Fans and foes of Woody Allen are drawing lines in the digital sand following a lengthy and sentimental tribute to the legendary filmmaker on Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards telecast.
Allen, who in true Allen fashion couldn’t be bothered to attend the ceremony, was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. Diane Keaton, immortalized as the iconic Annie Hall in Allen’s 1977 Oscar-winning comedy, accepted the award on Allen’s behalf, calling him a close friend and even signing a song in his honor.
But many on Twitter and Facebook weren’t feeling the love, most notably Ronan Farrow, the 26-year-old son of Allen and Mia Farrow, who has been estranged from his father for a number of years. During the tribute, Farrow posted the following jab on Twitter and Facebook:
Missed the Woody Allen tribute - Did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?
â€” Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 13, 2014
As of Monday morning, Farrow’s tweet was retweeted more than 8,800 times. Farrow, a noted lawyer and MSNBC host, was referring to allegations made by Woody and Mia’s adopted daughter, Dylan. The allegations, which Allen’s lawyer has denied, made headlines this fall in a Vanity Fair article.
Following Ronan Farrow’s tweet, many on Twitter seemed to think his sentiment was a fitting response to the fawning tribute.
@RonanFarrow I was thinking of you guys during that glowing acknowledgment. Good for you for not letting people forget.
â€” Heidi R. Kling (@HeidiRKling) January 13, 2014
â€” Aura Bogado (@aurabogado) January 13, 2014
@RonanFarrow Many choose to support your family by not supporting his work. The art and the artist cannot be separated.
â€” Alex Asher Sears (@alexandrawrote) January 13, 2014
Really commend @RonanFarrow for saying what a lot of us were thinking when Woody Allen was praised for his 'admirable' treatment of women.
â€” Elizabeth Plank (@feministabulous) January 13, 2014
As far as I'm concerned, @RonanFarrow is standing up for all sexual abuse survivors tonight. Thank you.
â€” Courtenay Stallings (@CourtenayCal) January 13, 2014
Conversely, some Twitter users thought the public swipe was self-serving and out of line.
â€” Ernest Barteldes (@ebarteldes) January 13, 2014
@RonanFarrow You're being manipulated by your mother. This is not an accusation that's been made formally or has been proven.
â€” Showbiz 411 (@showbiz411) January 13, 2014
If nothing else, @RonanFarrow certainly just got himself some publicity for his new show…
â€” The Mutiny Company (@MutinyCo) January 13, 2014
Some high-profile names chimed is as well. NBC News’ Luke Russert posted the following tweet along with a link to the Vanity Fair interview.
â€” Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) January 13, 2014
To which some pointed out that Allen was never charged or convicted.
â€” Tilly Toogood (@tillytoogood) January 13, 2014
On Monday morning, Mia Farrow joined the chorus of critics bashing the Golden Globes for the Allen tribute, saying the segment showed contempt not only for Dylan but for all abuse survivors.
A woman has publicly detailed Woody Allen's molestation of her at age 7. GoldenGlobe tribute showed contempt for her & all abuse survivors
â€” mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) January 13, 2014
That tweet, too, attracted responses from Allen supporters urging critics not to conflate the filmmaker’s work with his life.
â€” PableShiff (@pableshiff) January 13, 2014
Whichever side you’re on, reactions to the tribute and the ensuing debate make it clear that Woody Allen has joined the ranks of legendary artists such as Roman Polanski and Michael Jackson whose creative achievements will forever be tarnished by checkered pasts.
Allen himself has been absent throughout the debate. The 78-year-old filmmaker has virtually no social media presence. And even though he famously said “80 percent of success is showing up,” he rarely does so when it comes to awards ceremonies. One rare exception was in 2002, a few months after the attacks of 9/11, when he presented a tribute to New York City at the 73rd Academy Awards.
In a follow-up tweet on Monday, Mia Farrow urged Allen defenders to read the Vanity Fair article and decide for themselves.