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In a tweet that has since faced online backlash, Alec Baldwin attacked Woody Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow on Sunday, who alleges the director repeatedly sexually assaulted her as a child. And in a particularly tone-deaf decision, Baldwin compared Farrow to Mayella Ewell from To Kill a Mockingbird, one of western literature’s most notorious false rape accusers.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Mayella attempts to initiate an affair with a Black man named Tom Robinson, and when he refuses her advances, Mayella and her father lie in court and claim Robinson attempted to rape her. Baldwin, disregarding the racial connotations that flow throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, decided to use Mayella as a convenient comparison to Farrow, who he said portrays an “arsenal” of “persistence of emotion” in publicly condemning Allen.
“Like Mayella in [To Kill a Mockingbird], her tears/exhortations r meant 2 shame u in2 belief in her story,” Baldwin tweeted. “But I need more than that before I destroy some1, regardless of their fame. I need a lot more.”
1 of the most effective things Dylan Farrow has in her arsenal is the “persistence of emotion.” Like Mayella in TKAM, her tears/exhortations r meant 2 shame u in2 belief in her story.— ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) January 28, 2018
But I need more than that before I destroy some1, regardless of their fame.
I need a lot more.
Dylan Farrow proceeded to respond to Baldwin with a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, arguing that Baldwin’s comments disregard the book’s larger social context and prove the actor “is just not a stickler for details.”
“It’s interesting that Mr. Baldwin chooses to dismiss the judgments of Justice Wilk and Prosecutor Frank Maco, who reviewed ALL of the evidence instead of just selected bits and pieces,” Farrow said to the Reporter, referencing a lengthy court battle that ended with Judge Wilk calling Allen’s behavior “grossly inappropriate.” “However, considering that Mr. Baldwin confidently invoked Mayella Ewell to make his point while forgetting that it’s been hotly debated that she was, in fact, raped by her father, demonstrates that perhaps Baldwin is just not a stickler for details.”
Baldwin’s statements have since gone viral on Twitter, with many women criticizing the actor for attacking Farrow.
Like what exactly? It’s not like there is a video. You are just choosing to believe one person with no proof of innocence over one person with no proof of guilt.— Fiona McKenney (@1peculiarchik) January 28, 2018
That’s very problematic Alec. Is the absence of tears and emotions more believable then? Because women get shamed for that too. I believe Dylan because why would she lie? For so long? With nothing to gain?— Melissa J (@ChipRockets) January 28, 2018
You don’t see a pattern? He married the 21 yr old daughter of his girlfriend, Who was raised in his home with her siblings, after having an affair w her. He was messing around w/ his children’s sister. You don’t see how this is akin 2 what he’s being accused of by his daughter?— Carole Turner (@CaroleTurner) January 28, 2018
After facing such a negative backlash, Baldwin has since responded.
If my defense of Woody Allen offends you, it’s real simple.— ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) January 28, 2018
2 assume that I or any1 wants 2 prolong or diminish the suffering of another by denying their truth is a mistake.— ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) January 29, 2018
But that cuts both ways.
I hope that every perpetrator of sexual assault is caught and punished.
And that innocent ppl are left alone.
Having said that
In the wake of #MeToo, Allen’s alleged sexual abuse has reached the public spotlight in full force, with renewed attention brought to his treatment of women. Despite years of soft coverage from the entertainment industry on Allen and his career, the internet has found itself disgusted with A Rainy Day in New York’s look at statutory rape, and star Timothée Chalamet has vowed to donate his salary from the film to Time’s Up. Speculation has since emerged that the film may never be released, either, in light of renewed interest in the allegations.
H/T Vanity Fair
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.