'Blue Jasmine' Distributor Says Woody Allen 'Deserves Our Presumption of Innocence'
Sony Pictures Classics has released a statement following on the heels of new sex abuse claims made against Woody Allen by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.
Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of Allen and Mia Farrow, wrote a first-person account published in the New York Times on Saturday that detailed her allegations against the Blue Jasmine writer-director.
SPC, which is Allen's longtime U.S. distributor and has released his last several movies including the Oscar best picture nominee Midnight in Paris and the Oscar-nominated Blue Jasmine, said Sunday in a statement:
"We have had a long, productive and rewarding relationship with Mr. Allen. This is a very complicated situation and a tragedy for everyone involved. Mr. Allen has never been charged in relationship to any of this, and therefore deserves our presumption of innocence.
"Films are major efforts of collaboration. There are scores of artists and crafts people behind Blue Jasmine. We support and celebrate their extraordinary work here, and count Blue Jasmine as a major achievement of Mr. Allen's career."
The statement came shortly after Allen released his own statement:
"Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful. He will be responding very soon," his rep told The Hollywood Reporter.
In her piece, Farrow wrote: "[W]hen I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me," Farrow wrote in an open letter posted on Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's blog.
In an editors note at the top of the Times blog post, Kristof wrote that the letter was "the first time that Dylan Farrow herself has written about it in public." The renewed accusations surface as Allen's Blue Jasmine is nominated for three Academy Awards, including best original screenplay for the director.
Farrow also wrote that Hollywood figures have turned a "blind eye" to the accusations and specifically asked Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, and Louis C.K. -- who all appear in Blue Jasmine -- "What if it had been your child"?
"Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up," she wrote, adding: "That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, 'who can say what happened,' to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines."
Farrow wrote: "Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse."
On Jan. 12, after Diane Keaton accepted Allen's Golden Globes honor, Ronan Farrow, the son of Allen, wrote on Twitter: "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?"
At Saturday night's WGA Awards, host Brad Garrett opened the L.A. event with a joke about Allen.
"There is a very good chance Woody Allen won't be here tonight, so those of you guys at the kids' table tonight, you have nothing to worry about," Garrett said. "Hey we even put Oshkosh B'gosh in the gift bag to get him here!"
Allen, who notoriously skips awards shows, including last month's Globes, was not at the WGA Awards; instead, he attended the New York Knicks game with wife Previn.
On Sunday night, at the WGA East awards ceremony in New York, Sony Pictures Classics topper Michael Barker said, "I have no knowledge of that. I don't know anything about that," when The Hollywood Reporter asked him about Farrow's open letter.
Allen and Mia Farrow split up as a couple in 1992, when the accusations of abuse surfaced. The director married Soon-Yi Previn, also an adopted daughter of Farrow, in 1997. Despite the allegations, Allen's career has thrived. His recently directed films include the Oscar-winning Midnight in Paris (2011), To Rome With Love (2012) and last year's critically acclaimed Blue Jasmine.
Tatiana Siegel contributed to this report.