We all make comments from time to time that in retrospect we might have phrased differently. But there’s nothing to explain what was going through Woody Allen’s mind when he told a Spanish-language TV network that he believes he should be the face of any future #MeToo posters, should any be made.
The interview took place in New York and aired Sunday night on Argentinian news program Periodismo Para Todos, according to E! News. The interviewer didn’t pull any punches, asking Allen directly whether accusations that he molested his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, were part of a witch hunt. It’s here that Allen gets quite effusive in his remarks.
“As I say, I am a great defender of the #MeToo movement. […] It is good that you expose them,” Allen explained. “I should be the face of #MeToo posters. I worked in films for 50 years, I worked with hundreds of actresses and not one, big, famous, beginner, no one has suggested any kind of indecency. I have always had a wonderful behavior with them.”
Allen also seemed concerned about the optics of being lumped in with the other powerful men accused of sexual assault, harassment or misconduct and how that would reflect on him. He told the reporter, “Everyone wants justice done. Like now, there is the #MeToo movement. You support him, you want to bring these terrible stalkers to justice, and I think it’s a good thing. What bothers me is that they link me to them. People who have been accused by 20 women, 50, 100 of abuse. I, who was once charged by a woman in a child custody case that was analyzed and proven to be false. They group me with these people.”
Allegations about Allen first caught the public’s attention when Farrow came forward in 1992 alleging that as a 7-year-old, Allen had molested her. The director denied the allegations and an investigation by the court cleared him of wrongdoing, but he still went to therapy for “inappropriate behavior” according to Vanity Fair. Just a few months earlier, in January 1992, Allen’s girlfriend, Mia Farrow, discovered nude photos in Allen’s apartment of her other adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, who was a college sophomore at the time. Allen later admitted to NPR that he started the relationship with Previn thinking “it would just be a fling.” They went on to marry in 1997.
Allegations about Allen have not died down over the years. While he had maintained his innocence since the allegations first surfaced, it’s understandable why, in the court of public opinion, the general feeling is that maybe Allen is actually not the best first option for #MeToo poster boy.