The past several weeks have seen several actors denounce their decision to work with Woody Allen on past projects due to the accusations of sexual abuse leveled against him by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. This week alone, both Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Hall committed to donating the salaries they earned on Allen’s upcoming film A Rainy Day in New York to RAINN and the Time’s Up defense fund.
Many observers feel as though this is a long time coming, especially in light of both the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Dylan Farrow has written several op-eds in recent months asking why Allen has seemingly been untouched by the recent shake-up in Hollywood when others accused of sexual misconduct, like Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein, have been held accountable for their past behavior. And now, when it seems Allen finally is being held accountable, actor Alec Baldwin has come to his defense.
In a series of tweets on his ABFountation Twitter account, Baldwin wrote, “Woody Allen was investigated forensically by two states (NY and CT) and no charges were filed. The renunciation of him and his work, no doubt, has some purpose. But it’s unfair and sad to me. I worked w WA 3 times and it was one of the privileges of my career.”
Here’s the thing: While we agree that due process is of course critical in such cases, Baldwin continues to spread misinformation about the allegations against Allen — the very kind of misinformation that has enabled the director to evade accountability for decades. Frank Maco, who was Connecticut state attorney at the time of the trials, has said on the record that he had enough evidence to file charges against Allen but decided not to because it would have meant a traumatizing and exhausting trial for young Dylan at the time. And ultimately, Allen lost four court battles and was made to pay one million dollars for Mia Farrow’s legal fees.
While, yes, technically Allen was “never charged,” the situation was not that simple. Furthermore, Dylan’s account has never wavered since she was seven years old. Allen’s account of what happened the day he was caught molesting his daughter in the attic has changed. So even if we only had two conflicting accounts of the abuse, Dylan Farrow would still be the more reliable source.
What’s perhaps most disheartening about Baldwin’s defense of Allen is that all of the above information is widely available — anyone who has any interest in finding out the details of this case can…which makes blindly supporting a powerful man’s word because working with him was one of the “privileges” of your career all the more egregious.
The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements aren’t just about victims coming forward; they’re about men in power examining their own behavior and how they may be complicit in enabling systemic harassment and abuse. We hope Alec Baldwin takes a step back to examine his own place in this system, and we continue to stand with Dylan Farrow and all victims of sexual abuse who come forward.