#MeToo and #TimesUp Because the Time Has Truly Come: An Overdue Assertion About American Filmmaker Woody Allen

Woody and Sun Yi Huffington PostPhoto Source: Huffington Post

I’ll never watch another Woody Allen movie again.

I have a shameful secret though – I’ve enjoyed a handful of Woody Allen films over the last few  years. Previously, I separated his personal life from who he is as an artist. Let me say that I did so with an intense amount of inner shame. It prevented me from even disclosing to friends that I’d watched one of Woody’s movies. Well, that all stops immediately.

When I think about how many people ignored Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein’s victims and how the credence of their accounts was minimized, I’m reminded that Woody film fans are unwittingly doing the same by supporting Woody. Paying for his movies not only generates revenue for a specific film, but also creates a demand for future Woody projects.

I have never been sexually harassed in a way that was deeply scarring (upsetting? yes, greatly. Throughout the 1990s, I had several negative experiences in the workplace that I’ll never forget). I was never sexually abused or preyed upon. But that hasn’t stopped me one iota from thinking long and hard about Harvey Weinstein and Woody Allen. It’s impossible not to as a women and with all the #MeToo and #TimesUp coverage. On a seemingly unrelated note, I was privy to some intense social media hate and personalized, targeted harassment that sprung from my covering a TV show. That negative experience got me thinking more about the subject of victims.  When I sought help from others, truth sounded stranger than fiction and I panicked, thinking: this is really bad, but who believes me? Who would believe some stranger would really tweet out insane threats about me? Who would believe this resulted from my writing about a ridiculous TV show?!The idea of not sounding credible when something very real and incredibly frightening was happening made it even scarier.

I’ve discussed this before, but anyone who writes gets to encounter extreme personalities  on social media. There are people who get angered by very (seemingly) minor things. While I in no way compare myself to a Weinstein victim (I reiterate: I DO NOT compare myself to a Weinstein victim at all!), due to my recent experience, I did a lot of thinking about victims’ credibility (whether they are victims of abuse, harassment or cyber harassment).

Can you imagine the level of disgust, mortification and inner turmoil Harvey’s victims felt as they continued to see him produce movies, profit and thrive?

Going back to Woody Allen, he preyed on his ex wife’s underage adopted daughter…and yes, Woody and Soon-Yi allegedly ran off into the happily ever after…

There are people today who argue: “Well, Woody and Soon-Yi have been married a very long time now. She’s no longer underage today….” There are many justifications being made. But does Woody and Soon-Yi’s  “happily ever after” negate the extreme impropriety, the violation of a child, in the origins of their story?

The late esteemed American writer Gore Vidal once referred to this country as “The United States of Amnesia.” In the U.S., a filmmaker can be disgraced but eventually we forget because of the incredible work he has to offer….

No More. And I hope that #MeToo and #TimesUp change that about America.

A Hollywood insider recently speculated to me that he wouldn’t be surprised if Weinstein has a new movie by 2030. That is, IF Weinstein does not face criminal charges for actual rape. Whether the insider is off-base or not, it is sad that he can even state this thought and consider it a possibility. He says he sees Hollywood as completely corrupt and screwed up and I’m sensing that the #TimesUp movement will change that.

However, we see that A-listers continue working with Woody. He even has a new movie coming out soon. Who knows what could happen with Harvey if he avoids prison and if the protective and highly industrious Weinstein camp creates the effective sort of “spin”?

As of today, there is no way to know for certain what the film industry will be like by 2030, but until then…

I will not be watching another Woody Allen film.




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