Another day, another person who vows to never again work with Woody Allan. This time it’s Micahel Caine in an interview with The Guardian. There’s a lot of fascinating insight in the article regarding his upcoming documentary “My Generation.” It’s one pull-quote that has me thinking the most:
I am so stunned. I’m a patron of the NSPCC and have very strong views about paedophilia. I can’t come to terms with it, because I loved Woody and had a wonderful time with him. I even introduced him to Mia [Farrow]. I don’t regret working with him, which I did in complete innocence; but I wouldn’t work with him again, no.
This makes me ponder my – and our- relationship with the disgraced Hollywood producers, directors, and actors that have had allegations come to light over the past year.
Full disclosure – I’ve never liked Woody Allen. Guy has always given me the creeps. His filmography never really did it for me, despite his accolade. He’s just not a person I have much reason to be conflicted about. Frankly, I’m baffled that he has managed to continue making movies as long as he has. Times Up is much more meaningful when you keep in mind that Allen has had no less than 32 projects since his allegations in 1992, one in post-production as we speak. Also, between the Globes, BAFTA and Oscars alone he’s had a whopping 21 nominations with 5 wins. What the actual fuck? I know – he hasn’t been officially tried for anything, but the writing’s on the wall (allegedly).
So now here we are – Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Brett Ratner, Casey Affleck, and James Franco (to name a few). Hollywood producers, directors, and actors that we have pretty definitively put on the shit list. People have been dropped from completed projects, others’ companies are about to collapse entirely, and two no-showed at award-season because of the heat surrounding them.
To be very clear – they deserve the heat, at very least, if allegations prove to be legit. There is no place for the sexual abuse – any abuse – in the workplace or elsewhere. Ever. If you think otherwise, go fuck yourself.
My dilemma: I like “The Usual Suspects.” I have pushed people into seeing “The Disaster Artist” and “Baby Driver” recently and will continue to do so because they’re both fun and well-done movies, despite having actors that may indeed be exploitative human-beings. I’d be hard-pressed to identify anyone who will never again watch one of over 300 films Weinstein has produced over his career.
So what do we do? What can we do? I’ll admit I had feelings about seeing “The Cosby Show” on Amazon Prime when I was browsing. But I like “The Cosby Show,” and I do want to rewatch some of my favourite moments. Is that bad? Is it better or worse that it’s part of a streaming service? What if I have physical copies of this content? I have a copy of “The Usual Suspects,” as well as other Spacey, Franco, and Affleck movies in physical form. That’s money spent by a naive young man who had no clue of the actions some of these men took. Hell, a few of them may not have even done anything at that point.
Saying I want to cut these men off wholesale is easy. But in practice – not so much. I’m going to buy a physical copy of “The Disaster Artist” when it releases. Not for James Franco, but for Dave Franco, Ari Graynor, Paul Scheer, Nathan Fielder, June Diane Raphael, and the bevy of other hilarious comedians involved. Does this make me a bad person? I don’t think so.
The enjoyment I’ve had from watching movies these men made will always be in my memory. I know I enjoyed “Pineapple Express,” “Horrible Bosses,” or “Pooty Tang” when they came out, but I really don’t need to watch any of them again. If there is something I feel compelled to go back to or see for the first time, that’s okay too. Honestly, separating the person from the performance might end up being harder than I think upon rewatching. The key is to look forward and make sure we don’t support this action in the future. The time is now to create an environment within Hollywood, so we don’t have to continue having this conversation. I’m sick of wondering if we’re still allowed to enjoy movies from our past.