Woody Allen and Polanski: The Rich and Shameless Display Hypocrisy About Child Sexual Abuse

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Nobody hates pedophiles more than the Rich and Shameless.

At least, they hate pedophiles when the pedophile is a priest.

Pedophile priests should be — and are — burned at the stake of public opinion, and their pedophile-enabling bishops along with them. That’s the verdict of the R&S set.

However, when the pedophile is a powerful director of successful films — who might conceivably be of benefit to their careers — we are reminded of the cinema “art,” these directors provide. As for the unimportant girl-child, well, she can’t give anybody a job or produce their play or anything of value. So what’s the beef? Put away the stake, douse the flames and quit the word processor. There will be no public hating today.

Here’s how the Rich and Shameless appear to regard these things:

Catholic priest caught with child pornography on his computer:

R&S: Burn/behead/draw-and-quarter him. At the least, send him, his bishop and the bishop’s dog to a maximum security prison for life.

Powerful director rapes a teen-aged girl:

R&S: It wasn’t rape rape. Let’s sign a petition protesting the police-state arrest of this great artist.

Powerful director, at age 56, has an affair with and marries a girl he has raised as his daughter, and is accused by her sister of having raped her when she was seven:

R&S: This is just a bitter woman (the girls mother) who is trying to get this fine man, who, by the way, is a “great artist.” His “personal life” should not interfere with the professional respect he receives for his “art.”  

Does anybody but me detect a wee bit of hypocrisy here?

I have no problem with sending pedophile priests to jail. I am as disgusted with the bishops who hid them and allowed them to continue in their abuse of children as anyone on this planet.

The difference between me and the Rich and Shameless is that I feel this way because of the children. I am not interested in using the sexual abuse of children as a leitmotif to try to define and destroy the Catholic Church. I also do not excuse priests who do this because they’re on “my” team. So far as I’m concerned, it’s all about the children.

These people, that I’m calling “Rich and Shameless” for lack of a better way to describe them, excoriate Catholic priests who sexually abuse children without mercy or limit. They extend this excoriation to the Church as a whole, drubbing all priests and bishops with the same filthy brush.

Then they turn around and deny and defend powerful members of their own community from well-founded accusations of egregious sexual abuse of children. They use specious denials, personal testimonies, accusations and claims of some sort of non-existent moral high ground to excuse who they want excused from whatever they do. It gets so ridiculous that they inevitably end up skewering themselves with their own dissimulations.

I don’t think that people who do this care about the sexual abuse of children. I think they use it when the sexual abuse fits their other objectives as a means of attacking people and causes they don’t like. I think they then turn around and dismiss it, to quote Shakespeare, as much ado about nothing when the accused is one of their own, even when the accusations against their own stink like an open sewer.

Their outrage over pedophile priests looks like a pose and a sham. Their reactions to pedophiles, both charged and credibly accused, who are also powerful directors, are exhibits a and b, pointing to that conclusion.

  • FW Ken

    Good post, Rebecca. As a Catholic, I am grateful for the publicity which has enabled us to clean house. As one who spends his days trying to make the community safer from sexual predators, among others, I am appalled at those who use the suffering of children to score points against the Church while ignoring the larger scale problem of child sexual abuse. They are also predators in their own way.

    As to Hollywood, this might demonstrate that Allen and Polanski are not.isolated instances of the problem.

    http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/10/30/experts-pedophiles-in-hollywood-even-bigger-problem-than-in-corey-feldmans-day/

  • kanyewesteros

    This is a great article. The hypocrisy of those who condemn Catholic priests and not other pedophiles should not go unnoticed.

    “I don’t think that people who do this care about the sexual abuse of children. I think they use it when the sexual abuse fits their other objectives as a means of attacking people and causes they don’t like. I think they then turn around and dismiss it, to quote Shakespeare, as much ado about nothing when the accused is one of their own, even when the accusations against their own stink like an open sewer.”

