Woody Allen Archival Writings Are "Full of Misogyny," According to Writer

Woody Allen - Getty - H 2016
Getty Images

Woody Allen - Getty - H 2016

A freelancer for The Washington Post went through 56 boxes of personal archives that the director kept in a Princeton library.

For The Washington Post, author Richard Morgan went to Princeton University's Firestone Library and pored through 56 boxes worth of personal archives kept there by director Woody Allen, which include everything from old drafts of screenplays and short stories to personal notes and sketches.

From the self-selected archives, which have been accumulating since 1980, Morgan drew the conclusion that the director has "an insistent, vivid obsession with young women and girls." 

Morgan writes about drafts of short stories, both published and unpublished, in which the director writes about a middle-aged character's fixation with younger women.

In one fictional piece, Allen writes about a faux encounter with the real-life Nati Abascal, who appeared in his 1971 comedy Bananas. "I pulled a contract out of my pocket and we both signed, but not until I told her about the sexual obligation that was a part of the job of any actress who worked with me." Allen wrote: “I came to appreciate her body for what it was as time went by, namely, a girl’s body. … Soon she got used to my ways. Aware of my position as father figure on the set (a director is just that), I allowed her to come to me with her problems. When she never showed up, I came to her with mine.” 

Morgan uncovered an unproduced screenplay Allen co-wrote titled The Filmmaker that focuses on a character (also named Woody Allen), a strapped-for-cash director who produces porn, and who later leaves his fiancee at the altar for a young mental patient.

Allen's next film to hit theaters is A Rainy Day in New York, starring Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Rebecca Hall and Timothée Chalamet. According to Page Six, the film contains a relationship between a middle-aged man and a teenager.

After reading Allen's unpublished work, the author asserts his opinion that the director's art has imitated his life.

While the 24-time Oscar nominee is notoriously reclusive and press shy, his personal life has been well documented since he left actress and partner Mia Farrow for their adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. His daughter, Dylan Farrow, first alleged decades ago that Allen sexually assaulted her when she was 7 years old (a claim that she recently resurfaced and one that Allen denies). 

Mariel Hemingway wrote in her book that Allen made attempts to pursue a relationship with her when she was 18, after she co-starred in Allen's movie Manhattan as a high school girl that enters into a relationship with a 40-something television writer, played by Allen. 

Morgan concludes his report by writing, "All art is partly autobiographical — it comes from inside someone’s mind, inside their soul. Allen’s archive shows what is inside his."