Actor Alec Baldwin has defended Woody Allen before – and in a series of new tweets, he’s done it again.
Alec Baldwin has compared Dylan Farrow, who has accused her father Woody Allen of sexual abuse, to a fictional character famous for lying about rape.
In a series of tweets from a now-deleted account, Baldwin compared Farrow to To Kill A Mockingbird’s Mayella Ewell – a character who falsely accused the book’s Tom Robinson of rape.
“One of the most effective things Dylan Farrow has in her arsenal is the ‘persistence of emotion,’” he wrote. “Like Mayella in To Kill A Mockingbird, her tears/exhortations are meant to shame you into belief in her story. But I need more than that before I destroy someone, regardless of their fame. I need a lot more.”
“To say that @RealDylanFarrow is telling the truth is to say that [her brother] @MosesFarrow is lying,” he continued in a second tweet. “Which of Mia’s kids got the honesty gene and which did not?”
“If my defense of Woody Allen offends you, it’s real simple. Unfollow. Condemn. Move on.”
Baldwin has appeared in three of Allen’s films: Alice, To Rome With Love and Blue Jasmine. He previously referred to the allegations against Allen earlier this month, writing on Twitter that his collaborations with the director were among his career highlights.
“Woody Allen was investigated forensically by two states (NY and CT) and no charges were filed,” he said. “The renunciation of him and his work, no doubt, has some purpose. But it’s unfair and sad to me.”
“I worked w/ WA 3 times and it was one of the privileges of my career.”
Baldwin added that he believed it was “possible to support survivors of paedophilia and sexual assault/abuse and also believe that WA is innocent”.
“The intention is not to dismiss or ignore such complaints,” he wrote. “But accusing ppl of such crimes should be treated carefully. On behalf of the victims, as well.”
Baldwin himself hasn’t been free of controversy around his treatment of women. At an awards ceremony at the beginning of 2017, the actor admitted that he had “certainly treated women in a very sexist way” in the past.
“I’ve bullied women. I’ve overlooked women. I’ve underestimated women,” he said. “Not as a rule. From time to time, I’ve done what a lot of men do, which is… when you don’t treat women the same way you treat men. You don’t. I’m from a generation where you really don’t and I’d like that to change. I really would like that to change.”
In 2007, Baldwin also famously called his daughter Ireland, then 11 years old, a “‘rude, thoughtless little pig”.
Dylan Farrow responded to Baldwin’s comments in a statement to the The Hollywood Reporter, pointing out that the character of Mayella Ewell was, in fact, forced into an incestuous relationship with her father, who repeatedly rapes and beats her.
“Considering that Mr. Baldwin confidently invoked Mayella Ewell to make his point while forgetting that it’s been hotly debated that she was, in fact, raped by her father, demonstrates that perhaps Baldwin is just not a stickler for details,” she said.
Numerous Hollywood stars have come out in recent months to apologise for working with Allen. Colin Firth, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page have all said that they won’t work with the director again, while Kate Winslet has said that she “regrets” working with “men of power”.
Call Me By Your Name actor Timothée Chalamet donated his salary from Allen’s latest film to the LGBT Centre in New York, the Time’s Up movement and RAINN. Actress Mina Sorvino also penned a moving open letter to Dylan Farrow apologising for her role in an Allen film.
Long-time collaborator Diane Keaton, however, has reiterated her support for Allen. “Woody Allen is my friend and I believe him,” she wrote on Twitter.
Image: Rex Features