    Replace the Rich and Shameless with “The Republican Party elite” and replace “sexual abuse of children” with “the unborn and abortion,” and you get exactly how I feel. Maybe y’all Catholics need to take over the Republican Party. Get on that!

    • zcastaux

      Strangely, I find the words ‘stink like an open sewer’ are rather too emotive for a site which is supposed to avoid extremes in language. Perhaps it also reminds me that in real cases, the police are at times led to a horrible crime scene (I won’t mention any here) by an actual stink. I think it would be best to avoid the term as a literary device. In the case of Allen, his behaviour at that time was so clearly, unavoidably culpable, in ordinary terms, that he only got away with a very, very clever defense of being in therapy for a whole bunch of problems, and quickly marrying the daughter whom Farrow had trusted him with. It was very widely accepted in the American media and psychotherapy and legal communities, that nobody but Allen, at such a level of fame, could have swung this. Even seasoned experts expected he would get some jail term, but no …

  • oregon nurse

    You could add Mia Farrow to that list since she apparently chose to remain silent about her own brother’s pedophile abuses and he was actually convicted. She’s picking and choosing her outrage as well. They are all hypocrites and my list of Hollywood actors whose films I refuse to watch on principle is getting rather long.

    • Muhammad Abbass

      I agree about Mia Farrow’s hypocrisy given her pedo brother, but suggest by lumping Woody Allen in with them when he has not done anything at all to justify such a label as far as what is publicly known, just makes you as bad.

      • hamiltonr

        Muhammad, please don’t say unkind things to other commenters on this blog.

      • Defiant

        What do YOU know about what he’s done?

    • Defiant

      Sadly, I agree. I can’t even go see Matt Damon films anymore. I’m sick of his sanctimonious face.

    • zcastaux

      What do you mean, ‘apparently’? You are basing your reply on what ‘FABIO’ is blogging? Is that your ‘research’ on Farrow’s brother, whose name does not even appear here? Moreover, how about reading the very recent case of the ‘abuser’ released after being jailed, in the USA, because the teenage male witness had lied repeatedly, and the counsel did not actually ASK the accused if he had committed any crime. He pleaded guilty WITHOUT having been asked if he was guilty, in a kind of mad ‘plea-bargaining’ situation. It is too much. Woody Allen, however, was widely regarded as an EXTREME case of ‘getting away with it’, even in US law. He ‘married’ Soon Yi to avoid going to jail for the rest of his life. He ‘had to’.

  • FW Ken
  • pagansister

    It makes no difference WHO does the molesting —send them all to jail, and make sure they never see the light of day again. Rich or poor, famous or not famous, Catholic, Jew, Muslim, etc., the guilty should be punished by the law.

    • Muhammad Abbass

      Absolutely and when the law runs interference for the rich and powerful among them, the responsible cops and judges should be treated as equally guilty.

      • pagansister

        I agree.

  • peggy-o

    Dylan’s testimony does seem consistent with other cases. False claims tend to fall apart eventually like the McMartin case. What surprises me is that given the judges comments denying custody, how was this man ever allowed to adopt again? Women of all stripes should be more vocal and united on these issues. Human dignity and safety trumps art.

  • anna lisa

    I had kept all the murky gossip about Woody Allen at arms length, and had no idea he had raped his daughter. How despicable that he walks free, lies like a rat, and refuses to apologize to her. What a sociopath. Dylan Farrow’s letter just convinced me to never go to a movie of his again.

  • Language Matters

    Ms. Hamilton (and everyone): PLEASE STOP using the term “pedophile priests.” The John Jay Report documents that the vast majority of victims were postpubescent boys. Hence, the vast majority of crimes were of homosexual men preying on teenage boys. Using the term pedophile plays into the secular culture’s desire to demonize the Church, while at the same obscuring the problem of homosexuality, both within the culture and the priesthood.

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      I don’t think there is a moral distinction between the pedophilia for teenage children and for pre-teen. It’s both pedophilia, though I see how there could be a distinction in type. Both are disgusting, criminal, and immoral.

