Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My response to "What Should Happen to Woody Allen?" by Leonard Jacobs

Thank you so much for writing this important article:


As somebody who (in this situation) feels something of an investment in both Woody Allen and Dylan Farrow for different reasons, and who does not think that any of us have enough knowledge to definitively “take a side” at this point (unless it’s the side of two people embroiled in very tragic and maddening circumstances), here is what I want.

1) If Woody Allen abused Dylan Farrow, I want him to admit it publicly, to publicly validate her claims, and to apologize to her. Because if she was abused by Allen, it must feel terrible to have your traumatic experiences publicly invalidated constantly in various ways, from all of the honors that go to Woody, to people saying that Dylan’s letter is “over-dramatic” and “bitchy,” that her memories are “false,” and that she is the victim of her mother’s anger at Woody Allen. I want this to happen both for Dylan’s sake, and because–if Woody Allen did abuse Dylan–his admission would be a very public counteraction of a trend in our society in which people sweep abuse under the rug and side with the perpetrator.

2) I don’t believe that Dylan came up with these memories out of nowhere. I just don’t believe that people make up sexual abuse histories out of nowhere. If her memories are, indeed, false (and I will be frank, I think that the notion of “false” or “implanted” memories is really problematic, and maybe impossible), then I suspect that Mia Farrow, or litigators, or *somebody* other than Woody Allen, knows that he did not abuse Dylan, and I would like for them to admit it publicly and apologize to both Dylan and Woody Allen. Because if Woody Allen is innocent, then it must be horrible to live with having these accusations made against you all the time. And, selfishly, I would like to be able to watch some of my most beloved, comforting movies of all time without feeling disgust. Without having to question whether I should feel disgust.

3) If Woody Allen did not abuse her, but Dylan Farrow believes he abused her, then I hope that somehow, they can both find peace–publicly or not.

4) If the situation is going to remain ambiguous forever, and if nobody other than Woody Allen and Dylan Farrow know what happened, and if Dylan Farrow’s memories of abuse might be real or might have formed out of nowhere, then what can I want to happen? What can happen? I guess if that is the situation, I hope that Woody Allen is not guilty, and I still hope that eventually he and Dylan Farrow can find peace.

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