I never thought I’d say this, but I’m gonna have to start a slow clap for Lena Dunham. I may not love her show anymore, but she’s the first celebrity I’ve come across who has an intelligent, compassionate response to Dylan Farrow‘s accusations of sexual abuse against her father, Woody Allen.
Just yesterday, I was really bummed out to read Scarlett Johansson‘s response, which was basically just annoyance at having her name come up in a Google Alert after she was called out in Dylan’s open letter. I’m down with people holding whatever opinion they want, but it bothered me that Scarlett was ignorant of the situation but still willing to speak on it and refer to molestation as ‘a lifestyle’. Reading what she said made me worried that the situation was so difficult that no celebrity could or would put out a statement that I’d be satisfied with. Effing Woody Allen, ruining so many celebrities for me.
But then along came Lena Dunham, and I honestly want other celebs to laminate what she said and carry it around in their wallets, because she did such a great job of explaining her feelings during an interview shared on the ‘WTF Podcast’ yesterday. She said while she’s “decidedly pro-Dylan Farrow and decidedly disgusted with Woody Allen’s behavior”, she doesn’t think his personal and professional world should be linked.
“For me, when people go through his work and comb through it for references to child molestation, that’s not the fucking point. I’m not gonna indict the work. I think that you can decide that you don’t want to support the work of somebody who has molested a child. That’s a completely appropriate choice. But going through it and saying, ‘Look, he’s told us in 57 ways that he rapes kids’ — that’s not the thing.”
Yeah, absolutely. It really is about deciding for yourself how you feel about it, and going from there. Especially in the absence of a conviction, you have to educate yourself, then decide what you believe and how that influences your behavior.
“The thing is to look at the actual evidence that exists in the world, which I think strongly suggests that Woody Allen is in the wrong. But for me the point is not to go through his one-act plays looking for references to child molestation. Because I’m not comfortable living in a world where art is part of how we convict people of crimes.”
Yup. Yup yup yup yup. I’m not trying to convict Woody based on his art at all, but his alleged actions make me feel strongly enough that I will make attempts to avoid that art in the future.
“Looking at art and trying to basically decide who we can and who we can’t support, it’s dangerous… People who really believe Woody Allen is guilty have not felt comfortable saying that because they’re so afraid to lose their connection to his work. And the thing is, I feel like people need to understand that you can hold two positions in your mind. You can know that someone’s made work that’s meaningful to you and also know that they have most likely molested their daughter.”
YUP. Since no court has ruled on this, you have to make your own decisions about it and stand behind them however you see fit. It’s not comfortable, but it is necessary.
(Photo: Dennis Van Tine / Future Image / WENN.com)