The always-nebbishy, sometimes brilliant, frequently self-involved, occasionally trite Woody Allen turns 81 today. Not all will be celebrating; his son Ronan Farrow, for instance, who spoke out this year on the media’s failure to adequately examine Allen’s alleged sexual abuse of his daughter Dylan, is unlikely to be raising a glass.
For those who are celebrating, half- or full-heartedly, revisit some of the Forward’s best Allen coverage. There’s our immortal, strangely author-less celebration of his 80th birthday, “Ranking Woody Allen Lists on His 80th Birthday,” Adam Langer’s “How Woody Allen Lost Me” — are we still celebrating? — and Ezra Glinter’s review of Allen’s latest movie, “Cafe Society,” which Glinter deemed “about as profound as a hairdo.”
So, yeah, mazel tov.
Woody Allen told The Guardian last week that he is “not surprised” by anti-Semitism.
The 80-year-old star, who is making the press rounds for his new movie “Cafe Society,” said that while he has not faced discrimination because of his religion, some of his Jewish friends have.
“If there were no Jews in the world they would take it out on blacks,” he said. “If no blacks, they’d move over to Catholics. No Catholics? Something else. Finally, if everyone is exactly the same, the left-handed people would start killing the right-handed people. You just need an other [on whom] to vent your hostility and frustration.”
Allen went on to say that he doubts anti-Semitism will ever be a thing of the past.
“Hopefully, the wave will ebb and people will realize that’s not the problem and focus more on what the problems are,” he said. “But the world is full of intolerance and prejudice. Freud said there would always be anti-Semitism because people are a sorry lot. And they are a sorry lot.”
While the director has stated in the past that he does not believe in organized religion, he has been an out-spoken supporter of Israel.
“I support Israel and I’ve supported it since the day it was founded,” Allen said. “…I understand that Israelis have been through hard times, I don’t expect Israel to react perfectly every time and that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a wonderful, marvelous country.”
Thea Glassman is a Multimedia Fellow at the Forward. Reach her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @theakglassman.
The Internet reverberated yesterday with details about how, exactly, neo-Nazis identify and target Jews on social media and online. By placing an “echo,” a symbol consisting of three parentheses around a (((Jewish-sounding name))), white supremacists and anti-Semites — many of them self-identified Trump supporters — signal to each other who is (((Jewish))) and band together to harass, intimidate and flood their social media accounts with Holocaust and anti-Semitic imagery.
Jared Kushner, Trump’s Jewish son in law, was even listed on a database of Jewish individuals to target. The list, though alarming, is not quite complete, so we thought we could help out the anti-Semites by sending out echoes of our own:
(((Mel Brooks))) killed it as Adolf Hitler in “The Producers.”
(((Jesus of Nazareth))), a (((Jew))) who preached love and peace.
(((Woody Allen))) was a “real” Jew in “Annie Hall.”
(((Moses))), the original Nice (((Jewish))) boy.
The (((Statue of Liberty))), stands for no one faith but for American values of tolerance and openness.
Actress Susan Sarandon slammed Woody Allen at the Cannes Film Festival, saying she believed claims he sexually abused his daughter Dylan Farrow to be true.
“I think he sexually assaulted a child and I don’t think that’s right,” Sarandon said Sunday according to Variety.
“I have nothing good to say about him,” she added. “I don’t want to go there.”
Also in Cannes, comedian Laurent Lafitte made a rape joke at the premiere of Allen’s film, “Cafe Society,” seemingly hinting at the abuse allegations.
Allen’s son, Ronan Farrow, criticized the media last week for not doing enough to cover the abuse allegations.
Farrow alleged that media outlets relied on talking points provided by Allen’s public relations representatives, creating what he termed “a self-perpetuating spin machine.”
Contact Josefin Dolsten at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @JosefinDolsten
Ronan Farrow, son of Jewish filmmaker Woody Allen, called out the media on failing to publish information about his father’s alleged sexual abuse of daughter Dylan Farrow.
Ronan wrote that he believes claims by Dylan that Allen routinely molested her as a child to be true, and recounts how his father would go into his sister’s bed at night and force her to suck his thumb, in the Hollywood Reporter.
He alleges that media outlets refused to publish the truth about his sister’s sexual abuse claims, instead relying on talking points provided by Allen’s public relations representatives, creating what he termed “a self-perpetuating spin machine.”
In one instance the New York Times published Dylan’s account of repeated sexual abuse as a child by her father online, but then published Allen’s longer response in their print edition.
“It was a stark reminder of how differently our press treats vulnerable accusers and powerful men who stand accused,” Ronan wrote.
Ronan, who is a journalist, called on the media to stop protecting those facing sexual abuse allegations and to allow victims to be heard by publishing their accounts.
“Very often, women with allegations do not or cannot bring charges. Very often, those who do come forward pay dearly, facing off against a justice system and a culture designed to take them to pieces. A reporter’s role isn’t to carry water for those women. But it is our obligation to include the facts, and to take them seriously. Sometimes, we’re the only ones who can play that role,” he wrote.
Josefin Dolsten can be contacted at email@example.com, and followed on Twitter @JosefinDolsten
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