Woody Allen Says He Should Be the “Poster Boy” for the #MeToo Movement
For all the powerful, prominent men who have faced consequences for their sexual misconduct during the rise of the #MeTo and Time’s Up movements, Woody Allen has remained infuriatingly unscathed. He’s still churning out stories about teenage and 20-something ingenues finding themselves lustfully awestruck over nebbish intellectual father figures. He still has plenty of celebrities eager to voice their support for him. (Although the list of those speaking out against him is slowly growing.)
Now, in a rare interview, Allen has spoken about the #MeToo movement and his role in it. Unsurprisingly, he thinks he’s been treated unfairly. Allen has addressed the movement before, saying he supports it but worries about a “witch hunt atmosphere.” Clearly, what that means is, “I support it until it includes me.”
In this new interview with the Argentinian outlet Periodismo Para Todos (via Quartz), he talked about the “terrible harassers” who have been made to answer for their behavior. Allen says, “What bothers me is that I get linked with them. People who have been accused by 20 women, 50 women, 100 women of abuse and abuse and abuse— and I, who was only accused by one woman in a child custody case which was looked at and proven to be untrue, I get lumped in with these people.”
Yes, Woody Allen thinks he should basically get an award for not harassing 100 women throughout his career and instead only having been accused of abusing his then-seven-year-old adopted daughter.
“As I say I’m a big advocate of the Me Too movement,” he continued. “I feel when they find people who harass innocent women and men, it’s a good thing that they’re exposing them. But you know I, I should be the poster boy for the Me Too movement. Because I have worked in movies for 50 years. I’ve worked with hundreds of actresses and not a single one—big ones, famous ones, ones starting out—have ever suggested any kind of impropriety at all. I’ve always had a wonderful record with them.”
I think Woody Allen and I have different ideas of what it means to be the “poster boy” for a movement designed to shine a light on the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault. Because I, too, think he’d be a great face for the movement, as a representation for everything it stands against. Like, for starters, the idea that being accused of sexual abuse by a young child is somehow better than being accused by 20 women.
Allen is a great “poster boy” for #MeToo’s message that there isn’t just one kind of abuse–that no one is getting “lumped in” to one monolithic group, but rather we are pushing for a new era where all victims’ experiences are heard and respected. And Allen is certainly the perfect mascot for someone whose accuser has walked through the fires of victim-blaming, being called a liar and an opportunist, being told she was delusional or manipulated by her mother, which is only another way to deny her agency in the telling of her own experience. He is the perfect example of the man whose all-too credible accusations roll off of him like he’s pure Teflon.
In those ways, yes, Woody Allen is the perfect “poster boy” for the Me Too movement, as he represents so many of the reasons it has to exist.
(via Quartz, image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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