Scarlett Johansson’s statement of support for Woody Allen in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter is stirring controversy.
Johansson — who has worked with Allen on Match Point, Scoop, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona — claims that contrary to her peers, she “love[s]” Allen, who is accused by daughter Dylan Farrow of molesting her when she was a child.
"I see Woody whenever I can, and I have had a lot of conversations with him about it. I have been very direct with him, and he's very direct with me,” Johansson told the outlet. “He maintains his innocence, and I believe him."
Allen has denied Farrow’s claims since the ‘90s, when an investigation by both the New York State Child Welfare and the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital concluded that no sexual abuse had taken place. Despite the accusations, Allen continued to work in Hollywood, scoring industry awards and critical acclaim.
In 2017, the #MeToo movement that resurfaced the accusation against Allen, and caused many stars who previously worked with the director — like Griffin Newman, Rebecca Hall, and Timothée Chalamet — to donate their salaries from the Allen films they worked on to charities that benefit survivors of sexual assault. Following the controversy, Amazon dropped a distribution deal it made with Allen in 2018.
Fans reacted to Johansson’s support of Allen on Twitter. Many used the opportunity to point out Johansson’s other controversies, including playing a character conceived as a Japanese woman in Ghost In the Shell, and signing onto the movie Rub & Tug, in which she was set to portray a trans man.
Johansson is an outspoken advocate of the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up, an initiative created in its wake that seeks to support survivors of harassment and abuse. At the Los Angeles Women’s March in 2018, Johansson called out James Franco for wearing a Time’s Up pin on the red carpet at the Golden Globes, after he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.
"How could a person publicly stand by an organization that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault while privately preying on people who have no power?" Johansson said, before adding: "I want my pin back, by the way.”
Refinery29 reached out to Johansson for comment.