Actress Scarlett Johansson, a prominent advocate for the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, said in an interview published this week that she “loves” embattled director Woody Allen and believes he is innocent against allegations of sexual abuse from his former stepdaughter Dylan Farrow.
Farrow has claimed she was abused by Allen when she was just seven years old. Allen is now married to Soon-Yi Previn — the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, Allen’s former lover.
“I love Woody,” Johansson told The Hollywood Reporter. “I believe him, and I would work with him anytime.”
“I see Woody whenever I can, and I have had a lot of conversations with him about it. I have been very direct with him, and he’s very direct with me. He maintains his innocence, and I believe him,” the “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” actress added.
Farrow replied to Johansson’s defense of Allen with unvarnished fury.
“Because if we’ve learned anything from the past two years it’s that you definitely should believe male predators who ‘maintain their innocence’ without question. Scarlett has a long way to go in understanding the issue she claims to champion,” she posted to Twitter on Wednesday. “(And my apologies in advance for disrupting her google alerts again).”
As noted by Radar Online, Farrow was referencing a comment made by Johannson in 2014. After Farrow posted an open letter in The New York Times detailing the abuse allegations and calling out famed actors and actresses for still working with Allen, Johannson complained: “I think it’s irresponsible to take a bunch of actors that will have a Google alert on and to suddenly throw their name into a situation that none of us could possibly knowingly comment on.”
“[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 claimed in the letter. “He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.”
In 2018, Johannson spoke at the Women’s March, where she called out actor James Franco for daring to wear an anti-sexual assault Time’s Up pin at the Golden Globes. Franco had been accused of his own sexual misconduct, as was widely reported at the time.
“How could a person publicly stand by an organization that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault while privately preying on people who have no power?” the actress asked of Franco, as highlighted by Salon. “I want my pin back, by the way.”
Franco has denied all accusations of sexual misconduct.