Cate Blanchett explains why she “stayed silent” over Woody Allen abuse allegations

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Kayleigh Dray
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Cate Blanchett – who won an Oscar for her role in Woody Allen’s film Blue Jasmine – has addressed the abuse allegations levelled against the director by his daughter, Dylan Farrow.

During a recent appearance on CNN’s Amanpour, Cate Blanchett was asked how she could juxtapose being a #MeToo proponent with staying silent about working with Woody Allen.

“How do you…juxtapose being a #MeToo proponent, a Times Up proponent, and staying silent, or having worked with Woody Allen, would you work with him again?” challenged journalist Christine Amanpour, according to The Guardian.

“I don’t think I’ve stayed silent at all,” responded Blanchett.

“When I worked with Woody Allen I knew nothing of the allegations and it came out at the time that the film [Blue Jasmine, 2013] was released. And, at the time, I said, you know, it’s a very painful and complicated situation for the family, which I hope they have the ability to resolve.”

Blanchett went on to address the importance of the judicial system – and stressed that social media shouldn’t be seen as the “judge and jury” when it comes to cases such as these.

“If these allegations need to be re-examined – in my understanding they’ve been through court – then I’m a big believer in the justice system and setting legal precedence,” she said.

“If the case needs to be reopened then I am absolutely whole-heartedly in support of that, because I think that there’s one thing about social media is fantastic about raising awareness about issues, but it’s not the judge and jury.”

Blanchett finished by saying: “I feel that these things need to go into court, so if these abuses have happened, the person is prosecuted and so someone who is not in the shiny industry that I am can use that legal precedent to protect themselves.

“Always, in my industry or any other industry, they’re preyed upon because they’re vulnerable.”

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, however, Dylan Farrow penned a powerful piece for the Los Angeles Times about Hollywood’s double standards on sexual assault – and criticised the likes of Blanchett, Winslet and Blake Lively for supporting the #MeToo movement while refusing to condemn her adoptive father (and alleged abuser), Allen.

Farrow wrote: “Discussing Weinstein, Wonder Wheel star Kate Winslet said, ‘The fact that these women are starting to speak out about the gross misconduct of one of our most important and well-regarded film producers, is incredibly brave and has been deeply shocking to hear.

“Of Allen, she said, ‘I didn’t know Woody and I don’t know anything about that family…Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person. Woody Allen is an incredible director’.”

Farrow continued: “It isn’t just power that allows men accused of sexual abuse to keep their careers and their secrets. It is also our collective choice to see simple situations as complicated and obvious conclusions as a matter of ‘who can say’?

“The system worked for Harvey Weinstein for decades. It works for Woody Allen still.”

Shortly after publishing her article, Farrow filmed her first TV interview, in which she discusses her claim that her adoptive father sexually assaulted her as a child.

“Why shouldn’t I be angry?” she said.

“Why shouldn’t I be hurt? Why shouldn’t I feel some sort of outrage after all these years being ignored and disbelieved and tossed aside?”

And, when asked why people should believe her, Farrow responded: “I suppose that’s on them, but all I can do is speak my truth and hope that somebody will believe me, instead of just hearing.”

Allen has always vehemently denied Farrow’s claims that he assaulted her in 1992. He was investigated over the accusation and a state prosecutor said he had “probable cause” to prosecute in 1993 but did not file charges, due to the fragility of the “child victim”.

Image: Rex Features


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.