Her director's controversial past is something Gomez had to 'face and discuss.'
Like Kate Winslet with Wonder Wheel, Selena Gomez is in a tough spot. The “It Ain’t Me” singer has been focusing more on acting in indie films, like with her previous credits in Spring Breakers and The Fundamentals of Caring. But as she began working on the new Woody Allen movie, the accusations against Harvey Weinstein started coming out, forcing her to face Allen’s own controversial past.
Gomez was asked about the allegations against her director in a new interview with Billboard, and she’s not quite sure how to respond.
“To be honest, I’m not sure how to answer — not because I’m trying to back away from it,” she said. “[The Weinstein allegations] actually happened right after I had started [on the movie]. They popped up in the midst of it. And that’s something, yes, I had to face and discuss. I stepped back and thought, ‘Wow, the universe works in interesting ways.'”
Allen was accused in 1992 of sexually abusing his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, when she was a child. The filmmaker, who blamed ex Mia Farrow for spreading false claims, repeatedly denied the allegations. He told The New York Times for a piece in 2014, “Of course, I did not molest Dylan. I loved her and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter’s well-being.”
Allen added, “No one wants to discourage abuse victims from speaking out, but one must bear in mind that sometimes there are people who are falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing. (This piece will be my final word on this entire matter and no one will be responding on my behalf to any further comments on it by any party. Enough people have been hurt.)”
Dylan Farrow wrote a letter that was published in The Times in which she called out members of Hollywood who still work with Allen.
“That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up,” she wrote. “I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself,” she wrote. “That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, ‘who can say what happened,’ to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face — on a poster, on a T-shirt, on television — I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.”
The past scandal has come back to haunt Allen as numerous men in the industry continue to lose their jobs over sexual misconduct accusations.
When asked if she felt “inspired,” “disheartened,” or “hopeful” about women coming forward against predatory men, Gomez said, “I feel all those things. I’ve cried. But I definitely feel hopeful. As people speak out, I hope that feels powerful to them, because they deserve to feel that.
“I’m fortunate enough not to have experienced some of the traumatic things that other women have had to go through,” the singer-actor continued. “I’ve known people in my family who’ve gone through those things. I try to let people come to me and open up, to make a safe environment for them to do so.”
Winslet also had to address the controversy surrounding Allen ahead of the New York Film Festival premiere of Wonder Wheel, another of Allen’s films.
“Of course one thinks about it,” she said. “But at the same time, I didn’t know Woody and I don’t know anything about that family. As the actor in the film, you just have to step away and say, I don’t know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false. Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person.”