Being asked about Woody
As Sarah wrote in her post about Woody Allen earlier today, Ronan Farrow aimed to criticise the media for not raising the Woody Allen issue in a situation involving Woody Allen, for not addressing the allegations against him so as not to compromise celebrity access and future coverage around other projects not involving Woody Allen. The timing of his piece was key – just as Woody was in Cannes promoting Café Society.
Last night was the world premiere. And during the ceremony, a joke was made by the MC on stage about Woody’s scandals:
“It’s very nice that you’ve been shooting so many movies in Europe, even if you are not being convicted for rape in the U.S.”
Some think that was also a reference to Roman Polanski. The point is, in addition to the Ronan Farrow article, this incident put Woody’s past front and centre at the festival, opening up an opportunity for reporters to go there with Woody, during interviews for the movie, and with his talent.
Should the actors be questioned as to why they keep working with Woody Allen? This is what you’ve been emailing me. But is it fair, in these settings, to be putting the actors on the spot to defend their decision to work with Woody Allen? This is the conversation I had with Sarah yesterday. Why do actors keep saying yes? Is it their responsibility though? Should we even be burdening them with the responsibility when Woody, ultimately, should be the one to carry it? Since he’s untouchable though, as we’ve seen, do we get to Woody through the actors?
Sarah posited that in collaborating with Woody, the actors become his protectors, creating what Ronan Farrow is pushing back against, a “system of collusion held up by all the people who benefit from the Woody Allen machine”. Thing is, while that system of collusion is formed by the actors and, most significantly, the corporate sponsors, like Amazon, it’s Woody who builds the power. And, well, I’m not sure he’s sharing the power with his talent, at least not all of his talent. Definitely not Blake Lively.
She was asked about Woody Allen today in Cannes. Click here to read her comments. In short she said she thought it was inappropriate for the MC to make light of rape and she hadn’t read Ronan Farrow’s piece and didn’t want to talk about something she’s not familiar with. But did we really expect Blake Lively to go against Woody Allen? Being cast in a Woody Allen film is the most prestigious line on Blake’s resumé. She’s not going into that job with any influence. She is, however, hoping to leave that job with more influence (though it’s no guarantee). Which she would then likely attribute to Woody Allen, thereby transferring even more influence towards him, and, once again, adding to his power. Maybe that, then, should be the question we ask of them. Instead of making it about “art”, if we make it about “power”: Why do you want to add to his power while possibly compromising your own?
Attached - Blake at a Cannes press luncheon today and at the opening ceremony and screening of Café Society last night.
Wenn, Samir Hussein/ Foc Kan/ Tony Barson/ Neil Mockford/ Alex Huckle/ David M. Benett/ Getty Images