Cartoon Woody Allen Isn’t Canceled

Allen continues to work. In Europe, anyway
Cartoon Woody Allen Isn’t Canceled

While Woody Allen remains a pariah in America, Europe still can’t get enough of him. 

This year, he directed his first French-language film, Coup de Chance, and now Variety reports that he’ll provide the voice-over narration for Mr. Fischer’s Chair, a Spanish animated short about the 1972 World Chess Championship between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. During Game 17 of their “Match of the Century,” the Soviets accused the Americans of manipulating Fischer’s chair to maliciously harm Spassky. 

Sounds like the perfect cartoon for fans of chess. Or malicious chairs. Or the very few Allen fans who still want to overlook his problematic behavior over the past few decades

In Europe, at least in animated voice-over, Allen isn’t canceled. But as Variety reports, U.S. companies remain reluctant to work with the Oscar-winning filmmaker. In an era where countless Rob Schneiders and Bill Mahers complain about the threat of getting canceled, the 88-year-old Allen actually can’t find work in his home country. 

His collaborators don’t seem to know what to do with him. Timothée Chalamet donated his salary from 2019’s A Rainy Day In New York after feeling the backlash. Others like Kate Winslet, Mira Sorvino, Colin Firth and Greta Gerwig say they’re sorry for working with him. Only a few old pals, like Diane Keaton, still defend Allen. She told Hollywood Reporter last year that their work together still makes her “proud beyond measure.”

But again, the Keatons of the world are the exception. Allen’s latest film got the barest release in the United States, and he professes not to care. “Once I make it, I don’t follow it anymore,” he said in an interview with Air Mail in April. “Distribution is no longer what it was. Now distribution is two weeks in a cinema and then that’s it. I mean, Annie Hall played in movie houses in New York for a little bit over a year. It’d be in one theater for six, seven months, and then somebody would pick it up and it would hang around another few months. The whole business has changed, and not in an appealing way. All the romance of filmmaking is gone.”

Someone needs to break it to Allen that his problem has way more to do with reputation than distribution. But at 88, does he even care what anyone thinks? 

“Someone asked me about cancel culture, and I said, ‘If you’re going to be canceled, this is the culture that you want to be canceled from,’” he said. “Because who wants to be part of this culture?”


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