As those who have followed the uproar surrounding my lifetime achievement award at this year’s Golden Globes are aware, my name has again become the source of controversy. Once more, the media, the general public, and my own family members have called into question the propriety of continuing to honor and lavish praise upon an individual—myself, legendary film director Woody Allen—who has been accused of committing crimes of the most deplorable nature. Addressing this highly contentious matter would require you to delve into the following ethical quandary: Do you continue to support me as a filmmaker, writer, and human being who has technically not been convicted of any crime, or do you henceforth cease your admiration of me and my work due to the admittedly pretty damn compelling evidence that I molested at least one young child?
I mean, wow, I’ve really put you guys in a pretty tight spot here, haven’t I? Can’t say I envy you people one bit; this one’s a real doozy.
Gosh, just thinking about the moral ramifications of this situation is enough to make one’s head spin, frankly. On one hand, you have the accusations that have been leveled against me: that I am a sexual predator who molested my adopted adolescent daughter while simultaneously entering into a sexual relationship with the child of my now ex-partner that continues to this day. But on the other hand, you have my truly lovable persona and monumental contributions to cinema—as evidenced by such timeless works as Manhattan, The Purple Rose Of Cairo, and Crimes And Misdemeanors—that have delighted millions of people and unquestionably benefited society as a whole.
So, do you blindly condemn me based on unproven allegations of sexual impropriety that, even if true, shouldn't automatically diminish the import of my immense artistic contributions? Or do you maintain that the value of my work supersedes what I may or may not have done in my personal life, knowing that in doing so you are most likely siding with a pederast whom the American public has inexplicably let off the hook for a series of horrific crimes that in a just world would have seen me in handcuffs long ago?
See what I’ve done to you? See the choice I’ve forced you to make? That’s right, folks; for the rest of your lives you’ll have to weigh everything my art has meant to you personally against a series of damning, albeit not technically proven, allegations of horrific abuse, and you basically have to make that calculation every single time you watch one of my films or laugh at one of my undeniably funny jokes. Holy Moses, that has to be a real drag for you guys.
Oh, sure, you could try to defend me in an argument by saying, “Well, he was never convicted, and it’s possible that this little girl just made all that stuff up,” but, c’mon, anyone who says that is bound to sound like kind of an asshole, right? Even if your intentions are good, that line of argument does sort of make you look like you’re throwing a potential molestation victim under the bus in order to defend, at all costs, that funny, neurotic guy in the glasses who makes you laugh, doesn’t it? No, obviously you can’t do that. But then again, what are you going to do? Never watch Annie Hall again? Not to sound too conceited or anything, but you know you don’t want that.
The fact is, this isn’t a black-and-white issue. My gifts to the medium of film are unparalleled: Sleeper; Hannah And Her Sisters; and don’t forget Broadway Danny Rose, which is severely underrated! My alleged crimes are atrocious: sexual predation, molestation, pedophilia. I have produced scores of deftly funny yet poignant movies that have pushed the genre of film comedy into new and previously unexplored dimensions. On the other side of the coin, I left my longtime girlfriend for a girl 37 years my junior the same year I very likely, for all you know, digitally penetrated a 7-year-old girl. Are you about to go to bat for someone like that? Will you join a society that is willing not just to exonerate but also to celebrate a possible remorseless child molester just because he made Sweet And Lowdown?
Face it, you’re all pretty screwed on this one. Goddamn it, if only the evidence against me was just a smidgen more airtight and I wasn’t so delightful. This would be so easy for you all! I’m really sorry about that.
At the end of the day, I am just Woody Allen, the lovably neurotic New York Jew whose works have captivated audiences for more than half a century. However, I am also a man who preyed on the teenaged daughter of my lover, marrying her while tearing apart our family in the process. I also am an acclaimed writer and performer who has produced hundreds of films, plays, essays, and stand-up comedy routines that have become an inherent part of our cultural fabric and that will continue to inspire for decades to come. And yes, I also possibly, maybe, forced myself on a 7-year-old girl—my own daughter—betraying the most sacred covenant of trust and ruining her life. And I made Bananas.
Anyway, sorry I can’t do anything more than deny the allegations against me, which does you absolutely no good whatsoever. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what happened and what is right. Good luck, everyone!