…was that it provided the incredibly satisfying feeling of caring about children who were sexually abused without having to actually, you know, care or anything.
The demonstration of just how shallow and uncaring our Chattering Classes are is this: How many of the people who fake concern about sexual abuse have continued making Woody Allen a very rich man for the past 20 years? Here’s what we know about this man.
Here’s what his victim says to a Chattering Class that completely ignored her because Allen was so cool (exactly the way victims of priests were iced out by the chanceries and parishes of St. We-Adore-Our-Hip-Priest in the Diocese of Denial.
And here’s what the Chattering Classes did about him and his victim:
Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, “who can say what happened,” to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face – on a poster, on a t-shirt, on television – I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.
Last week, Woody Allen was nominated for his latest Oscar. …
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?
Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.
So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.
Are you imagining that? Now, what’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?
Gosh, just thinking about the moral ramifications of this situation is enough to make one’s head spin, frankly. On one hand, you have the accusations that have been leveled against me: that I am a sexual predator who molested my adopted adolescent daughter while simultaneously entering into a sexual relationship with the child of my now ex-partner that continues to this day. But on the other hand, you have my truly lovable persona and monumental contributions to cinema—as evidenced by such timeless works as Manhattan, The Purple Rose Of Cairo, and Crimes And Misdemeanors—that have delighted millions of people and unquestionably benefited society as a whole.
So, do you blindly condemn me based on unproven allegations of sexual impropriety that, even if true, shouldn’t automatically diminish the import of my immense artistic contributions? Or do you maintain that the value of my work supersedes what I may or may not have done in my personal life, knowing that in doing so you are most likely siding with a pederast whom the American public has inexplicably let off the hook for a series of horrific crimes that in a just world would have seen me in handcuffs long ago?
See what I’ve done to you? See the choice I’ve forced you to make? That’s right, folks; for the rest of your lives you’ll have to weigh everything my art has meant to you personally against a series of damning, albeit not technically proven, allegations of horrific abuse, and you basically have to make that calculation every single time you watch one of my films or laugh at one of my undeniably funny jokes. Holy Moses, that has to be a real drag for you guys.
The reason it’s a quandary, of course, is that Allen’s peers, apologists, and fawning admirers never really cared about victims of sexual abuse. They cared about being perceived as caring about it. So when priests were doing it and bishops were covering it up, it was an entirely cost-free way of expressing moral dudgeon alongside all the hippest people and doing it at the expense of something that none of their peers would be caught dead approving of anyway. Cheap, fake moralism.
But now, when it involves blaspheming something and someone that they regard as cool and as one of their own, the Chattering Classes don’t merely fall silent: they loudly acclaim the Great Man as they have done for 20 years.
I take seriously the people who have consistently attacked sexual abuse of children, not only in the Church, but among the hip as well. But anybody who has patronized Woody Allen’s films for the past 20 years or lionized Roman Polanski while loudly wailing and wringing their hands about the abuse in the Church is poseur and a fraud who makes abundantly clear that sexual abuse of children is just fine so long as you are the Right Kind of Roman.