Why No One Has Come at Woody Allen When They’ve Come At Every Other (Black) Sexual Abuser

December 1st marked Woody Allen’s seventy-ninth birthday, and with it, the increasing passage of time since Dylan Farrow’s open letter in The New York Times (in February of 2014) accusing him of sexual abuse. When the suspicion of Dylan Farrow’s molestation first arose in 1992 at the time of the Allen-Farrow divorce that was dominating the gossip columns, Dylan was obviously too young to be able to comment on it herself. Or at least that’s what most of the prosecution involved maintained.

A telling photo of Dylan Farrow as a child with Woody Allen
A telling photo of Dylan Farrow as a child with Woody Allen
While the story has been twisted and turned by various parties so many times that it’s one of those cases where it’s difficult to know who to trust, the fact remains that Dylan Farrow herself is the one with the statement that matters. When it first began, the primary doctor appointed by the police’s medical team stated that then seven-year-old Dylan had imagined the story under duress. However, the details Dylan describes in her letter are too gory not to believe, such as, “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. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.”
Split opinions
Split opinions
Assuming Allen did these things, which most people have, then why has no one come at him the way they have at, say Bill Cosby or R. Kelly? It isn’t just the lack of “proof” (unfortunately, with Dylan, it’s an instance of her word against his), but the lack of numbers. In both Cosby and Kelly’s case, the shocking amount of women who had to come forward in order for the sexual allegations against these men to be taken seriously was what ultimately got the fans and the media to pay attention. While Kelly’s career has yet to take a tumble as severe as Cosby’s just yet, it’s interesting to note that Allen has managed to evade dire consequences of any kind (he just so happened to scrape by getting the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award the month before Dylan Farrow came forward with her letter).
A family man
A family man
This could be for several reasons: 1) Woody Allen is a white male, 2) Woody Allen is seen as a frail old man incapable of inflicting such monstrous, physically inclined crimes and 3) Woody Allen’s work is seen as too valuable for the media to completely shun him. Or maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Regardless of what’s kept Allen from a metaphorical tarring and feathering, the bottom line is, no one knows how to handle the separation of a person’s art from his character, which is why they would rather not acknowledge fault in a man’s personal life at all. Though this seems to be specific to white males, as even Lena Dunham got more flak for the revelation of her child molestation tendencies than Allen. But perhaps Allen is so old at this point that he’s simply beyond reproach.

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