Woody Allen: Funny Man Or Pervert?

Woody Allen
Woody Allen | Source

Everyone knows the story of what happened while in a relationship with Mia Farrow in the 1980s Woody Allen began a sexual relationship with his stepdaughter. When Mia Farrow found out about it in the late 1980s, she and Woody Allen broke up. Farrow had apparently found nude sexually graphic pictures of her daughter taken by Allen. They went through a bitter court battle over the custody of their other children. Mia Farrow made accusations that Allen had molested one of their younger daughters. When all was said and done Allen was denied visitation to the younger daughter, could have only supervised visits with another daughter and their son who was now a teenager chose to not see Allen again.

When exactly the relationship began with their daughter now known as Soon-Yi Previn is unknown. On thing to consider is that Allen and Farrow began dating in 1980 and at the time Previn would have been 11 years old. Farrow and Allen were together for more than a decade and so it could have began at any time. Although Previn was initially adopted by Farrow before Allen was a part of their lives there would be no denying that he took on the father role with her in the same way that he did with Farrow's other children. They were all seen in outings as a happy family throughout the 1980s.

Now personally I have seen some of Allen's films and having heard this story had generally prepared myself to dislike them in advance but upon viewing them I did find him funny. I concede that he does have a great talent as an actor/director and there is no denying that. However in my mind I'm still not able to separate the funny man from the perversion I've read and heard about. One big question I have to ask myself as a father is at what point do you go from being a father of a young girl day in and day out to wanting to have sex with her? Taking sexual pictures of her and then leaving you significant other of more than a decade to be with someone who was your daughter.

What of Previn as well, by the time the relationship became known she was a young woman. Did she not have a conscience? She was adopted by Farrow as a young girl from South Korea and brought to America to live a great life with someone able to give her just about anything. Farrow did it because she cared and wanted to help children of the world. At what point in your mind do you decide that having a sexual relationship with your mother's partner is ok? I admit that the whole situation doesn't add up in my mind. There are many actors, musicians, celebrities that think very highly of the man for his work but I just can't it's too much of a black stain on his character. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Comments 29 comments

Imogen French profile image

Imogen French 5 years ago from Southwest England

An interesting and controversial subject. I really like his films, but when I heard this story I went right off him as a person. I try hard not to judge people before I know all the facts, but it does seem that his relationship with his step-daughter was an abuse of his position and the trust that was placed in him. I too am divided.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Imogen French - it is difficult to really watch a Woody Allen film and not think about his relationship with his daughter/wife.

hecate-horus profile image

hecate-horus 5 years ago from Rowland Woods

I agree, it is difficult to watch his movies now. A real shocker to me was Morgan Freeman being with his 17 year old step-granddaughter. http://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/morgan-freeman-to-... You just wouldn't think that of Morgan; he is almost always protrayed as wise and honorable. Heck, I remember him from his "Electric Company" days. It's disappointing and sad. But well, it just goes to show, you can't count on Hollywood for good role models.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

hecate-horus - I guess just because they play a part in a movie doesn't mean they are like that in real life. It is very regretable

Sgt Pecker profile image

Sgt Pecker 5 years ago from Singapore

Couldn't he BOTH a funny man and a pervert?

Some people think I am funny (as in amusing). Some consider me funny (as in odd). Some consider me a pervert (I live with 2 women each of whom are young enough to be my daughters and both of whom have recently given me children and one of whom recently announced she has another muffin in the oven).

But I pay my taxes, I am generous and willing to help the poor (especially if they have noce tits). Despite my eccentricities, most people who know me think I am one of the nicest reprobates they haver ever met.

I would say Woody Allen is a funny man. Whether he is a pervert is a private matter between Woody and those with whom he chooses to share his wood.

writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

If only people found the absolute truth, not that I know anything different from you. But why are you bring it up know ALL these years later?

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Sgt Pecker - Well, you are good for a snicker and do seen to be a nice reprobate at that. I suppose I just find it disturbing and somewhat sick and so it makes it impossible for me to really enjoy his films. As for how you live your life I guess that's your perogative. I thank you for commenting :)

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

writer20 - Well more recently I was reading an article on Mia Farrow, and the death of her daughter Lark Previn who she adopted around the same time as Soon-yi Previn and it got me thinking about it. Then a couple days ago I saw an interview with Woody Allen, he was speaking of all his "accomplishments" and relationship with Soon-Yi that was apparently the best thing that ever happened to him and he simply downplayed the fact that he was once her father and left Mia Farrow to be with her. The whole interview made me ill and I was interested in seeing what others thought about this. I don't claim to know the truth about everything but the fact is he was with Farrow since Soon-Yi was 11, he was her father for more than a decade then left Farrow to be with her romantically. I don't need to know much more than that to form an opinion on it. Thanks for commenting :)

hoteltravel profile image

hoteltravel 5 years ago from Thailand

Like you, terrektwo, I had heard about Allen's escapades much before I saw his films. May be this is the reason for my reluctance to enjoy his acting skills. I know only too well that this is wrong. I should not mix artistic talent with personality traits. I try hard to, but...

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I heard an interesting NPR interview with Woody Allen a few weeks ago. He described a rather odd family dynamics growing up. There was no sexual deviance, but he described a rather lonely, artistic temperment (by his own choice) even then. He was not "conventional", even as a youngster. I detected a blasé attitude that was non-judgemental and accepting of "the ways things were". He is quiet, reserved even, introspective and, at least, does not foist his beliefs on others. He seems to follow a path of his own and a "live and let live" approach to life. I am not glorifying his alleged behavior, just stating what I believe to be fact. What went on privately, I do not know.

