Woody Allen Says Cancel Culture Is ‘Silly,’ But He Still Supports #MeToo
After all these years, there is still nobody who does irony quite like Woody Allen.
Allen’s latest film, the French-language mixture of comedy, drama and romance Coup de Chance, premiered at the Venice Film Festival this past weekend. In typical Allen fashion, Coup de Chance tells the story of upper-middle-class metropolitan lovers with conflicted affections, and it provoked a divisive but vaguely positive reaction from the critical community upon its film festival premiere.
As one of the most controversial figures in both comedy and film, Allen is accustomed to the cycle of outrage and eventual dwindled interest that his image endures each time he pokes his head of his New York mansion to either make a movie or play with his jazz band. Speaking with Variety on Sunday, Allen commented on the state of “Cancel Culture” as it relates to the media’s treatment of celebrities with stained reputations, saying, “I feel if you’re going to be canceled, this is the culture to be canceled by. I just find that all so silly.”
However, Allen says that he still fiercely supports feminism and the advancement of women’s rights — after all, what kind of husband would he be to his daughter if he didn’t?
“I don’t think about it,” Allen replied when asked if he feels that he’s been “canceled.” “I don’t know what it means to be canceled. I know that over the years everything has been the same for me. I make my movies.” Functionally, the lack of career restrictions he’s describing is the definition of “canceled” by comedy standards, seeing as not a year has gone by since the start of the #MeToo movement when a supposedly ruined comedian hasn’t put out a new Netflix special, or won an Grammy, or sold out Madison Square Garden.
On the topic of #MeToo, Allen claimed advocacy for the movement of holding powerful men who use their positions to sexually abuse women accountable, though he preached prudence on the topic, nonsensically saying, “I think any movement where there’s actual benefit, where it does something positive, let’s say for women, is a good thing. When it becomes silly, it’s silly. I read instances where it’s very beneficial, where the situation has been very beneficial for women, and that’s good. When I read of some instances in a story in the paper where it’s silly, then it’s foolish.”
“I said years ago that I should have been a poster boy (for the #MeToo movement) and they got all excited about that,” Allen ranted. “But the truth is, it’s true. I’ve made 50 films. I’ve always had very good parts for women, always had women in the crew, always paid them the exact same amount that we paid men, worked with hundreds of actresses, and never, ever had a single complaint from any of them at any point. Not a single one ever said, ‘Working with him, he was mean or he was harassing.’ That’s just not been an issue.”
There’s nothing new to be said about Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi Previn or his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow’s allegation that he sexually abused her when she was seven years old. As was the case with France’s own Roman Polanski, the machinations of the movie business have made it clear that Allen will not be ousted for any reason and his career will continue unimpeded, cancelation or otherwise. Despite whatever objections journalists, critics and audience members raise each time Allen is welcomed back into the spotlight with open arms, the cards have fallen firmly in Allen’s favor by any evaluation.
However, Allen’s comments do represent some symbolic movement on the moral discussion of his behavior — he’s finally admitted that he deserved to be the face of #MeToo.