“I'm not comfortable living in a world where art is part of how we convict people of crimes”
“Girls” creator Lena Dunham says she is “nauseated” by Woody Allen because of allegations that he molested his daughter, but believes it's wrong to scrutinize his films for evidence against him.
“In the latest Woody Allen debate I'm decidedly pro-Dylan Farrow and decidedly disgusted with Woody Allen‘s behavior,” she said on Marc Maron's “WTF” podcast Monday. “But for me, when people go through his work and comb through it for references to child molestation, that's not the f—ing point.”
Farrow said last month that Allen sexually assaulted her as a child, reigniting claims that were first raised by her mother, Mia Farrow, in 1992. Allen has not been charged with a crime and contends that Dylan Farrow has been manipulated.
“I'm not gonna indict the work,” Dunham said. “I think that you can decide that you don't want to support the work of somebody who has molested a child. That's a completely appropriate choice. But going through it and saying, look, he's told us in 57 ways that he rapes kids — that's not the thing. The thing is to look at the actual evidence that exists in the world, which I think strongly suggests that Woody Allen is in the wrong. But for me the point is not to go through his one-act plays looking for references to child molestation. Because I'm not comfortable living in a world where art is part of how we convict people of crimes.”
Still, Dunham said, she hasn't been interested in watching Allen's films recently.
“I mean for me, I haven't wanted to watch his movies for a long time, partially because of who I think he is and partially because I think they got really bad,” she said.
Maron observed that “bad people have done amazing things.”
“It's totally true,” Dunham said. “People who really believe Woody Allen is guilty have not felt comfortable saying that. Because they're so afraid to lose their connection to his work. And the thing is, I feel like people need to understand that you can hold two positions in your mind. You can know that someone's made work that's meaningful to you and also know that they have most likely molested their daughter. … I was so unimpressed by people's inability to think in less binary ways and to just experience the ambiguity that life is constantly offering up.”
When Maron said he had traded tweets with someone who was “nauseated” by Allen's films, she added, “I'm nauseated with the person.”
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Dunham also expressed her fondness for novelist Philip Roth, who had a relationship with Mia Farrow after her years with Allen. She said that while Roth may have issues with women, at least he lays out his problems in his books.
“He's a goddamn animal,” she said. “But I feel more comfortable because Philip Roth has been playing whatever his sick games are with adult women who are prepared for what he's bringing. … He's warned everybody.”