For completely altruistic reasons, famed director Woody Allen has called for restraint in hunting down sexual harassers and abusers in Hollywood in the wake of the recent flood of accusations against Harvey Weinstein.
“You also don’t want it to lead to a witch hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself,” Allen said, thinking only of others. “That’s not right either. But sure, you hope that something like this could be transformed into a benefit for people rather than just a sad or tragic situation.”
Completely unrelated to any of this, Woody Allen himself has been the subject of abuse allegations in the past, most notably those recounted in a 2014 open letter in the NY Times penned by his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow. Allen denied the allegations. Allen is also well known for marrying Soon-Yi Previn, the adoptive daughter of his then-girlfriend Mia Farrow. But none of that has anything to do with the sympathy Allen described for both Weinstein and his alleged victims in an interview with the BBC.
“The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved,” Allen said of the plights of everyone who has suffered here, including, of course, Harvey Weinstein. “Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that [his] life is so messed up.”
Weinstein has been kicked out of the Motion Picture Academy in the wake of the scandal, and has been driven out of Hollywood, potentially for good. He could even face criminal charges. There’s no similarities between the two situations, obviously — what could possibly be similar here? — but Allen remains an active and respected member of the film community.