Farrow Abuse Claims ‘Inconceivable’

In, The Woody Allen case, which has been simultaneously carried in publications around the world, actor Wallace Shawn warns us against committing another of the classic blunders:

As a student of history in college, I learned that one can only come close to certainty about what happened in the past when overwhelming evidence happens to be available. But in the absence of that overwhelming evidence, one doesn’t just speculate, one proposes theories based on the evidence one has.

As a student not of history but of life, I have to say that I feel I’ve learned certain things over the years that point away from any automatic assumption of Woody Allen’s guilt. First of all, I feel I’ve definitely learned that a person’s involvement in surprising or atypical sexual behavior does not mean that that person is capable of anything. It was once believed that any man who loved other men was a danger to young boys, but we now know that that was very wrong. I’ve also learned that people behave differently in love affairs from the way they behave in the rest of their lives. People can have love affairs and lie about them, while remaining truthful and dependable in regard to everything else. And I’ve learned that there are older men who fall in love with very young women and in the process upend their own lives and the lives of their families, but that does not mean that they also molest children.

Shawn is well known for nodding and smiling in My Dinner With Andre, and for playing the Grand Nagus on several episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space 9, but is best known for playing the haplessly evil Vizzini in The Princess Bride – an almost inexhaustible source of quotes. Trying to prove Dylan’s claims against an influential celebrity like Allen is a lot like getting involved in a land war in Asia – the terrain and everyone you meet will be against you. Including the likeable Mr Shawn.

What Allen would prefer, of course, is that we all admit that we we don’t have definitive proof of molestation, and say nothing at all. But Dylan has spoken up, so are we to ignore her? As Shawn notes above, one can propose theories based on the evidence, and we do have the court documents, the public record of Allen’s life and his work.

My reaction is still to suspect that Allen was grooming Dylan for abuse. He wasn’t any sort of expert at grooming – not at all at Sandusky’s level – but for someone that had become used to getting his own way, he was grooming the rest of the family to see his physical intimacy with Dylan as unremarkable.

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