You raise good questions regarding conscience and adult choices. It is impossible to know the full truth unless witnessed. I appreciate his artistic genius, intelligence and well-developed sense of comedy. I would critique Woody as a genius. As far as the term "pervert", I have no idea.

I like your piece, terrektwo. It is well-written, thought provoking and, conceptually, very interesting.

catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

I couldn't agree with you more. There are many actors that I used to love their work and then they did something I just couldn't agree with. From then on, it ruined any show or movie I tried to watch them in. When are actors going to realize that they can't get away with just anything and still be popular? It's disgusting.

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

He's a perv and always has been.

The Frog

Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

I agree with Frog -- and won't contribute to his well being and income by spending my money to see his films, etc. Best/Sis

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

hoteltravel - I know what you mean. It is really impossible for me to separate one from the other. It's like when someone stars in kids movies and then gets caught picking up hookers on the side of the road then gets busted for having 5 pounds of coke on them. I mean, is the character they play valid at that point? This situation is a little different but still his continued relationship with Soon-Yi says a lot to me and is really a reminder of this.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Amy Becherer - There is room for all opinions. Like you I think his movies are well done and he has talent. But him having sex with someone that he called daughter behind his partner of an over a decade relationship, then leaving his partner and eventually marrying his daughter making her his wife are the facts that bother me.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

catgypsy - I don't know it is rather ridiculous to see people play great roles and inspire millions only to sicken us with their personal lives. It makes one feel dirty having loved the film.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

:) Glad you're here to comment, thanks frog Prince!

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Angela Blair - You and I are on the same page for sure, I have seen some of his films not all and I do think he acts well in them. But it really doesn't reflect his personal life and I take to much issue with how he is to want to see his films any longer.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I think the adopted daughter, now an adult, bears responsibility also. I find the whole sordid affair a sad illustration of how bucks and Hollywood clout carry weight in adoptions. Of course, like everything else, outcomes are unpredictable. But something was wrong in the household or the outlandish scenario would have been beyond even the imagination of anything but a soap opera. I would think Mia Farrow feels betrayed on every level.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Amy Becherer - Your right she is an adult now and could at least talk to her mother now but they've been estranged for years. I feel very sorry for what happened to Mia Farrow. Your right it is like a soap opera of the worst kind.

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

Hi, terrektwo, Still liked his comedic film, 'everything you wanted to know about sex, but were to afraid to ask'

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Credence2 - I understand, some films really stand out, I just have a hard time with the situation. But thanks for commenting though.

dee20002 4 years ago

He was a filmmaking master -- Play it again Sam, Sleeper, and, of course, Annie Hall.

But even before this horror, he had started going a little "creepy old man" -- as in Manhattan, with too young a girlfriend. I now see his perversion in most everything I watch. And, by the way, I might watch a film, even like it, but only when it is free -- he is a sicko who, but for who he is, would be in prison.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

dee20002 - I know what you mean :)

guest 4 years ago

Perhaps the sickest joke in 'Manhattan' is "not everyone gets corrupted" - from a girl who has been dating a paedophile!

The bizarre thing is, the line is delivered during a sophisticated and beautifully romantic climax.

Maybe Mia didn't realize the forces she would unleash when she agreed to play Rosemary.

Turbulentbeauty profile image

Turbulentbeauty 3 years ago

Woody Allen is a disgusting pervert. Whenever I have stumbled upon a movie of his I am always aware that as he continues to age, his counterpart in the film is always a young woman. I can't stand any of his films and my mother wouldn't let us watch even "Ants" that he voiced when I was growing up. I have a stepfather and if he were to have become sexually improper with me he would have been sent to jail for being a pedophilic abusive asshole. Why do celebs get away with these crimes?

I do NOT blame the girl though. Basically she experienced "grooming" where his behavior would have felt normal to her and likely increased to become more inappropriately slowly over time. Abusers will use treats, normal affection and praises to confuse a child into thinking they are experiencing genuine love in the form of abuse. She may even think she loves him in return - this would be especially confused by her feelings she had for him as a father. Basically this girl was brain washed by this pervert and I feel really bad that the mother did not discover it earlier and press charges. She may have been angry at first but eventually after separation from Allen a psychologist could have helped her to see his behavior as it is in reality. Instead she is estranged from the mother and is now stuck with her abuser with the delusions never unraveled.

I feel so bad for Mia and Soon-Yi. Both of these women were hurt by this men and everyone stands by and watches. He should be a registered sex offender, not a beloved celebrity.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 3 years ago from North America Author

turbulentbeauty - I agree with you. I really enjoy a lot of music, films, and television shows and so in some ways really looked up to a lot of music artists and actors growing up. Upon occasion I will hear one actor, actress or even music artist praise the man and must say it gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Each time someone does that it seems that they validate something that is clearly so very wrong. The man might be funny, famous, but it's that deeds of the man that show his true colors. Glad to see I'm not the only one that sees this.

truth be-told 3 years ago

When Woody Allen married his adopted daughter, he broke a sacred trust. Stomach turning to say the least.

And actors supporting him by working with & for him.

None of them had the decency or the backbone to take him to task.

How do you describe them?

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 3 years ago from North America Author

I'd have to say anyone in a position to say something is wrong and doesn't should shoulder at least some of the blame.Pretending something is OK when you know it isn't is just fake, hollow and misleading to themselves and others.

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