In light of the abuse allegations leveled against Woody Allen by his daughter Dylan Farrow in the New York Times, the Hollywood press immediately began showing sympathy for the those who have the most to lose in this awful situation: Cate Blanchett and Blue Jasmine's Oscar chances.
The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg addressed the importance of the abuse allegations in his article "Dylan Farrow's Op-Ed Targets Woody Allen But Could Hurt Cate Blanchett More":
"Is Cate Blanchett's best actress Oscar for her performance in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine as assured as most people believe? Probably — but being called out on the New York Times' website for associating with an alleged child molester certainly won't help her cause."
No, those allegations generally don't help many causes. But, if you're Feinberg, the most important cause at hand is Cate Blanchett. And asking questions like, why would a young woman ever want to admit alleged abuse unless she wanted to ruin a movie starring Cate Blanchett?
"The question of the minds of many is why Farrow, who has heretofore maintained a low public profile, would choose to publicly discuss her history with Allen now? The timing and focus of her piece certainly suggest, to me, that she would like to derail any chance that Allen or those associated with him on his latest film, Blue Jasmine, have of receiving additional awards recognition at the Oscars on March 2."
These questions, of course, completely gloss over the fact the allegations were first made public in 1993 and again last year in a Vanity Fair profile and are in no way new or now. Or that if ruining Oscars was her thing, Farrow could have a field day with 2011's Midnight in Paris. But those facts don't matter because what about Blanchett? We can't forget about Blanchett.
"Only Farrow herself can say what her objective was in writing this piece when and how she did. But, whether intended or not, the byproduct of her actions may well be that some Academy members will think twice before supporting Allen or those who have chosen to associate with him on Blue Jasmine when they fill out their Oscar ballots. And while that won't matter much for Allen and Hawkins' prospects — they were both considered to be long shots well before this brouhaha — it could, conceivably, make the road to victory for Blanchett, who is a heavy favorite — having already won best actress Critics' Choice, Golden Globe and SAG, New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and National Society of Film Critics awards — a little bumpier."
Only in Hollywood—the land where everyone hates priests but loves Michael Jackson and Roman Polanski—are conversations about alleged sexual abuse characterized as bumpy "brouhahas." The Wrap's Steve Pond at least had the decency to admit that asking questions about Blanchett's chances is an "uncomfortable" act.
On Saturday night, Blanchett herself responded to questions about Farrow's statement, and managed to do so without mentioning awards season, presumably because she has a functional brain. "I mean, it's obviously been a long and painful situation for the family, and I hope they find some sort of resolution and peace," she said.
Alec Baldwin, who was also called out in Farrow's statement for his association with Allen, took to Twitter on Sunday with his own compelling stance on the controversy: "What the f&@% is wrong w u that u think we all need to b commenting on this family's personal struggle?" he tweeted. "So you know who's guilty? Who's lying? You, personally, know that?" he continued, adding: "You are mistaken if you think there is a place for me, or any outsider, in this family's issue." He later deleted his responses.
No one knows where the truth lies in this situation, but the knee-jerk responses to defend Allen, call out "liars," and worry about how allegations—allegations for which he cannot be charged—will impact a stupid award is ridiculous. Those in Hollywood who are framing the situation as a premeditated awards-season attack on Allen shows just how far the industry will go to avoid uncomfortable conversations and defend their gods.