Singer-actress Selena Gomez has had quite a year. She's fresh off a kidney transplant, which is kind of major, and just split with The Weeknd, her boyfriend of 10 months. And, she just shot a movie with Woody Allen. In a recent sit-down with Billboard she talked about why she chose to work with the director.
Gomez was asked – very delicately – if Allen's past (he's accused of sexual abuse by his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow) was a consideration before taking the role, and her response is what some might consider a non-answer.
"To be honest, I’m not sure how to answer – not because I’m trying to back away from it," Gomez explained. "[The Harvey Weinstein allegations] actually happened right after I had started [on the movie]. They popped up in the midst of it. And that’s something, yes, I had to face and discuss. I stepped back and thought, 'Wow, the universe works in interesting ways.'"
Gomez is definitely giving thought and consideration to all of the other sexual harassment and assault allegations and charges that are hitting Hollywood, however.
"I feel all those things. I’ve cried. But I definitely feel hopeful," she said. "As people speak out, I hope that feels powerful to them, because they deserve to feel that. I’m fortunate enough not to have experienced some of the traumatic things that other women have had to go through. I’ve known people in my family who’ve gone through those things. I try to let people come to me and open up, to make a safe environment for them to do so."
Gomez is not the first actress to give an evasive answer about working with Allen. When speaking to the New York Times about her part in an Allen film, Kate Winslet also dodged the question. "Of course one thinks about it," Winslet replied. "But at the same time, I didn’t know Woody and I don’t know anything about that family. As the actor in the film, you just have to step away and say, I don’t know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false. Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person."
And, at a roundtable in Cannes, Blake Lively stated that she thinks Allen writes "amazing" parts for women. She claimed she had not read Ronan Farrow's essay in the Hollywood Reporter.
"My experience with Woody Allen is that he's empowering to women," she told reporters during a lunchtime press event.
The careful tap dance that surrounds working with Allen continues — and in the current climate, feels more problematic than ever before.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).