Hachette was all set to release Woody Allen’s memoir next month (I had already pre-ordered it), which means contracts had been signed, advances paid, and whatever other expenses required to get a major book weeks away from publication had been expensed.
Ronan Farrow, Woody Allen’s son, has done a lot of solid #MeToo reporting, and it’s difficult to blame him for standing by his sister, who claims Allen molested her as a child in 1992. So of course Farrow’s upset a publisher is publishing Allen’s memoir, most especially Farrow’s
own publisher. I get that.
Nevertheless, it sure would be nice if Farrow would wake up to the fact he’s too close to this story to approach it objectively. It sure would be nice if he would wake up to the fact he’s abusing his moral authority as a respected #MeToo journalist when it comes to anything involving Allen. But since he won’t, it’s up to the rest of us to be the adults in the room.
But we’re not being the adults in the room. Instead, we’re being un-American cowards. Welcome to the age of Digital Salem, where the fashionable tyranny of #BelieveAllWomen has brought back a virulent strain of McCarthyism — and in the specific case of Allen, it has done so to a man who is almost certainly innocent of these terrible 30-year-old allegations. I have tirelessly laid out the facts of this case
here, here, and here. But just know that at the time, two different states looked into the allegations and cleared Allen. He was never even charged.
Good grief, cop killers and other convicted criminals have been allowed to publish books in this country, going back 65 years to Caryl Chessman, the infamous “Redlight Bandit, a degenerate, lifelong criminal who raped and sodomized innocent women. JoAnne Chesimard aka Assata Shakur, a cop killer, has been a
cause celebre for years. She’s been published in the U.S., as recently as 2005.
Serial killer David Berkowitz has
been published; his book’s still available on Amazon.
But who’s being blacklisted?
An 85-year-old legend who has never been accused of a speck of wrongdoing over a 60-year career. A man who was cleared by two police investigations. A man who was accused of this awful crime during a toxic custody battle with an angry Mia Farrow. A man accused of a crime no one commits only once, but who has no other accusers.
There is no valid reason to silence anyone in this country. Even if you are the Son of Sam, you have a God-given right to let your voice be heard. Of course that’s hard on the victims, and I’m legitimately sorry for them, but once we begin picking and choosing who has free speech rights, that’s the road to fascism.
And I don’t want to hear any of this mealy-mouthed shit about how book publishers like Hatchette have
a right to do business with whomever they choose. Talk about a refuge for cowards. Here’s the truth…
If you truly believe that what Hatchette has done is okay, if you really want to cower behind that rationale, you had better cease your hypocrisy of criticizing the notorious Hollywood Blacklist of the 1950s.
I ask you, how is what happened in the 1950s any different than what’s happening today? How is a movie studio or producer or director choosing not to do business with a communist or accused communist any different than what’s happening to Woody Allen?
It’s not, and you know it.
So if you defend Hatchette, you are defending the Hollywood Blacklist — that’s how far gone you are.
Fine. Of course, Hatchette has
the right to blacklist Allen, just as a pile of other book publishers had the right to blacklist Allen.
That’s not the point.
In this country, we have all kinds of legal rights right to do all kinds of immoral things: lie, commit adultery, etc.
If you believe in our Constitution, in what makes America uniquely
America, in facts over feelings, Woody Allen is an innocent man. What’s happening to him — Washington Post own Jeff Bezos blacklisted Allen and his movies — is every bit as disgraceful as what happened to Dalton Trumbo.
I just hope that when we all come to our senses, when the #MeToo hangover finally hits, it’s not too late to apologize…
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC . Follow his Facebook Page here .