Scarlett Johansson has come out in support of Woody Allen over the allegations of a case of sexual abuse that his daughter Dylan Farrow has brought against him. She spoke in open support of Allen, adding that she was “unaware of a backlash” against him in several recent interviews.
Daughter of Allen, Dylan Farrow revealed in an open letter published in the New York Times in February that her father had sexually abused her. In her letter Farrow calls out to celebrities who have worked with Allen, asking them to consider her perspective. Farrow names Johansson, along with Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Diane Keaton and others. In her appeal to Johansson, she asks her to consider how close they are in age, asking “what if it had been you?” Johansson responded by saying she feels Farrow was “irresponsible” by naming celebrities directly. This could be put down to the incredibly uncomfortable feeling that all actors must get when they find out a director they idolize is most likely a paedophile. Other named actors have seemed to express a feeling of discontent, to the level of squeamishness. Alec Baldwin responded angrily after a tirade of questions on Twitter that asked him to put forth an opinion. Likewise Cate Blanchett, who won an Oscar for her performance in Allen’s latest film Blue Valentine, expressed a somewhat neutral opinion, stating she hoped the family would find peace in the future. However, when Blanchett received her Best Actress Oscar statuette, she thanked everyone from her family to the lighting team, except writer/director of the film, Allen.
Scarlett Johansson, in contrast, seems to be trying to reduce the size of the matter. She concludes with the maxim of the law, “innocent until proven guilty” offering that only a watertight guilty verdict in the case will convince her of Woody Allen’s abuse towards his daughter. Scarlett Johansson seems to sit on the fence over supporting Woody Allen in the abuse case. Whilst denying that any “backlash” was present against Allen, she also states that any comment on the whole situation is merely “guesswork.” She acknowledges that Allen and Farrow know what they know and deems it best to leave them to it. This seems to undercut any idea that she remains on the fence, as she is literally advising that the best option is to leave Allen be, an option wanted by others who have supported him and in fact, the line of reasoning that Allen puts forward himself. This seems to be precisely the opposite of what Farrow was trying to achieve when she called out for support by those closest to Allen.
Who, in fact is the irresponsible party here? Daughter Dylan who is hoping in coming forward that she might not have to live in the shadow of her great director father and with an idea that her letter might inspire others to conquer their fears and name their molesters, or Johansson who would rather put her head in the sand and play ignorant. But how far will this support go? If Johansson gives birth to a baby girl, will she be calling on Allen as godfather? Would she be happy to leave her child in his care?
Scarlett Johansson has held major roles in three Woody Allen films: Vicky Christina Barcelona, Match Point and Scoop. She has stated that she has no qualms about working with the director again, an offer that seems to show her support and trust that Woody Allen is not guilty in this case of sexual abuse.
By Sara Watson