Woody Allen: I don't regret my MeToo ‘poster boy’ comments

Director restates his support for MeToo movement as Dylan Farrow criticises Scarlett Johansson

Woody Allen: 'I’ve done everything the MeToo movement would love to achieve.' Photograph: Valery Hache/Getty

Woody Allen: 'I’ve done everything the MeToo movement would love to achieve.' Photograph: Valery Hache/Getty

 

Woody Allen has reiterated his support for the #MeToo movement and his feeling that he was an early adopter of their objectives.

Speaking ahead of the French premiere of A Rainy Day in New York, Allen was asked if he regretted comments made in 2018, in which he said he “should be the poster boy for the #MeToo movement”.

“Not at all,” he told France 24’s Vincent Roux. “I’ve worked with hundreds of actresses, not one of them has ever complained about me; not a single complaint. I’ve employed women in the top capacity for years and we’ve always paid them the equal of men.

“I’ve done everything the MeToo movement would love to achieve.”

Allen’s words were cited by Amazon as a cause for their termination of a four-movie contract with the director, to which Allen responded with a $68 million lawsuit.

At the time, Allen was reacting to a renewed allegation of molestation by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, which dates back to 1992, when she was seven years old. The allegation, which came during a custody battle during Allen’s split from Mia Farrow, was consistently denied by Allen. Two investigations were launched at the time and no charges brought.

“This is something that has been thoroughly looked at 25 years ago by all the authorities and everybody came to the conclusion that it was untrue,” said Allen. “And that was the end, and I’ve gone on with my life. For it to come back now, it’s a terrible thing to accuse a person of. I’m a man with a family and my own children.

“Everyone wants justice to be done. If there is something like the #MeToo movement now, you root for them. You want them to bring to justice these terrible harassers, these people who do all these terrible things. And I think that’s a good thing.”

On Thursday, Farrow responded to Scarlett Johansson’s defence of Woody Allen earlier this week by saying that Johansson “has a long way to go in understanding the issue she claims to champion”.

Farrow was commenting on an interview in Harper’s Bazaar in which Johansson said that the director “maintains his innocence” of allegations of sexual abuse against him by Farrow, and that she “believe[s] him”.

She wrote on Twitter: “Because if we’ve learned anything from the past two years it’s that you definitely should believe male predators who ‘maintain their innocence’ without question. Scarlett has a long way to go in understanding the issue she claims to champion.”

Farrow’s 2017 op-ed in the LA Times, at the start of the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment, triggered a wave of controversy in the film industry, with a number of actors (including Timothée Chalamet, Greta Gerwig and Rebecca Hall) publicly stating they would not work with him again. Allen was defended by other actors, including Javier Bardem and Anjelica Huston.

Speaking on Friday in France, Allen declared that the current lack of a US distributor for A Rainy Day in France did not concern him, nor did a future in which he no longer made movies for a mainstream studio.

“It doesn’t matter to me for a second,” he said. “If tomorrow nobody would finance my films and my plays or publish my books, I’d still get up and write because that’s what I do.”

Allen has just finished filming his latest movie, Rifkin’s Festival, in San Sebastián in Spain. – Guardian