Greta Gerwig wrote and directed Lady Bird, which scooped up best motion picture – musical or comedy and a best actress trophy for star Saoirse Ronan at the Golden Globes this Sunday. (Gerwig wasn’t among the, as presenter Natalie Portman so coolly put it, “all-male nominees” for best director, because I guess Lady Bird and Ronan just…directed themselves?) Her movie is a critical smash, with particular praise reserved for the generous, nuanced portrayal of the self-named Lady Bird, a brash, passionate teenage girl finding her way in the world — or, at least, finding her way in Sacramento.
Weighing down the otherwise career-ascendant Gerwig is her recent work with alleged child sex abuser Woody Allen: In 2012, she acted in To Rome With Love.
In an online conversation with Frank Bruni of the New York Times and Aaron Sorkin, writer-director of Molly’s Game, Bruni raised Allen along with Roman Polanski and Kevin Spacey. Polanksi is both a convicted rapist and an Oscar winner, while Spacey, in the wake of a multitude of sex abuse allegations including claims that he sexually pursued minors, has since been edited out of a movie, All the Money in the World, and booted from House of Cards, the Netflix series in which he starred.
As is all but required in these #TimesUp Times, Bruni wanted to “get one last hot-button issue out of the way” before returning to the movies at hand: “Will Kevin Spacey work again? Should he? This question came up with Roman Polanski, it comes up with Woody Allen. Should we care about, reward or punish what artists do beyond the parameters of their art? Should it affect their opportunities? Their reception?”
Gerwig answered (emphasis added):
I would like to speak specifically to the Woody Allen question, which I have been asked about a couple of times recently, as I worked for him on a film that came out in 2012. It is something that I take very seriously and have been thinking deeply about, and it has taken me time to gather my thoughts and say what I mean to say. I can only speak for myself and what I’ve come to is this: If I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film. I have not worked for him again, and I will not work for him again. Dylan Farrow’s two different pieces made me realize that I increased another woman’s pain, and I was heartbroken by that realization. I grew up on his movies, and they have informed me as an artist, and I cannot change that fact now, but I can make different decisions moving forward.
Gerwig’s comments have some extra heat coming as they do: Woody Allen currently has a (much-maligned) movie in theaters, Wonder Wheel, starring some people who one might think aren’t exactly desperate for job opportunities, like Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake.
Timberlake wore a Time’s Up pin at the Golden Globes just days ago, where he accompanied his wife, Jessica Biel (nominated for her role in The Sinner). He tweeted about his pin, his black attire, and his support of the movement to end sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood:
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 7, 2018
To which a now-viral tweet replied:
you’re literally in the new woody allen movie https://t.co/5jAElrqeFz
— laura j. brown (@laurjbrown) January 7, 2018
In related news, Sorkin’s response to Bruni’s question, likely getting lost amid news on Gerwig’s declaration, was… interesting:
“I don’t like seeing anyone get disappeared. Personally, I don’t think Kevin’s going to be able to find his way back, but I’m still rooting for a miraculous transformation.”