In Depth

Why Hollywood is turning against Woody Allen

In Depth: actors express regret after working with the 82-year-old director

Woody Allen

Starring in a Woody Allen film was once an honour, a coveted Hollywood rite of passage.

Annie Hall, Manhattan, Blue Jasmine - nothing could dispel the magic of the quirky and neurotic Oscar-winning director, not his marriage to his adopted daughter Soon-Yi Preven, not his very public break-up with actress Mia Farrow, nor decades of sexual abuse allegations by their adopted child Dylan.

Although Allen has always denied the claims, “the post-Weinstein era has forced us to reexamine much of the pop-culture we consume and love,” Esquire writes, and “events of the last several days strongly suggest that his [Allen’s] reckoning has arrived.”

At least three actresses - Greta Gerwig, Mira Sorvino and Rebecca Hall - have apologised or expressed regret for working with Allen, The Guardian reports. Selena Gomez reportedly making a “significant” donation to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund after working with Allen, US magazine reports. Actor Timothee Chalamet says he’s also donating his fee to three charities, Variety adds.

Unusually, there have been no new public allegations about Allen that preceded the flurry of apologies, donations and contrition.

Not only has Allen repeatedly declared his innocence, but Connecticut authorities investigated the alleged incident at Allen's home in the state and charges were never filed, the Connecticut Post reports.

"Both New York state child welfare investigators and a report by the Yale New Haven hospital found that the abuse did not happen," CBS News says, although the network notes that the Connecticut state prosecutor had unanswered questions and it was difficult to pursue a case involving a fragile, seven-year-old. 

Actor Alec Baldwin called the celebrity backlash “sad and unfair”, Sky News reports: “Woody Allen was investigated forensically by two states (NY and CT) and no charges were filed,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter.

So why has the spotlight now turned to Woody Allen? The answer appears to be linked to Dylan Farrow’s renewed determination to tell her side of the story in light of the Weinstein accusations.

In December, she wrote an op ed piece in the Los Angeles Times detailing her allegations called: Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen?

In a televised appearance today, Dylan Farrow again discussed the 1992 allegations: “I am telling the truth,” Farrow told CBS This Morning. “Why shouldn’t I want to bring him down?”

Her determination - with or without supporting evidence - may be enough to convince even more actors to distance themselves from the 82-year-old director, enough to ensure he does not work in Hollywood again.

“As the culture evolves,” Esquire says, “it's unlikely that a Woody Allen movie title will be something anyone will want on their IMDb page”.

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