Despite Woody Allen Backlash, We’re Still Not Serving Abuse Victims

By Carina Kolodny

In her tribute to Woody Allen while accepting his Cecile B. Demile award, Diane Keaton said, “Woody’s films have been changing the way we think about life, love and the pursuit of neuroses forever.”

In her open letter, featured on Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times blog, Dylan Farrow wrote, “When I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me.”

In a fictional world, these statements would inevitably contradict each other. In the real world, it’s hard to accept that an endearing cinematic genius could simultaneously be a dangerous child predator.

But we do a disservice to victims everywhere by compartmentalizing fact and fiction. We do a disservice to victims by assuming that talent and morality always go hand-in-hand.

While many are rallying behind Farrow, Allen’s friends and fans have quickly come to his defense.

So why is it so hard to imagine that a brilliant filmmaker could also be capable of such a heinous crime? Why is it so difficult to believe that both Diane Keaton and Dylan Farrow could be telling the truth?

Because it is much more comforting to believe that depraved, immoral acts are only committed by degenerate strangers in dark alleys. We’ve come to expect that talent and genius must be equated with goodness and morality. Even though, this fallacy has been exposed time and time again.

Consider, for example, Aaron Hernandez, an incredibly skilled and versatile football player who made a name for himself early in his career. So when he was charged with multiple homicides his fans and teammates were incredulous at the news. But did they have reason to be? When did excellent fitness and top-notch hand-eye coordination become indicative of moral character?

Likewise, the whole of South Africa felt betrayed when Oscar Pistorius, arguably the country’s most notable celebrity export since Mandela himself, shot and killed his girlfriend. Whether Pistorius is a cold-blooded murderer or a paranoid gun nut is yet to be seen, but somewhere along the way we confused being able to run really, really fast with being ‘a stand-up guy’ and ‘all-around great human being.’

Or consider Roman Polanski. A wildly talented filmmaker, actor, producer and writer who has also pled guilty to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl.

We prop up celebrities and sports stars on pedestals of our own creation — not ones to which they have necessarily ascended or earned themselves.

Hollywood and storybooks teach us that there is always a thick moral line between good and bad. Villains rarely have redeemable qualities, and heroes, while sometimes flawed, always have the best intentions at heart.

Somewhere along the line, we bought into these notions of good and bad and cast our characters accordingly.

Ironically (or perhaps with no irony at all) Woody Allen has made a …read more

Source: More Celeb News1

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