Actor Wallace Shawn is the latest Hollywood personality to defend Woody Allen against recent child sexual abuse allegations revived by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.
The character actor (“Toy Story,” “Princess Bride”) and playwright cautioned against a rush to the judgment on the 77-year-director in an opinion piece published Sunday by the Los Angeles Times.
“We don’t have overwhelming evidence about what happened or didn’t happen on the day in question,” he wrote. “And yet when I turn on my computer, I hear a din of voices declaring unequivocally that Woody Allen committed a crime, a disgraceful, indefensible, sickening crime — I hear voices inciting hatred against him. Obviously if he did not in fact commit the crime, this is an appalling situation.”
Interestingly, the L.A. Times had previously rejected Dylan Farrow’s column that eventually was published by the New York Times’ Nick Kristof, as TheWrap previously revealed.
Shawn, who worked with Allen on the 1979 film “Manhattan,” said that while he’s not a friend of the director and had no long conversations with him, he saw him as “extraordinary and even inspiring in his thoughtfulness, seriousness and honesty.”
“I personally would have to say that it would take overwhelming evidence to convince me that he had sexually abused a child, just as it would take overwhelming evidence to convince me that Desmond Tutu, Franklin D. Roosevelt or Doris Lessing had sexually abused a child,” he said.
Allen defended himself in his own opinion piece for the New York Times, strongly denying the accusations of sexual abuse which were earlier published a Nicholas Kristof blog, where the 29-year-old Dylan Farrow made the allegations. The column has set off a firestorm of accusations and counter-accusations, with Allen and his defenders saying the entire story was invented and coached by a still-enraged ex-partner, Mia Farrow.
But his PR team, headed by Leslee Dart at 42 West, has made sure that the filmmaker’s supporters are being heard, forwarding a barrage of pro-Allen statements and opinions to the media.