      • peggy-o

        Manny, pedophilia only applies to pre pubescent children. It’s still sexual abuse with older children and disgusting and criminal as you say. The commenter above was correct that very few of the priest abuse cases involved true pedophilia as the John Jay report noted. However even one is too many.

        • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

          I just checked wikipedia on the definition of pedophilia and you are right. It applies to pre-pubescent children. I leaned something new. I stand corrected. Thanks.

      • FW Ken

        Manny, it’s an important distinction. Morally, no, legally, somewhat, and clinically, dramatically so. With true pedophiles, you are more likely to get into true compulsions. While not all pedophiles act on their impulses, it’s not really something curable. A man who molests a sexually mature young man is a predatory homosexual. To consider the Catholic scandals a matter of pedophilia is to obscure the real problem, which is a matter of sin, not sickness.

        And yes, both are crimes.

        • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

          Yes, seem my response to Peggy below. I didn’t realize there was a distinction.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Kudos on finding the perfect picture for this post! It made me laugh. Completely agree with you on the hypocrisy.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    I am not happy with this article, Rebecca, for different reasons. The assumption that Allen is of course guilty as charged seems to me dangerous. I have seen divorce cases from very close quarters, and I would not trust one accusation that came out of them; especially since Mia Farrow has a paedophile brother – this, yes, proved – whose activities did not seem to bother her. Contrary to popular belief, children can and do lie in court, if the parent who drives them is good enough at manipulation. I have very good reason to say this. And people can and do go on lying all their lives; indeed, they elaborate their lies as time goes on, and become convinced of them. I have seen all this happens, and I’m sure you must have too – at least, if you haven’t, you are lucky. I would like, therefore, rather better grounds to think Allen guilty than the word of a child of seven and the drive of a woman who had very good reason to hate him but who does not seem to have minded paedophilia in her own brother.

    As for Polanski, my viewpoint is different. No doubt he is guilty as charged, even though few details of the prosecution and of his final arrest in Switzerland could have been more disgraceful, What troubles me is a sense of who Polanski the man is and of why he ended up where he did. You call him rich and famous and powerful and that seems to be that; but wealth and fame and what passes for power never did anything for him. Polanski comes from the Holocaust; he is the sole survivor of his family, and his childhood does not bear being described. Then he grows up under Communist tyranny. He becomes a movie director and his first movie is nominated for an Oscar; he practically escapes Poland and meets Sharon Tate. Ah, yes, Sharon Tate. It is quite clear that their marriage would not have lasted, and that he was projecting a rather incoherent image of desirable femininity on her, which is bad. But then she was butchered by a gang of maniacs – like his mother at the hands of the Nazis – along with four other people and with her almost-born baby. He was a still young man, counting the days till his beautiful young wife should deliver their baby.

    Five years after this he produced his masterpiece, CHINATOWN, universally described as one of the greatest movies ever made. I regard it as one of the most desperate movies I ever saw, and, far from being – as people keep repeating – a homage to old hard-boiled detective stories, as being the most elaborate and devastating denial of everything they stood for.

    We remember Raymond Chandler’s description of his hero and his meaning: ”
    ..down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor—by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.
    “He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him.
    “The story is this man’s adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.”

    This is Jake Gittes, except that Jake Gittes loses. There is no evidence that his dogged honour does anything to make the world a better place – in fact, without his attempt to find out the truth, one or two characters might not have been murdred. Nothing in the story goes right. The Faye Dunaway character, in particular, seems to incarnate all the evils that can be done to a woman – and apparently Polanski based her dress and look on childhood memories of his own murdered mother. This is Roman Polanski’s most elaborate, most thoughtful, most, in a sense, detached statement of his view of the world: and it is a world in which evil wins. (And women pay worse than men for it.)

