sexual harassment

Alec Baldwin defends Woody Allen, likens Dylan Farrow to a character in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

The actor said that the ‘Blue Jasmine’ director’s adopted daughter was like Mayella Ewell, who falsely accuses a black man of rape in Harper Lee’s novel.

30 Rock actor Alec Baldwin on Sunday once again defended Woody Allen against sexual assault allegations by comparing his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, to a character who falsely accuses a black man of rape in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Farrow has accused the Annie Hall director of sexually assaulting her when she was seven.

“[One] of the most effective things Dylan Farrow has in her arsenal is the ‘persistence of emotion,’” Baldwin tweeted. “Like Mayella in [”To Kill a Mockingbird”], her tears/exhortations [are] meant [to] shame u [into] belief in her story. But I need more than that before I destroy [someone], regardless of their fame. I need a lot more.”

The actor said that those who were offended by his statements could unfollow him on Twitter.

The allegations against Allen first emerged in 1992, during a custody battle between the director and his former partner Mia Farrow. The two separated after Allen got romantically involved with Soon-Yi Previn, Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter with her former husband, Andre Previn. Allen and Soon Yi Previn later got married.

Though state prosecutor Frank Maco said he had “probable cause” to prosecute Allen on charges of molestation, he reportedly decided not to pursue the case, in consultation with Mia Farrow, because they wanted to spare Dylan Farrow the trauma of a trial and court appearances. Allen was denied custody of his children by Justice Elliott Wilk, who called him “self-absorbed, untrustworthy and insensitive” in a 33-page decision.

Dylan Farrow detailed the allegations again in 2014, after the director received the lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes and then again in December last year, after several prominent Hollywood personalities, including Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Brett Ratner, were accused of sexual harassment. She recently gave her first television interview on the subject, to the CBS network.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, Dylan Farrow said that Baldwin’s tweets were dismissive of Justice Wilk’s decision and Prosecutor Frank Maco’s comments. “It’s interesting that Mr. Baldwin chooses to dismiss the judgments of Justice Wilk and Prosecutor Frank Maco, who reviewed ALL of the evidence instead of just selected bits and pieces,” Farrow said in her statement. “However, considering that Mr. Baldwin confidently invoked Mayella Ewell to make his point while forgetting that it’s been hotly debated that she was, in fact, raped by her father, demonstrates that perhaps Baldwin is just not a stickler for details.”

Allen has consistently denied all allegations of sexual assault against him. After Dylan Farrow’s latest interview, he said, “Even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time’s Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn’t make it any more true today than it was in the past,” it read. “I never molested my daughter – as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago.”

Dylan Farrow’s adopted brother, Moses Farrow, has claimed the allegations against Allen are false, which Baldwin brought up in his tweets on Sunday.

Growing fallout

Baldwin’s statements come amid a growing fallout for Allen in the light of the sexual assault allegations.

Many actors have expressed regret at collaborating with Allen or have declared they will not work with the filmmaker in the future. The list includes Colin Firth, Ellen Page, Rachel Hall, Greta Gerwig, Mia Sorvino, Rachel Brosnahan, and Timothée Chalamet. Hall and Chalamet, who feature in Allen’s upcoming A Rainy Day in New York, announced their intent to donate their salaries from the film to charity.

Baldwin had called the accusations “unfair and sad” in a tweet earlier this month. He also said that sexual abuse complaints should be “treated carefully.”

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