It’s been over a year since #MeToo has ousted many abusive men in power in Hollywood. Is the fight against sexual harassment and the need for accountability over in the entertainment field? If Jude Law’s recent statements about a film he made mean anything, the answer is no. And I’m not talking about his role in the problematic Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald film.
In a profile in The New York Times, when asked about his shelved Woody Allen-directed film A Rain Day in New York, Jude said it was a “terrible shame” that Amazon halted the release of this film this film in the midst of the #MeToo movement. Jude cited the hard work that people like Allen put into this film as his reasoning.
Woody Allen’s daughter Dylan Farrow came forward in 1992 and said that Allen had sexually abused her. He was tried on these sexual abuse claims in 1993. He was acquitted but lost custody of Dylan and had limited visitation rights to see his other children with Mia Farrow.
Dylan first went public with her story as an adult in a letter published in The New York Times in 2014. She expressed frustration about how celebrities, like Cate Blanchett and Scarlett Johansson, have worked with Woody despite knowing about the abuse that she survived. A few days later, The New Times published an op-ed from Allen, who denied his daughter’s claims. Then came 2017 with the tidal wave that was #MeToo.
On October 5, 2017 The New York Times published an investigative piece detailing the abuse that Harvey Weinstein had perpetuated in the industry for decades. A few days later, Ronan Farrow, Dylan’s brother and Allen’s son, had an investigative piece published his first of three pieces on Harvey and the severe sexual crimes that he allegedly committed and the networks that covered his actions up, including hiring “Kroll, which is one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies.”
Harvey’s grip on Hollywood was over. This also triggered what was known as the “Weinstein effect,” where many powerful men were finally ousted as abusers, like CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves. However, Woody seemed to be somewhat untarnished by this “Weinstein effect” — at least at the beginning.
Dylan wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times asking why the #MeToo movement has “spared” Woody in December 2017. She detailed an alleged assault, where Allen had “led [her] into the attic” and assaulted her when she was 7. Around the time that Weinstein was ousted from Hollywood in fall 2017, Woody was shooting A Rainy Day in New York.
After production of A Rain Day in New York wrapped, two of its stars, Selena Gomez and Timothée Chalamet, donated their salaries to Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which was set up during the #MeToo movement to lessen the financial burden of people who speak up and pursue legal action against sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. Celebrities like Ellen Page and Greta Gerwig have apologized for working on projects with Woody in the past.
Jude Law has clearly not gotten the memo that defending abusers is not the status quo in Hollywood anymore — and it never should have been in the first place. While abusers need to be held accountable, systems that protect them and people who excuse their behavior need to be stopped and dismantled as well. The #MeToo movement has made tremendous strides in holding people accountable, but we have work to do. Being silence is being complicit, so the silence must end.