Isn't it just a little weird that Mia Farrow is still friends with Roman Polanski?

Isn’t it just a little weird that Mia Farrow is still friends with Roman Polanski?

Jan 14, 2014

There has been a lot of talk in the past few days about Mia Farrow’s 1992 allegations that Woody Allen molested her daughter Dylan when the girl was 7 years-old. Both Mia Farrow and her son Ronan Farrow Tweeted some harsh words when Allen received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes, and it’s popped up into discussion again.

Having read a great deal about it, I have a hard time being either 100% on Team “He Definitely Did It” or Team “He Definitely Did Not Do It.” Because I don’t know.

I know that an investigation determined there wasn’t sufficient evidence and that some psychologists involved in that investigation say Farrow manipulated Dylan into believing these things happened. I think it’s a little weird that this happened after the Soon Yi thing, and that Woody Allen decided “Hey, while I’m visiting my kids after this scandal, in a house with all of them and several nannies and everyone mad at me, why don’t I go to an attic and molest my seven year-old for the first time ever?” I think it’s weird that Farrow would have allowed Allen to formally adopt Dylan if he were supposedly in therapy for being “inappropriate” with her (and what does “inappropriate” mean, and wouldn’t the shrink have had to report him if he confessed to a crime?). There are things that strike me as odd, and given things like the McMartin Preschool Trial, I do believe that children can be manipulated in this way.

On the other hand, when a child says she was abused, I want to believe her. When an adult woman still says she was abused, I am very much inclined to believe her. I also don’t think it’s right to celebrate the work of artists who have hurt women with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

On the other, other hand, if he’s not guilty, is it fair to label him a child molester forever and to not give him Lifetime Achievement Awards because of a crime he was never convicted of and may not be guilty of?

I feel many things about all of this–both in regards to Allen’s guilt or innocence and the fact that I now feel incredibly shitty about liking his work. His older work, at least, because I don’t much care for “Celebrity” and anything that came after that. I am more of a “Love and Death” and “Sleeper” sort of girl.

Even more deeply, it was actually a Woody Allen book, “Without Feathers,” that helped me figure out “how to write.” That, and Fran Lebowitz’s “Metropolitan Life.” You see, at the time, I was trying so desperately to emulate the flowery and obtuse prose so popular at coffee houses in the ’90s, and after reading those books it dawned on me that I could just “be funny” and stop worrying about “symbolism” and trying to sound “deep.” It was just one of those weird moments, I guess, when something incredibly obvious occurs to you out of the blue. For that, I suppose I will always be in his debt.

I am incredibly, deeply conflicted about this and I don’t quite know how to manage it. Am I OK if the only movies of his that I own are so old that they’re on VHS and I bought them before I knew anything about this? I don’t know. The only thing I don’t feel is sure about anything here.

What I am sure of, however, is that in 1977, Director Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13 year-old girl, at the home of Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston. He has admitted to this. It is an absolute fact, no questions about it. Not to mention the fact that, instead of staying in this country and facing a trial for what he did, he jumped on the first plane out of here and has been on the run ever since.

Mia Farrow, who appeared in Polanski’s 1968 film “Rosemary’s Baby,” has said in as recently as 2005 that she still regards him as a close friend Which, perhaps, is why she flew to London to testify in his behalf in his libel suit against Vanity Fair, which had alleged that Polanski had hit on a Swedish woman right before Sharon Tate’s funeral.

So yes, I find this a bit weird.

Farrow has never spoken out against Polanski. Not one word. Ever. She has, however, maintained her friendship with the admitted child rapist.

Is she not, in effect, doing the same thing that she accuses the Golden Globes of doing? In light of these statements, I don’t know how she can rationalize not only her friendship with Polanski, but her inclination to speak out on his behalf. Isn’t she also showing contempt for abuse survivors? Is it not her responsibility, on some level, to speak out against Polanski’s crimes?

I think this is weird. Flat out, weird. Also, in more mature terms, it is pretty damned hypocritical. One would think that if Farrow has this position on the Golden Globes giving Woody Allen an award for his achievements in cinema, that she would have it on being actual friends with Roman Polanski. There is a difference between saying someone is a good filmmaker and having someone be your actual friend.

To boot, she constantly sings the praise of Frank Sinatra, who was very well known to be horrid to women. Including her! He has also been accused of rape by several women, including Zsa Zsa Gabor. There is also photographic evidence of what some say is him raping an unconscious Marilyn Monroe.

Farrow’s brother is also currently in jail for several counts of child molestation, and to my knowledge she’s never spoken about that.

I am trying to figure out how to feel about liking the work of people I know are terrible. I want to think about what liking “Chinatown” or “Annie Hall” means. I want to know how to feel about liking Artie Shaw’s music when I know he was horrid to Lana Turner and Ava Gardner (as was, by the way, Frank Sinatra). Or how to love “Be My Baby” when Phil Spector is not only an abuser but a murderer. Or how to deal with agreeing with certain ideas Schopenhauer had when he was a seething misogynist. Or Heidegger, who was an anti-Semite. Or Ghandi, who beat his wife and thought rape wasn’t a real thing. The list could go on forever, because it is a fact of life that a lot of shitty people have done great things.

All I know is that the answer is not in ignoring what they did or sweeping it under the rug. I know that the answer is not “excusing” crap behavior for people whose work I do like and only calling it out in those I don’t. I feel like this is what Farrow is doing with Allen and Polanski, and it just bothers me. I don’t think she’s a bad person, but I do think she ought to consider the fact that by being friends with and supporting Polanski–or even just being silent on the matter–she is doing the exact thing that she accuses people of doing with Woody Allen.

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