Childrearing

Take Note, Hollywood – Diane Keaton Supports Woody Allen Without Attacking The Victim

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Diane And WoodyI’m sure you’ve all been waiting with bated breath for this moment to come – Diane Keaton has finally let the world know her thoughts on the Woody Allen sex-abuse scandal. Because who wouldn’t want to know the opinion of a third party, friend-of-the-accused actress who wasn’t there when the alleged abuse occurred? According to Keaton’s profile in The Guardian this Friday, she doesn’t believe Dylan Farrow‘s accusation against Allen, because she “believes her friend.” I might disagree with her, but considering some of the awful, victim-blaming statement I’ve read about the subject, I think Keaton’s support was subtle and benign.

In case you need a refresher, Farrow caused a stir back in February when she penned an open letter to Hollywood about her father and his alleged abuse. In it she mentions numerous Tinsel Town luminaries, including Keaton:

“What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?”

Since February, various members of the Hollywood elite have made their opinions known about the matter, including a few named specifically in the letter. Others have stayed quiet, but through their actions their distaste for the subject is palatable. But this is the first time Keaton, Allen’s long time friend and star of some of his most famous films, has spoken out. According to The Guardian:

“He’s the strongest person I’ve met in my life,” she adds. “He’s made of steel. Later, Keaton says, of the allegations, “I believe my friend.”

Listen, as a survivor of sexual abuse myself, I know how hard it is to hear anyone supporting a man accused of such heinous acts. But abusers will always have supporters, and as supporters go, there are a lot worse folks than Diane Keaton (I’m looking at you, ScarJo and Robert Weide). While Keaton is supportive of her friend, she in no way attacks Dylan or attempts to delve into the details of the case, unlike other Allen co-stars, which is why I’m hesitant to judge Keaton as harshly as I have his other supporters.

In the eyes of the law Woody Allen is innocent and he has never been convicted of any crime involving Dylan Farrow or sexual molestation (though those who claim there is no evidence are sorely mistaken). Does that mean he actually is innocent. Of course not. But until the case if proven one way or another (which may unfortunately never happen) I wish that people who do choose to support Allen would take a page from Keaton’s book and leave the damn victim out of it.

(Photo: Getty Images)

8 Comments

  1. Ursi

    May 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Good on Diane Keaton, she’s handling this the best way it could possibly be handled by one of his friends.

  2. Kay_Sue

    May 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I’m honestly confused by the number of people that seem to have expected her to come out and eviscerate Allen. She’s had what, 20 years?, to do that, and hasn’t. I do think she took the best possible road for someone that is on that particular side of this issue.

    I think it was pretty pond-scum low of the interviewer to try to use the issue to inject controversy into the interview. Childhood sexual abuse should not be exploited to sell papers, so to speak.

  3. SunnyD847

    May 4, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    I don’t know what to believe about Dylan’s accusations, but the fact that he cheated on Mia Farrow with her daughter and slept with his children’s sister (yeah, yeah, he didn’t adopt Soon-Yi so she wasn’t TECHNICALLY his daughter) was enough for me. I stopped watching his movies back then.

  4. keetakat

    May 4, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, I can say that there was only one person’s support that I cared about, and that was my mother’s…which she gave me without question. My biological father is just SOOO charming and such a laid back, easy going kinda guy. Sure he likes younger “women” — like the 14 year old Brazilian child he was kicked out of South America for abusing, but.. but… well, no one else has come foreword, so I must be lying… or crazy. This is the most fucked up part of surviving the already horrific abuse… when they tell you that people won’t believe you, they’re right. It’s not surprising how seldom we report our abuse.

    That being said, people who support, love and trust abusers are in a shit-wad of a pickle, internally: How to admit that you love and trust a monster? That you’ve been fooled by them? That you may have — at any given moment over the course of sometimes decades — dismissed signs because you didn’t want to believe this and have allowed a child to suffer for your ego? It sucks. I get it. You want to continue to support someone who may be an abuser… remain kind of neutral? That’s fine. But don’t attack the potential victim. People deserve compassion as the default, and when the truth is revealed, you know that you didn’t harm an innocent victim.

