Almost 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.
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)