Why is the Woody Allen sex scandal erupting again now?

People who ask why Dylan and Mia Farrow are bringing up old sex charges against Woody Allen right now — more than 20 years after the scandal first broke — aren’t paying careful attention to what Dylan and Mia are telling us loud and clear. It has everything to do with awards, including Golden Globes and Oscars.

Mia Farrow begin her Tweet campaign against Allen smack dab during the Golden Globes when he was being honored as a filmmaker: “A woman has publicly detailed Woody Allen’s molestation of her at age 7. Golden Globe tribute showed contempt for her & all abuse survivors.”

In Dylan Farrow’s letter to the New York Times, there is a specific focus on an industry that celebrates Allen. She says “that torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye … Actors praised him at awards shows.” If taken at face value she wants to change the way Allen has been talked about and recognized.

When Cate Blanchett won the Globe for “Blue Jasmine” she spent half a minute honoring Allen and when she won the SAG she praised him for “writing role after role after role after role for women and giving them the space to create them.” The last Oscar winner for a Woody Allen film — Penelope Cruz for “Vicky Christina Barcelona” — reflected these sentiments by saying to him “thank you for having written over all these years some of the greatest characters for women.” It was not necessarily wrong for either woman to say what they did, but it’s understandable why a woman potentially hurt by said man would find praise like this hard.

The Oscars are watched by over 40 million people in the USA alone and the lead actress race is arguably the most followed and replayed award of the night. Intended or not the biggest impact the controversy will likely have is what message people are exposed to if Blanchett wins. Will we hear praise for Woody? Will that praise be a large part of her speech? Will it focus on his roles for women?

Before the letter, the answer to all three questions would have been near certainties; now they are not.

Poll: Will Woody Allen sex controversy hurt Cate Blanchett’s Oscar hopes?

Unless voters choose to take the moment from her, Blanchett will have to weigh sensitivity to potential victims of abuse with acknowledging the man who helped get her to the podium. It’s unfortunate and unfair that winning an Oscar will put her in this position. However, it shines a light on how entertainment awards and celebrity have a profound impact on the society in which we live.

15 thoughts on “Why is the Woody Allen sex scandal erupting again now?

  1. I don’t know what the big deal is. He won two Oscars in the past ten years and not a word from Mia so this BS coming out now is just that. And, you guys at Gold Derby are buying right into it. It seems you all forget that the Academy awarded a known sex felon in 2003 for best director Roman Polanski so what makes you think his scandal will effect Cate?

  2. I guess Gold Derby has been hired to convict Woody Allen and Cate Blanchett without the law getting involved. This group is just so busy trying to turn the public and voters away from Cate Blanchett. Funny how Gold Derby barely mentioned Cate before, now since they want to surround her in scandal, they can’t stop talking and writing about her. Fed up!

  3. This is sick! You guys are SICK!!! Why can’t you just be men and admit the smear campaign against Blachett this website is so engaged in?
    And there are other topics we can discuss, you know? Write about the Lead Actor race – despite what you want us to believe, that race IS still open! So is best picture and screenplay! You are obsessed with ways to make Blanchett loose, which is a shame – she is the most deserving actress of the past 20 years!
    And since we are discussing things that might affect the race (although I believe this is a very sensitive subject to be discussed here), why don’t you write about the crazy campaign for Philomena, taking her to meet the Pope and all?, for example?
    Why is just Blanchett being beaten down by this website?

    PS: I bet tomorrow there will be an article praising Amy Adams (I have nothing against her, but it’s very clear you guys are campaigning for her)

  4. Cate gives a brilliant performance in Blue Jasmin and I am perfectly comfortable with her winning the Oscar. However to acknowledge that the last week’s media reporting will have an impact on what she may say on stage I feel is fair – and hopefully contributes to a healthy discussion about how artists should be recognized in society. I tried to avoid any judgements about the case or the Oscar race or what Cate should do, because I am aware of this subjects’ sensitivity. I just point out the tough spot Cate is in and a consequence on the awards race from the NY Times piece.

  5. This is stupid! I’m beginning to dislike this site. I visit two or three times weekly, daily when Oscar, Tony and Emmy are on the horizon. But this obvious smear campaign is just overkill.

  6. Perhaps it’s unclear but the point was the article was to shift focus from whether this will hurt Cate Blanchett’s Oscar chances (which I don’t think it will or should) but address the impact this news story will have on what’s said on winning that award to acknowledge Woody Allen – and that decision should be up to Cate (who I trust). There have been accusations that this piece was designed to ‘smear’ and ‘hamper’ Cate’s Oscar chances in a sickening fashion. That was sincearly not my intention and I do not see how from the text that is the case; if anyone would like to provide particular sentiments I expressed that were unfair, wrong, or judgemental I would l am more than willing to address them by either providing further explantion or apologising if I was wrong. RE: photo, Cate and Woody worked on the film together (no secret), both are mentioned in the article, so that photo was used – guilt by association was not intended, not that Woody is even proven guilty of anything.

  7. If Mia Farrow believes that the “Golden Globe tribute showed contempt for her & all abuse survivors” then why did she give her permission, as was required, for clips from her roles in Woody Allen movies to be used in the tribute? Did she think that the Academy showed this same contempt when her friend Roman Polanski won an Oscar for Best Picture?

  8. That’s a great point n! (and has been raised by GD elsewhere) I do not agree with Farrow tweeted during the globes as she did (unwise at best). That quote was used to set context, not endorse the sentiments. Also, thanks Marcus!

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