  5. WilliamPJung

    May 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    How to admit that you love and trust a monster? That you’ve been fooled by them? That you may have — at any given moment over the course of sometimes decades — dismissed signs because you didn’t want to believe this and have allowed a child to suffer for your ego? http://qr.net/x1m8

  6. ladyviola

    May 5, 2014 at 4:54 am

    I’m sorry, how is she not attacking the survivor? She is dismissing outright any evidence or testamony. She denies any responsibility she has to the survivor by saying, oh well she didn’t know her that well, and Mr Allen is her friend. As human beings, our responsibility is always to protect the vulnerable, to protect children, this transcends friendship or family, anyone who disagrees with this is neither to me. You know what, “strong” men can commit sex crimes, “good” men, people you know. It is rarely the monsterous stranger, and yet we take character references more seriously than fact. Maybe Diane Keaton didn’t call Dylan Farrow a slut who was asking for it, but she invalidated anything she said with willful ignorance, that is just as heinous.

    • Frances "Librle" Locke

      May 5, 2014 at 5:11 am

      Compared to Johansson’s statement’s and Stephen Balwin’s BS, I think Keaton managed to express her opinion very well without crossing the victim-blaming line. Doubting an accusation does not necessarily mean one thinks that the accuser is lying. Much like Weide, I think Keaton justifies her opinion by rationalizing that Dylan may have been too young to remember the details correctly.

      Do I agree with Diane Keaton? Hell fucking no. But I appreciate that she said her peace without calling the victim names or delving into details of a case she knows little about. There are going to be supporters for all the Woody Allen’s of the world. At least Keaton left it as “I believe my friend,” instead of vocally shitting on all assault victims like many other Allen supporters did.

  7. K.

    May 5, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Okay, I don’t really get this–you find Diane Keaton’s response LESS offensive than Scarlett Johansson’s? I guess saying “I believe my friend” isn’t directly attacking the victim, but isn’t the subtext of that, “You’re lying, Dylan Farrow”??

    From what I’ve read about ScarJo’s response to Dylan Farrow, I don’t think she was “victim blaming.” She said that Farrow’s decision to call her out (as well as a bunch of other actors) as being somehow complicit in Woody Allen’s actions was “irresponsible.” Which it is. What ScarJo was doing in calling Farrow’s move to list her in the letter as “irresponsible” was calling out the fact that Farrow was using ScarJo’s fame and her name recognition to increase public interest in the letter. And that IS irresponsible because Farrow was threatening ScarJo’s literal earning power (because public face is a big part of being a Hollywood actor) by naming her as a supposed part of Hollywood conspiracy to protect Woody Allen–a conspiracy that might exist, but Farrow knows (and ScarJo knows) it’s not one that exists in the hands of actors employed to work with Allen; if anything it exists in those who actually control who gets work in Hollywood–so producers and other backers in power. Those people, however, aren’t household names like Scarlett Johansson and Diane Keaton and Cate Blanchett. THAT’s what ScarJo was saying, and frankly, I think that’s a fair criticism of Dylan Farrow that has nothing to do with her victimization.

    Look, I work with a lot of people in my own life and many of them help me perform my job well and have roles in helping me further my career. I have no idea what the hell they do outside of work. And if it came out that one of them had been accused of raping a child twenty years ago (long before I knew them when I myself was a child), I would honestly, probably have the same sort of response as a lot of people who worked with Allen, which is essentially, that as someone who has a professional and not personal relationship with X person, a coworker’s “opinion” on the situation isn’t at all relevant. And you can bet that I’d have more choice words than “irresponsible” if the victim of one of my coworkers wrote a letter to the Times and suggested that I a) knew about was going on and b) chose to ignore it for the purpose of furthering my own career. That would be insulting to me as a person and also dismissive of the hard work I put in myself for my own career.

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