Cate Blanchett Shouldering The Burden Of Hollywood’s Acceptance Of Woody Allen Is Supremely Unfair

86th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsAlmost every predictions list I’ve read this season listed Cate Blanchett as the clear choice for the best actress Oscar win. And almost every mention of her probable impending win was attached to a sentence about the Woody Allen scandal. I hate that Hollywood still deeply supports Allen, most recently evidence by his lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes. I also think it’s supremely unfair that the weight of what many believe Allen is guilty of was resting square on Blanchett’s shoulders tonight.

Did I want Blanchett to take the stage tonight and make some bold statement about refusing to be connected to that predator anymore? Of course I did! Did I expect it to happen – or even think it was her responsibility to do such a thing? No.

She thanked the Academy, as expected. She thanked the other women, as expected. Of course she gave a shout out to Meryl – and shared some lovely jokes with the other nominees. She thanks Woody. She basically just pretends the scandal doesn’t exist.

Hers was an incredible performance. I don’t think she turned a blind eye to Allen’s past indiscretions to be involved in this project – she’s never done anything to make me believe she’s a horrible human. I’m not sure these allegations were on the forefront of anyone’s mind until Dylan Farrow wrote her heart wrenching piece for the NYT, revealing sentiments such as these:

For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me – to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories – have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don’t have to be silent either.

And then…

What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett?

I can only imagine that sentence stung; it would sting me to the core. I would also think it was a completely unfair misplacement of anger. I hope Dylan’s letter makes more actors second-guess working with Allen for whatever remaining years he has left to make movies. I just don’t know that Blanchett’s possible Oscar win should be clouded because she, like so many more in Hollywood chose to believe that an artist she admired wasn’t a predator.

Hollywood will continue to support Allen, I think we all know that. As Amanda Hess wrote in Slate today, “The Academy is so enamored of Allen that it’s presented him with 24 Oscar nominations and five wins even though he’s never shown up to accept any of them. A month of angry editorials is unlikely to change that.” Farrow wrote in her NYT letter, “Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.” I totally agree – and at the same time I’m not sure what it is that we are expecting from Blanchett – or what her responsibility is in any of this.

I think women have it hard enough in Hollywood without now being expected to be the moral compass for the actions of men. Accepting a reward for work that you have done does not equal condoning the past actions of what looks to be a serial predator. I blame Hollywood for that – not the women who have to fight to carve out a place for themselves in it.

(photo: Getty Images)

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    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      I think a lot of people forget that she might be contractually bound in some way, too. It’s not always as simple as just denouncing someone. Woody Allen also has a lot of pull in Hollywood (and NYC) so I imagine the smaller fish in the fame bowl are at least a little intimidated.

      • CrazyFor Kate

        Agreed. It seems ridiculous to blame the people who were not involved and did not attempt to cover it up. The attack happened decades ago and the controversy did not resurface until a few weeks ago. She was stuck.

      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        I bet Cate Blanchett is stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. I can’t blame her for it. I would love to see Diane Keaton talk about the subject.

      • pixie

        I was thinking something similar. For people in the industry wanting to speak out against Allen, it might not be so easy. Some of them could be bound by contract, others are well aware that he and many of his supporters hold a lot of power in the industry and speaking out might well mean the end of their careers (or at least the significant part). It can’t be an easy place to be in.

      • guest

        Anybody else notice that she thanked her publicist? I’ve never heard anyone do that in an Oscar speech. I’m betting she is under contract and walking a very fine line.

      • JLH1986

        and her publicist is helping her walk it. Thus the “thank you”

    • Iga Wróblewska

      Also, let’s not forget, Woody Allen is simply not guilty.

      • arrow2010

        He’s been known as a pervy creep for decades regardless of the truth of Dylan Farrow’s statement.

      • hadenough

        So what if you think he is creepy. Does he deserve this because you find him creepy?

      • Iga Wróblewska

        No, some people CHOSE to call him that, without enough grounding because people on social are JUDGMENTAL and jump on the BANDWAGON.

    • arrow2010

      Gross. Cate Blanchett is gross too. Of course it was her CHOICE to make a film with Woody Pervert.

    • Ro

      I don’t know what happened, or whether or not the allegations are true. But neither do most of the people reading this article. He wasn’t convicted and the allegations were never proven to be true. I understand that Dillan herself has accused him, but there is a lot more to the story which does cast doubt on her allegations which is why he was not charged.