    None of this does anything to change the fact that he paid to rape a thirteen-year-old. I am not saying that. But he strikes me as one of those villains who are themselves victims, who cannot get rid of a sort of curse that goes with a past full of wrong, and who tend to replicate the evils done to them. Wealth and success had done nothing for him except place him in a place where his downfall would have been more public and more abject.

    • hamiltonr

      That’s a valid point, Fabio.

      My basis stems from his affair with the girl’s sister when she was a minor (this was evidently documented with photos that he took himself of the girl nude, etc.) Not only was this girl a minor, but she was his daughter, in that he had raised her as his daughter. I don’t know if he adopted her or not. He ended up marrying her.

      I regard this as incest and child sexual abuse.

      The charge from her sister is, as you say, not documented. I believe it because he already has an established record with her sister.

      Also, I’ve heard these stories from children who were raped by their parents before and this is how they sound.

      That is not proof. But then, I’m not talking about a court of law. I’m talking about the propensity in certain quarters to excuse powerful directors, whatever they do.

      If he was a Catholic priest with the same accusations leveled against him, would these people react this way? I don’t think so. That is the real point of the article. The hypocrisy.

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        Fair enough. Quite frankly, I am inclined to disbelieve Allen; but having had a certain amount of encounters with divorce in its ugliest form – and having little enough respect for Mia Farrow – I am not disposed to be final about it. His being a great artist has nothing to do with it; more than one great artist in history has been a scoundrel and some kind of abuser – Caravaggio died in a street affray, Cellini bragged of his behaviour in his own memoirs, and so on. I still feel different about Polanski, simply because his life, wealth or not, has been a nightmare. It does not justify what he did, but it can help explain it.

      • Sus_1

        I understand what Fabio is saying. Woody Allen was not convicted or even charged with a crime. I think Mia Farrow is whacked out so her credibility is lacking. I don’t understand how people like this can adopt so many children.

        I was never a fan of Woody Allen’s before this and certainly won’t become one now knowing about his creepy behavior. He didn’t adopt Soon-Yi but in my mind he was a father figure since he was in a relationship with her mother.

        This is a great article that outlines what happened and when –

        http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2014/02/woody-allen-sex-abuse-10-facts

        I feel badly for Dylan and the rest of those kids/adults. What a horrible mess. It’s got to be magnified because it’s playing out in the media and internet.

    • pagansister

      Fabio, I tend to agree with Rebecca on this. A 7 year old is perfectly able to remember being mistreated/molested. A family member, married into our family, was molested from the age of 7, by her father, and with full knowledge of the mother! (both sick human(?) beings). There were members of the family who suspected things but NEVER did anything about it. Finally when she was 13 or so, the State found out (not sure how) and she was removed to foster care. Foster care is another story. Why is there so much doubt about this particular incident finally being brought to light? Yes, in this case, it involves a “famous person” but that really should not make a difference. (of course that is the subject of Rebecca’s course). I tend to believe Allen’s daughter. Those that have been molested tend to feel guilt and in many cases, don’t discuss it. Fortunately my family member has confronted her tormentors, who confessed to it, and apologized, which was a joke, as her younger sister was also molested. Believe me when I tell you, the tormentors have absolutely NO guilt about what they did. The molesters fortunately live out of state now, and there is NO contact with either of them, as it should be. What is sad is that they will never see the inside of a prison or be punished for what they did.

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        As I told Rebecca, I am disposed to disbelieve Allen; just not enough to be sure, and that is because so much that was said and done reminded me of hideous divorce cases I have known. Your experience inclines you further to disbelieve him. Fine – I don’t argue with that. Allen has done enough to show himself deprived of the usual moral barriers, there is no doubt about that.

