So, Woody Allen's awarding of the Cecil B. DeMille Award at this year's Golden Globes got Ronan Farrow, Mia Farrow, and others very upset because of the 20 year-standing allegation that he sexually assaulted Dylan Farrow, when she was seven years old, during Mia and Woody's separation.
What shocked me and saddened me more than this story coming back to light, is how quickly so many people jumped to Allen's defense. He is a rich, famous man with klout and accolades, so many believe it's basically impossible for him to also be a monster. Here is my take, including what we can do as parents when dealing with this sort of thing.
Allen's New York Times piece is basically the guilty man's guide to denying damning accusations, and his tune hasn't changed in 20 years. But here's the thing—there are a number of falsehoods in his piece, and all one has to do is actually research his side of the story to see where he's not being honest (Vanity Fair has done the leg work for you in their piece, "Ten Undeniable Facts About The Woody Allen Sexual Abuse Allegation").
When assault statistics in Canada are staggering, even though the vast majority of assaults go unreported, and men like Allen are allowed to discredit their victims by picking them apart and we as a society let this happen, we are telling assault victims that their voices aren't loud or appreciated, and that maybe they did make the whole thing up for some reason.
While I'm definitely not a psychotherapist or therapist, I'm a survivor, and when things like this happen in Hollywood, we have a tendency to ignore the allegations depending on our personal feelings on the artist at hand. Like all things in the media, we should use these times as learning tools as parents, and not let Hollywood dictate how our children feel.
And while our kids may be too young to know or care about Woody Allen, many—especially teenagers—are going to hear twinklings of this, and as parents, we need to make sure our kids have the right tools to protect themselves. And in case they don't, they need to know they have a safe place to come and be honest, and not be labeled a liar.