The famed director's remarks on Harvey Weinstein instantly revived his own accusations of sexual abuse.
The famed-but-controversial director, who has been accused of sexually abusing his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow while he was married to Mia Farrow, told the BBC that he felt "sad" for Weinstein and didn't want the scandal to start a "witch hunt" in Hollywood.
TV One host Roland S. Martin suggested on Twitter, "Woody Allen might want to sit this one out."
In the interview, Allen called the controversy "very sad for everybody involved. Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that [his] life is so messed up."
He said he hoped the revelations would lead to "some amelioration," but added, "You also don't want it to lead to a witch hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself."
Allen worked with Weinstein on a number of films and said he never heard about any rape or sexual abuse allegations. "But you do hear a million fanciful rumors all the time. And some turn out to be true and some - many - are just stories about this actress, or that actor."
Allen's own son, Ronan Farrow, was one of the key figures in the Weinstein investigation, interviewing 13 different women who accused the Hollywood mogul of sexual harassment or sexual assault and writing a ground-shaking expose for The New Yorker.
Mia Farrow has not reacted to Woody Allen on social media so far, but has been closely following and retweeting coverage about the Weinstein scandal. "Proud of @TheAcademy!" she tweeted after Weinstein was expelled from the organization. "Harvey Weinstein is out. There are others - but hopefully we are witnessing the end of an awful era."
Proud of the @TheAcademy! Harvey Weinstein is out. There are others- but hopefully we are witnessing the end of an awful era.— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) October 14, 2017
Woody Allen's remarks were immediately slammed on Twitter:
FUCK WOODY ALLEN and his trash ass audacity to speak on anything but especially anything related to sexual violence.— roxane gay (@rgay) October 15, 2017
Woody Allen might want to sit this one out. https://t.co/nA9jHtFqTS— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) October 15, 2017
Why yes I’m interested to know what Woody Allen and other noted child rapists think of rapists being held accountable for rape.— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) October 15, 2017
woody allen, if you fucking wink at me, you disgusting milkshake of diarrhea, i'll fucking chop off ur balls pic.twitter.com/C8UdkYiVxR— Sophia Benoit (@1followernodad) October 15, 2017
Woke up to Woody Allen on sexual assault allegations and Richard Spencer on women’s suffrage. Next up: actual lion on veganism’s flaws?— Kate Harding (@KateHarding) October 15, 2017
Woody Allen's Harvey Weinstein response is even more problematic than you could imagine. https://t.co/Sli0bGiSLm— Matt Wilstein (@mattwilstein) October 15, 2017
I wonder why Woody Allen doesn't want there to be a hunt for sexual abusers in Hollywood 🤔 https://t.co/cyJ32CcX9T— Erika Heidewald 🗽 (@erikaheidewald) October 15, 2017
It is physically impossible for me to care any less what Woody Allen has to say about Harvey Weinstein.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) October 15, 2017
Woody Allen would do well to shut the fuck up. Forever.— Charles Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) October 15, 2017
Poor Woody Allen, the one celebrity who definitely can't use the "as a father of daughters" to prove he cares about women.— Gráinne Maguire (@GrainneMaguire) October 15, 2017
The only men who earnestly use the phrase "witch hunt" are the ones afraid of actually being held accountable. https://t.co/aNqgcY2zZ6— Sarah Lerner (@SarahLerner) October 15, 2017