This is a short thing. Dylan Farrow recently posted a letter talking about her childhood abuse at the hands of Woody Allen. Since then, there has been no shortage of accounts in mass media questioning Dylan Farrow, rebuking Dylan Farrow, wondering why Dylan Farrow just can’t be quiet already, etc. I think that’s wrong. I stand with Dylan Farrow and I support her for writing that letter, even though I do not know her.
I realize that Woody Allen is a creative person who’s made many movies that are loved by many people. I’m not going to go out of my way to never watch any of his movies — at least not at this stage. I can recognize the influence his movies have made on world cinema without supporting him with words or money. I can praise a work of art and condemn its author for what he did in his personal life.
I believe Dylan Farrow’s words even though Woody Allen has not been convicted of a crime. Those words resonate with me, in a deeply personal way that I would rather not talk about in public space. But even if there were no personal connection, I hope that having read and watched and learned enough about the way our culture treats abusers (when they’re people of power and privilege) vs. the abused (when they’re not), I would believe Dylan Farrow. There are a thousand waves to convince, cajole, threaten, sweet-talk, bribe, persuade the victim that she or he did not suffer, and we use them daily, and it’s terrible that we do that. I believe that if we spent a little more time listening and a little less time judging we would all be better off.