      False accusations are made. If we publicly denounced every accused person without the proper proof, then a lot of people’s lives would be needlessly ruined. Lives are often ruined based on the accusation alone. Of course there is always the unfortunate possibility that guilty people get away with these crimes, but the type of society we live in has a system. A system that exists for very good reason. Innocent until proven guilty. It’s not perfect, but no system is, and it’s the best we’ve got.

      • Kelly

        Our system also allows victims to speak out about the abuse they’ve suffered, which is exactly what Dylan is doing.

      • hadenough

        Yes she’s done that several times now but it has never been tried in a court of law. In fact it was pretty conclusive by the team of experts that it did NOT happen. He is innocent until proven guilty and you should be ashamed of yourselves for simply sided with unproven allegations. Prove these allegations or go away…

      • Kelly

        No, it wasn’t proven by a team of experts that it didn’t happen. Your facts are wrong. Victims do not need to go away because you don’t like hearing their stories. She doesn’t ever need to shut up about her abuse to please you or anybody else.

      • hadenough

        Again, alleged abuse. You can’t just decide that she is right and he is guilty because she said so. That is just a ridiculous argument. In fact it isn’t even an argument just emotions overriding objectivity…You need hard evidence. You need a trail by jury to sort this out. Didn’t happen. None of us have access to all the evidence. Look at the court case documents. They clearly state that the specialist incest team from New Haven concluded that he was not guilty. That is the best that we have if you wish to decide one way or the other

      • JLH1986

        Actually I think Frances posted a link to the court papers. Everyone was pretty much convinced something DID happen. However, given Dylan’s age at the time and her fragility there was a serious concern about putting her on the stand to testify. The reason Allen didn’t get custody was that the judge felt something did happen, at the very least he was inappropriate. Hence, Allen not getting custody. The judge even called into question the reliability of the “experts” because they seemed to have been paid off by Allen. In fact all the “experts” were hired by Allen, he refused to speak with anyone actually associated with the police. While technically there is no evidence, the circumstantial evidence is enough for me to not participate in watching, renting or contributing in any way to his movies.

      • hadenough

        Yes I’ve read the court documents. It was a custody case not a criminal case. Certainly it seems that the judge had cause for concern but concern for what is never actual stated. In my view he demolishes Woody Allen for breaking up the family in such a horrid way that had such a terrible effect on everyone involved. So he views him as a selfish person. But as a person who has committed incest? Well no he does not go as far as to say that. I don’t know why you think all the experts were hired by Allen. The police spent 6 months on the case (were they accepting bribes and if so that’s a pretty big claim to make). The prosecutor hired the expert incest investigation team. Nothing to do with Allen. Their conclusion – not guilty and that Dylan was coached. I am more inclined to listen to expert testimony than some old judge who seems to me to be expressing a personal opinion on Allen’s character while leaving aside or making excuses for anything that Mia did that was showed poor judgement.

      • hadenough

        In addition I do not know why Dylan didn’t pursue this matter at a later date when she was older and more able to cope. She had 15 years in which to do so. But the court of public opinion is a far better place to put someone on trial because she can have all these supporters regardless of evidence. She just has to say it happened and she is given the sympathy vote…

      • Zoe Lansing

        As someone who was actually abused by a father-figure,I understand completely why she didn’t “pursue the matter at a later date”.Do I wish she had?Absolutely.But I also understand why she didn’t.

      • Ro

        I read the documents because I was curious as to why they didn’t press charges since everyone on the internet seems so convinced of his guilt. The judge was concerned about his actions leading to a relationship with Soon Yi. That was why the judge didn’t give him custody.

      • hadenough

        Indeed.

      • hadenough

        Alleged abuse for goodness sake!

    • Kelly

      I can’t blame Dylan for what she said. I was abused by my father and I have an extremely low opinion of anyone who continues to associate him. I don’t really give a shit if that’s fair or not. It is what it is.

    • Miriam

      I agree with you that she wasn’t morally responsible for making a statement, but I wish she had done so anyway… given that her role was to play a horrible person, maybe something about great art and being a nice person not always being connected. I think Cate Blanchett has enough pull that she could get away with something veiled but obvious, or at least just not mentioning Woody’s name.

      Mostly, I wish Amy Adams had simply won.

