Greta Gerwig speaks out against Woody Allen: ‘I will not work for him again’

The Lady Bird writer-director is the latest Hollywood star to express regret at having previously worked with alleged abuser Woody Allen

Article by Jamie Dunn | 10 Jan 2018
  • Greta Gerwig

The weekend’s Golden Globe awards was a bittersweet affair. It was thrilling to see this most superficial of awards ceremonies – where the red carpet fashion and flowing champagne usually take precedence over the movies – become a night of protest and female solidarity as Hollywood came together following the Harvey Weinstein scandal and subsequent revelations of sexual abuse in the film industry. It was also a good night for female-centred films, with the Frances McDormand-fronted Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Saoirse Ronan-fronted Lady Bird taking the top prices for Best Drama and Best Comedy respectively. The latter was also written and directed by a woman, Frances Ha star Greta Gerwig.

The sour note of the night was that Gerwig wasn’t nominated in the directing category, which ended up being once again an all-male affair. Her night ended on a low too when she was asked at the Globes' press conference about having previously worked with Woody Allen (on 2012 comedy From Rome with Love), who was accused of abusing his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, in 1993. Gerwig gave a decidedly non-committal answer that seemed to go against the unofficial theme of the night: the Time’s Up movement, a campaign launch to fight sexual abuse in the film industry. "It's something that I've thought deeply about,” said Gerwig to journalists, “and I haven't had an opportunity to have an in-depth discussion where I come down on one side or the other."

While it’s unfair that seems to only be the women who have worked with Woody Allen who continue to be interrogated on this subject, Gerwig’s mealy-mouthed response on the night did not go down well with many, including Allen’s accuser, Dylan Farrow. "Wearing black means nothing if you’re not willing to denounce those in power – no matter how much they might mean to you," Farrow wrote on Twitter in response to Gerwig’s evasion.

However, in a new interview with The New York Times published yesterday, the writer-director-actor has been much more direct about the Woody Allen question, saying that she now regrets working with the filmmaker in 2012. "If I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film,” she said. “I have not worked for him again, and I will not work for him again.”

The Lady Bird writer-director also referenced the open letter Farrow penned to the NYT in 2014 after Allen received a lifetime achievement award from the Golden Globes, in which she reiterated her allegations of abuse against the filmmaker. Gerwig said that Farrow’s letter made her “realize that I increased another woman's pain, and I was heartbroken by that realisation. I grew up on [Allen’s] movies, and they have informed me as an artist, and I cannot change that fact now, but I can make different decisions moving forward."

Farrow has since responded to this interview: writing on Twitter she said “Greta, thank you for your voice. Thank you for your words. Please know they are deeply felt and appreciated.”

Gerwig’s sentiment of regret follow similar statements by Ellen Page, who also appeared in From Rome with Love, and David Krumholtz, who features in Allen’s upcoming film Wonder Wheel. It has to be assumed that other actors will follow suit, and it’s difficult to see how Allen will continue to operate as a filmmaker in the current climate. As Farrow recently wrote on Twitter: “No predator should be spared by virtue of their ‘talent’ or ‘creativity’ or ‘genius’. No rock should be left unturned. The principles of the movement need to be applied consistently and without exemption.”