It's difficult reading, but readers of LARC would benefit by looking at the entire letter written by Woody Allen's daughter, Dylan, which includes the following:
I would hide under beds or lock myself in the bathroom to avoid these encounters, but he always found me. These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters. But what he did to me in the attic felt different. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore.
She gives details that can only support her honesty, for no one would think of such things -- or suffer so grievously for years afterwards for a lie. And the ending is what brings us to the similarity with the Legion:
But others are still scared, vulnerable, and struggling for the courage to tell the truth. The message that Hollywood sends matters for them.
What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?
Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.
So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.
Are you imagining that? Now, what’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?
It's the cleverness, the talent, the brilliance of Woody Allen as director that we have to consider now. What do we do with the films? The comments below her letter (over 3500 of them at present) as printed in the New York Times that I found fascinating, for example:
- I had never heard this story. It's profoundly unsettling. I am so sorry for Dylan, and yes I believe her. I have always enjoyed Woody Allen movies, I believe he is an amazing movie maker. but now? i will no longer watch his movies, it's the least I can do.
- I've boycotted his movies for all these years... for his sickening romance/marriage with an adopted 19 year old child in his family. He took her whole life away from her.
- In my teen years I fell under the Woody Allen spell. Who couldn't love Annie Hall? However, since the exposure of Allen's relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, 22 years ago, Allen makes me sick. I've gone out of my way to avoid his art, and any news of his private life.
Normal, unchurched people can see the relationship between a pervert and what he creates outside of his perverted relationships. It is entirely normal to say that although the "art" has merit, solidarity with the victim of its creator indicates that what he has produces should be avoided at all costs.
Not all, of course. Just like current supporters of the Legion, we find thoughts like this:
Whatever matters in this letter has nothing to do with his film work. Like Cate Blanchett or Alec Baldwin said, these are personal family matters and why are these actors and actresses involved in it?
These are personal matters where Woody's professional career shouldn't come into picture. Of course, for the Golden Globe award, he should be applauded for his contribution to the film industry because it has inspired a lot of people like actors, actresses or directors; those inside the industry.
I cannot subscribe to such a disconnect, and I would suspect that such a view -- as it relates to Woody Allen -- is callous and rare outside of those who think that human accolades can be separated from Divine justice.
Which approach is more loving, more respectful of human dignity, and more Christian in its outlook? To think that a Golden Globe and Lifetime Achievement award can be offered for the work alone and severed from the monster within is bizarre. And further, such awards and accolades 1. make the perpetrator more bulletproof when it comes to human justice, and 2. show that our entertainment is worth any price -- even that of shredding children and families along the way.
Just as Dylan notes: "The message that Hollywood sends matters for them," we can now say about the Legion "reform:" The message that the Vatican sends matters for the victims of Maciel. To say that the creations of either Woody Allen or Marciel Maciel can be separated from the perverse minds that created them is absurd. If normal people can boycott Annie Hall, then normal Catholic can justify their abhorrance for the Legion in the future -- whatever form it takes.
I'm sure that Juan Vaca, Jose Barba and the rest of Maciel's victims are entirely aligned with the plea of Dylan Allen, who asks, "Have you forgotten me?" The Church can survive without the Legion, and will be healthier and more respected if she does so. Maciel's structure is the living embodiment of his perverse intent and if it continues, it will indicate that the Church has indeed "forgotten" his victims.