      • CrazyFor Kate

        But Blanchett was light years better!

      • Miriam

        I haven’t seen either movie, so I don’t know or even really care who was actually better. It wouldn’t be the first Oscar that didn’t go the best (if such a thing can ever be definitively stated), and it wouldn’t be the first Oscar to have external issues affect the voting.

        Mostly, I just hate that I think it is very likely Cate Blanchett cared far more about how her speech would affect her relationship with Woody Allen than about how her speech would affect Dylan Farrow. Power protects its own. I cannot and do not blame Blanchett for having to negotiate a system that she didn’t create, but it still is sad to see it in action. I don’t know how this system is ever going to change.

    • Marisa Miller

      but what if Cate Blanchett was only playing Mia Farrow??? Why did Mrs. Sinatra call her a stalker when I worked for her? What if she is a sure of Dylan’s molesting as my mother is of mine at age 7 except for I have never been molested, I have a keen memory and no problem telling everyone everything about my life. But my mom will swear to you that it happened at church because I started leaving on my underwear under my nightgown. Not that I formed some odd quirk or that something DID skeeve me out that I can’t put my finger on, but molested or innapropriately touched? Nope. Only in her cheated on by a husband for an 18 year old Korean self. Mystory is almost the same except I told my mom, and still do, that she is full of shit. Maybe, just MAYBE, Mia Farrow is full of shit too?

      • candyvines

        These people aren’t you. And Dylan Farrow is 100% sure she was molested.

      • Marisa Miller

        I’m a hundred percent sure I’m the Queen of Fucking England, but that doesn’t make it so.

      • candyvines

        In your comment you say that your mother did not believe you when you were a child telling the truth, but somehow you cannot believe that Dylan was capable of telling the truth?

      • Marisa Miller

        I’m saying that without being privvy to what exactly went on in that room, an awful lot of people like you seem to be willing to swear to God that what Dylan says is true, and that what Woody says isn’t. I don’t believe one or the other becuase I’ve got no skin in that game and don’t personally need to be right to make myself feel better. I think it is narrow-minded (and probably projection)to insist that one side is telling the truth without being a part of the story in any way, shape or form. You do know that people lie, right? Not just pedophiles, rapists, and murderers, but, like, children and neurotic ex-girlfriends.

      • candyvines

        Why did you even comment in the first place? You told a personal anecdote that had absolutely nothing to do with the people involved and tried to make it sound like you know what happened. I merely responded that you do not. How about responding to what I wrote instead of supposing that I swear to god I know what happened because it makes me feel better. I’m aware that all kinds of people lie. I do find it interesting that in your example of people that might lie you include children and neurotic ex-girlfriends but not film makers. Yeah, you totally have no skin in that game.

      • Marisa Miller

        I was responding to your certainty of your knowledge of the actuality of the events. You don’t have any. Your comment is basically ‘he’s a creepo, I know it’. Was your comment any more valid or useful? I am a married mother who lives in a suburb who has never been divorced or molested so I only jump on these things to point out how you didn’t have a POINT, you had a judgement.

      • candyvines

        Please point out where I said I knew what happened.

      • JLH1986

        Dylan Farrow has repeatedly said over several decades that Allen molested her. So…that’s not even close to your situation. Dylan told her mother the day it happened. It wasn’t something Farrow just picked up and ran with.

      • Marisa Miller

        So you were there when she told her mother? You have absolute proof of that exact convo? Get back to me when you have some video of you in the room.

      • JLH1986

        The multiple witnesses, the fact that Allen himself said that Dylan notified Farrow in his custody testimony supports that. My point was that Dylan is saying she was abused. This isn’t like your situation where you maintain you weren’t repeatedly. Dylan has repeatedly said she was. It’s no longer about Farrow but Dylan. Farrow may have started the process years ago, but Dylan as an adult is speaking out.

      • Marisa Miller

        You were one of those witnesses? Allen said it in deposition and you were the court reporter? I just don’t know why anyone cares. Oh wait. Ronan Farrow’s new show. I totally remember why we care now.

    • Ddaisy

      I’m 100% on Dylan’s side in this case, and I fervently hope that in the future, Woody Allen will find it impossible to find anyone in Hollywood who wants to work with him, including Cate Blanchett.

      But this moment, on this night, was not about him. It was Cate’s moment to celebrate, to be proud of herself and her own work. It is entirely possible to denounce him at another time without taking away any of her well-deserved time to shine.