        Having said that, let me tell you a true story. Sir Patrick Hastings was one of the greatest lawyers ever to appear in the British courts (he was the lawyer for Prince Yusupoff, the murderer of Rasputin, in the trial where the Prince gave an exact account of the murder that is still being quoted in history books). In his memoirs, CASES IN COURT, he tells this story: One client once started his contact with him by saying: “You are not going to believe one word I’m about to tell you”. And when the conversation was over, Hastings in effect did not: it was a story of a partner so diabolically crafty, and of a client so innocently taken in to be made to look like an absolute monster, as to strain the belief of anyone. Hastings went into the courtroom certain that he was defending a swindler. No problem – all lawyers are bound to have clients found guilty as charged, and their duty is simply to give them the best deal that the law allows. Only, cross-questioning the famous partner, Hastings noticed one small contradiction. Now Sir Patrick Hastings was the deadliest cross-questioner in his time, and it was a very bad idea indeed to try and pass a lie before him. He started hammering at the partner, and soon it became clear that the incredible story told by the client was nothing but the pure truth, and that the partner was in fact the almost-Devil-incarnate his client had described. And it’s not the only such story I know of.

        • pagansister

          Interesting story, Fabio. Thanks. :-)

      • peggy-o

        I’m so sorry for your family member. I hope your family can be there for her since hers was not. It’s so rare that molesters ever confess or apologize, although it sounds like they were insincere with your in-law. I will pray for her and her sister and for more justice.

        • pagansister

          Thank you peggy-o, for your prayers. We have embraced her with open arms and she has accepted our love. She is a loving person who went thru hell. With all that has happened to her, I’m surprised she has the capacity to love anyone, but for some reason, she does. As I said above, the apologies from them were so not sincere. They really have no guilt.

  • one comment

    Yes, it is a great hypocrisy and there is so much abuse going on and it is not just “Hollywood” or within the Church but families and those in the community who “know” everywhere are “turning a blind eye” to the abuse of children and it is not just homosexual in nature but daughters and sons are being abused by parents and others in the family. It is a quiet disgrace and crime and should be told by the abused (or anyone who knows) but instead they are quiet out of fear or even devotion to the abuser or they are afraid they will not be believed if they speak the truth! Yes, and even in families it is hidden and sometimes very hard to prove with any certainty even if there are suspicions of abuse.

  • peggy-o

    Here are some facts that convinced me and led me to pray the full truth comes out.

    There was no custody case until after Dylan’s pediatrician reported the abuse. The Yale New Haven team consisted of one doctor and 2 social workers . None of them spoke to Dylan or her mother. None testified, only the doc signed a deposition, the notes were destroyed, they were connected to Woody and the judge ruled the report untrustworthy,
    The prosecutor said there was probable cause for charges but did not file for Dylan’s fragile state.
    Woody was already in counseling for an unhealthy obsession and inappropriate behavior with his daughter before the Soon Yi scandal.
    Several witnesses testified that he disappeared with Dylan on the day in question as well as witnessing inappropriate behavior.
    Woody lost custody and every intimidating lawsuit.
    Some facts that are hard to ifnore

  • Julia B

    Fabio: I’m a retired attorney who also had some nasty divorce cases, but I also was involved as guardian ad litem for the children in some very nasty real-life child abuse cases with the fathers as the perps. The fathers have no feelings of guilt, they are from all walks of life and you can’t spot them just by looking at them.

    You need to read this article by Maureen Orth – the widow of Tim Russert – who has done two in-depth articles about Woody, Mia and the kids. She is being accused of falsehoods; and in this short article she lists the most important items that have been fact-checked and never disproven. Woody is a weasel.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2014/02/woody-allen-sex-abuse-10-facts

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      I take your points. I said all along that I was disposed to disbelieve Allen, and that his affair with Farrow’s adopted daughter showed that he lacks some of the common moral restraints.

  • Mirquella Santos

    Money talks in America. It’s amazing that Woody Allen took naked pictures and had sex with his step-daughter and there’s is nothing wrong with him. Mia is the bad one even thought she never abused any of her children. Sorry, but money and power mean nothing to me. Woody Allen is a predator who preys on children and the only reason he got away is money. PS: I hate Hollywood!


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