As the #MeToo backlash continues, what do we get? Three actors – Greta Gerwig, Mira Sorvino and Rebecca Hall – apologising for working with Woody Allen. Women are once more being held to account for the alleged actions of men. Meanwhile, Allen, a director nominated for 24 Oscars and who in 1992 was accused of sexually abusing his seven-year-old daughter, Dylan Farrow, is editing his latest film. (Allen denies the accusations.) A Rainy Day in New York is about a middle-aged man (Jude Law, 45) pursuing a 15-year-old girl (Elle Fanning, 19). How it is received when it’s released this year will be an important litmus test of how far we have really come post-Weinstein.
Hall was shooting A Rainy Day in New York when the Weinstein accusations broke. “I see … that my actions have made another woman feel silenced and dismissed,” she wrote in an Instagram post in which she added that she had donated her wage to #Time’sUp. “That is not something that sits easily with me in the current or indeed any moment, and I am profoundly sorry.” Compare this brave and honest apology to Allen’s sole comment on the Weinstein scandal, referring to a “witch-hunt atmosphere … where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer”.
Allen’s films may not have changed, but the world has, in a dramatically short time. As recently as December, Kate Winslet defended the director with the weird observation that he is “on some level a woman” and, when asked about Allen’s past in the aftermath of the Weinstein allegations, Selena Gomez came out with the equally bizarre: “I stepped back and thought: ‘Wow, the universe works in interesting ways.’” Enough has happened since Dylan Farrow’s excoriating op-ed, “Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen?”, was published last month that it is now beginning to look like he may not be spared after all.
Yet women have broken silence only for it to flourish elsewhere. Law has yet to apologise for working with Allen. And when male actors do start talking, we get Liam Neeson dismissing breast groping as “childhood stuff” and describing the cascade of sexual harassment allegations as “a bit of a witch-hunt”. (Urgh, that word again, which, remember, refers to the tens of thousands of women and girls executed for practising “witchcraft”.) In a world where #sorrynotsorry is more ubiquitous than actually being sorry, it is women with nothing to apologise for who are doing so with the most grace and humility.
Credit: The Guardian