      • K.

        Exactly–it was about her WORK, not about the alleged crimes in his private life.*

        (I’m using alleged strictly because that’s what it is in the most perfunctory sense of how it’d be legally defined; it’s not because I personally don’t believe Dylan.)

      • Byron

        Her work in a film that he created, that he chose her to be in and that he wrote.

        Her work is result of their combined effort. You can’t separate the two, it’s like trying to say flour is what makes bread and not yeast. If you lack either your end resault can’t be bread, both are needed. She just had the part that is more visible to people.

    • Abby

      What’s most frustrating to me is that the entire world is focusing on her briefly thanking Woody Allen instead of on the kicker of her acceptance speech: that “female-focused films are NOT niche. And they make money! The world is round, people.” Woody Allen is absolute scum, and I sincerely hope that he suffers a spectacular fall from grace sometime soon, but I think it’s also really unfortunate that more people are focusing on Cate not taking him to task during her Oscar acceptance speech than on the really important stuff she DID say.

      • Gina

        I don’t think it was her responsibility to take him to task, and I agree with you that we should celebrate her talent and skill as a female actor. But I DO wish she hadn’t thanked Allen. Sometimes it’s what you don’t say that sends the strongest message.

      • Abby

        I do tend to agree with that, but like previous commenters have said, Hollywood is a ridiculous political game in which snubbing someone or outright calling them out can really damage your career, no matter how many gold statues you have or how much weight your name carries; there may also be contract issues at play that we, the general population, wouldn’t know about.

    • K.

      Oh come on.

      There are educators who win Principal of the Year and then go home and hit their kids. There are concert musicians who abuse animals. Parents that embezzle money. Professional behavior does not always correlate to private behavior.

      Cate Blanchett is an actor who was employed in a professional capacity to work with Woody Allen; she has nothing to do with whatever he did or does in his private life (notwithstanding the fact that I think Dylan’s letter came out after the film was already in the can?). Asking her this stuff is like asking a teacher, “So, how do you feel about your principal being charged with child abuse? And you still gonna accept that promotion they offered you now that you know?”

      Personally, I also side with Cate in NOT indulging the Farrow/Allen (I mean Mia, more than Dylan) insistence on trying to air years of ugliness in the press. This event in itself is different and I am NOT saying it should be a “family matter” or that Dylan wasn’t right to speak out; it’s just hard to see this within the context of years and years of watching of two people who seem more hell-bent on getting Hollywood to support them socially by creating drama rather than actually healing themselves and their children.

    • Iwill Findu

      I think from now on everyone should just download Woody Allen movies or anything that he had his hands in don’t let that monster get his hands on your hard earned money. After all isn’t Hollywood about the “art” not the “person” So lets give the person the middle finger well enjoying his “art”, that and the companies that keep funding it.

      • CrazyFor Kate

        Fair enough. I don’t think I’ve paid for a movie in six years!

    • Marisa Miller

      Also, a 5’2 schlubby Jew whose career is built on what a pussy he is, is hardly a MONSTER. A creepy pervert pedophile raper, mayhaps, but on the level of like, Ariel Castro? You need to re-evaluate your vocabulary.

      • Zoe Lansing

        If he actually abused his daughter,then,yes he is a monster.

    • hadenough

      I’m wondering what you all would have liked Cate’s speech to be? Ignore the person she has made the film, who wrote and directed her? To ignore his contribution to her award would have been absurd. I also hope that she saw it as a opportunity to point out to people that she wont be harangued into condemning a person simply on hearsay. She worked with him, she respects him…she doesn’t know if he did anything so she gives him the benefit of the doubt which we all should do. Nothing was proved regardless of a judges intimations. Therefore in a just society, that cares about democracy, we believe he is innocent until proven other wise.

      • JLH1986

        I feel like Woody Allen did do something he shouldn’t have. I do believe Dylan’s story. Though, as you pointed out, that’s hardly relevant. I’m not a Woody Allen fan, because I just don’t like his movies, not because of this. But I do agree with you regarding Cate. Allen asked her to be in the movie, he directed her and she won an Oscar. I think she did the best she could considering the shit storm that has landed on her shoulders. She thanked him without being over the top or bringing Dylan into it and she moved on. She could hardly ignore the director of the film.

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