Sunday, April 04, 2021


I have not listened to the podcast on Woody Allen over at Quillette, but this is the second time the subject has come up in less than 24 hours, as it was part of the Daum/Phetasy interview at The Unspeakable that I just mentioned a few posts ago. The title tells me they came to the same conclusion.  I was pretty much there already, but this seals it. As recently as 2019 I still thought he was probably guilty, on the basis of what the judge had said at the custody determination, the fact that Hollywood covers for predatory males, and his marriage to a younger sorta-daughter. But here is where my avoidance of video and reliance on text has worked against me.  A co-worker mentioned the controversy over a year ago, a woman who clearly didn't believe Mia. "Have you ever watched her being interviewed? Yeah, she's a borderline.*  It just screams at you." So I watched a few, and it did scream at me. 

So I slowly re-evaluated, not ever taking much time on it, but trying on the new framing whenever Allen was mentioned. I don't recall I heard Farrow mentioned in the interim. I decided he was acting the way a falsely accused person who loved his children would act, and more importantly, reconsidered how weak the quality of accusations were, especially in the context of a person with a personality disorder having custody threatened. That can activate all manner of pathology even in stable people, and precipitates suicide and homicide in the unstable. I decided he's probably innocent.

*Even professionals will still use that shorthand of identifying people by their diagnosis: a manic, a schizophrenic, rather than the more correct, and kinder formulation "a person in a manic episode." We shouldn't but we do. I understand it happens in other specialties as well, but I think it's worse when we do it in psych, because it cuts to the core of identity more.


Aggie said...

I've come to think that Ronin might be right up there alongside his mom, as well. I note that his veiled approach seems to strike terror into any potential celebrity targets, and that the modus operandi is similar. I've always thought of Allen as talented, sometimes boring, but mostly harmless. He's made a career making himself into the opposite of an alpha male; I couldn't see a predator there, but since I didn't feel compelled to judge, I didn't think about it much.

james said...

Does the profession of acting attract certain mental health issues?
Does it help some cope? Make some of them worse?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Mania is well-known to be common, and depression as a flip side is thus frequent as well. There are any number of complete bastards, but cart vs horse issues make the observation difficult. Celebrity and wealth make any number of otherwise decent folks deteriorate, as we also see in music and sports. They are tolerated in the field because what goes up on the stage or screen is of such paramount importance that people learn to put up with jerks. Again, sports and music as well.

I think that BPD would be an acting disadvantage, but people who know more actors than I do might say the reverse.

Jonathan said...

I can't tell about Woody. Mia looks like she might be crazy. I haven't watched any of the interviews.