Actor, writer and director says ‘if I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in [To Rome With Love]’
Greta Gerwig has expressed regret over working with Woody Allen on 2012 film To Rome With Love, saying in an online roundtable, “If I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film.”
Allen has been the subject of decades-long allegations of sexual abuse by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, which he continues to deny.
“It’s something that I’ve thought deeply about, and I care deeply about,” Gerwig said on Sunday night. “I haven’t had an opportunity to have an in-depth discussion where I come down on one side or another.”
Some criticised Gerwig for evading the question, while others drew attention to the gendered pattern of holding women like Gerwig and Kate Winslet more accountable for working with Allen than men.
But on Tuesday night, in an online discussion with Aaron Sorkin hosted by the New York Times which covered the #MeToo wave in Hollywood, cultural appropriation and the impact of streaming services on the industry, Gerwig clarified her position on Allen.
Responding to a broad question about how allegations against artists like Allen should affect their legacy and future opportunities, Gerwig said: “I would like to speak specifically to the Woody Allen question, which I have been asked about a couple of times recently … It is something that I take very seriously and have been thinking deeply about, and it has taken me time to gather my thoughts and say what I mean to say.
“I can only speak for myself and what I’ve come to is this: if I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film. I have not worked for him again, and I will not work for him again.”
Gerwig mentioned two pieces written by Dylan Farrow – one in 2014, when she first publicly addressed her allegations against Allen, and another in October 2017 when she questioned why he was being spared in “the #MeToo revolution”. In the second piece, Farrow namechecked Gerwig, Winslet and Blake Lively as three A-list women who had broadly supported the movement while failing to account for their own professional support of Allen.
“Dylan Farrow’s two different pieces made me realise that I had increased another woman’s pain, and I was heartbroken by that realisation,” Gerwig said. “I grew up on his movies, and they have informed me as an artists, and I cannot change that fact now, but I can make different decisions moving forward.”
Gerwig described the politicised Golden Globes ceremony as “an extraordinary night” which was indicative of “a turning point for women”.
“I think that the way women have come together to lead the Time’s Up movement and to make clear goals for our industry is how we are going to move forward with purposefulness. I was very moved that the stage was given to the leaders of this movement and the people who can be change agents. These are the women who should be apologised to, and that they were given the space was meaningful.
“The fact that many of the women attended with feminist activists from across all industries made the night even more resonant with this moment.”