. Ronan certainly has a reason with his new show coming out. Now everyone's gonna know these people exist. Now they're famous.

  • No | February 3, 2014 6:05 PMReply

    @SPLAR: Go and take a look at the Daily Beast story. Also, it is very odd that Mia Farrow never addresses the fact that her brother is child molester, or that she herself had dalliances with other women's husbands. This while thing is now an engineered media-driven story that's doesn't seem to be based on truth but on family vengeance.

  • No | February 3, 2014 5:57 PMReply

    @MONKEYSUITE: No, she's believes what's she's been told since a child. I'm quite sure you believe somethings that were told by your parents since you were a child, as do I.

    If you read the Daily Beast piece, investigators to the alleged child abuse said that Dylan's accusations didn't ring true because they appeared coached. There is something very, very odd about how all this is coming up again after the very charges were never proved years.

  • Ella | February 3, 2014 5:47 PMReply

    This whole situation reminds me of a Joseph Goebbels quote that goes: "If you tell a LIE big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

    I don't believe the allegations against Woody at all, in fact, I think they're laughable and that Mia Farrow is a bitter, vile old woman who should be deeply ashamed of herself for the emotional abuse she inflicted on her children.

    The only article worth reading regarding this whole situation is Robert B. Weide's "The Woody Allen Allegations: Not So Fast" on The Daily Beast.

  • Tara | February 3, 2014 5:25 PMReply

    I feel the same way about Roman Polanski and hate that he was able to win and receive an Oscar while hiding in another country.

    @NO - this many years later the accusers do not have anything to gain, nor does Mia Farrow.

  • No | February 3, 2014 6:00 PM

    Yes, she does. She can get to watch Allen tried in the court of public opinion by the most useful tool of a nation of idiots: social media.

  • gfpoaim | February 3, 2014 5:35 PM

    Actually, Ronan Farrow does have something to gain. Everyone has something to gain when they fight a celebrity heavyweight.

  • spagfm | February 3, 2014 5:24 PMReply

    It's not as black and white as supporting the victim and supporting the artist. There are facts and those in favor of said facts aren't interested in the state of art over a human's psychological well being. Most decent humans are aware of such differences.

    That being said, the actual facts are evenly weighed enough on both sides to make an equal consideration very tangible. However, were the facts in favor of Dylan Farrow then your article would hold some weight. There are no sides to take because the evidence is still up in the air. If people are to immediately side with someone beyond a reasonable doubt then there would be no reason for a jury. Crying wolf is a cliche for a reason.

  • No | February 3, 2014 5:17 PMReply

    BTW, you alleged that Marvin Gaye was singing about sexual child abuse: "I was not aware that Marvin Gaye was involved with a 16 year old girl when he recorded the album ‘Let’s Get It On’. "

    Where is the proof of this? You offered no proof of this. What this alleged in court? Was he charged?

  • No | February 3, 2014 5:10 PMReply

    The more I read about the allegations against Allen the more I'm convinced that they are not true and that he is being cut a thousand times by the cynical use of social media.

    People are just referring to Dylan Farrow's accusations against her father in the New York Times, which I suspect were coached upon her by her mother. There have been a rash of child molestations charges over the years, bordering on mass hysteria, and some of these cases were based on coached the testimony of children.

    For another side to this, see "The Woody Allen Allegations Not So Fast" by Robert B. Weide, The Daily Beast (1/27/14)

  • BBBBB | February 4, 2014 7:29 PM

    ^^^ ssounds like you don't have a mother.

  • splar | February 3, 2014 5:29 PM

    I doubt she's being brainwashed into talking about the subject these days. I just don't get why she didn't bring it up earlier. She's twenty eight. Why didn't she talk about it last year or the year before that. It's all very suspicious, and this is a very dangerous thing to accuse someone of, and having it not be true.

    Things like this happen. It's also not helping when you have estranged son Moses telling people that Mia Farrow brainwashed her kids.

  • monkeysuite | February 3, 2014 5:21 PM

    So a grown-ass woman is still being "coached" by her mother? I find that hard to believe.

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