Sunday, December 10, 2017

Woody Allen and Soon Yi Previn: basic facts

Dylan Farrow's Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen? asks a question that implies an answer she does not want to hear. Abusers tend to have more than one victim. When no one else is speaking out now, in a time when victims are being supported, the odds increase that Allen is innocent. Before deciding, read Woody Allen, Sex Abuse Allegations, and Believing the Victim, which includes useful information like this:
While Soon Yi Previn was an adult (her birthdate is unknown but her age was in the range of 18 to 20) and Allen had never acted as her stepfather, even his defenders generally agree that the affair was sordid and grossly inappropriate.
...a major Canadian study that tracked more than 11,000 reports of child abuse and neglect in Canada in 2003. While reports of sexual abuse made during custody or visitation conflicts are fairly rare — the study identified 69 such cases — they are also quite likely to prove unfounded. Child protection workers substantiated just 11% of these charges, while 34% were “suspected” to be valid but not fully confirmed; 36% were classified as unsubstantiated but made “in good faith,” and 18% as deliberately false. By contrast, the rate of false allegations for all child sexual abuse reports was 5%. (The claim that malicious accusations in custody disputes come mostly from fathers is based on an earlier phase of the same study. However, fathers’ false reports were overwhelmingly of child neglect and sometimes physical abuse; false charges of sexual molestation were more likely to come from mothers.)
Woody Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi is creepier than you could imagine includes this quote from Soon-Yi Preven:
 “To think that Woody was in any way a father or stepfather to me is laughable.”
and notes:
Allen and Previn married in 1997 and have two adopted children together.
The adoption process is not easy for anyone. In Allen's case, the charges against him would've resulted in exceptionally close scrutiny.

Does this mean he didn't abuse Dylan Farrow? No. It means we can't know, and sadly, neither can she. One lesson learned from the Day-care sex-abuse hysteria is that young children are susceptible to having their memories manipulated.

But the absence of other accusers strongly suggests that Allen deserves the benefit of the doubt.

As for his relationship with Soon-Yi, I'm a little creeped out by the difference in ages, but she was an adult when the affair began and, so far as anyone knows, continues to be happy. Their relationship isn't for me to judge. Unless you want to change the age of consent, it's not for you to judge either.