I Stand with Woody Allen, by The Wicked Witch of the West
Much has been made of Woody Allen’s recent statement about Harvey Weinstein. In it, he comments that, while he feels bad for the women that Weinstein harassed, he was genuinely worried about a forthcoming “witch hunt.” I couldn’t agree with him more. I mean, obviously, we want Weinstein and his ilk to be punished for their crimes, but we shouldn’t make more of this than necessary. We can’t let ourselves get distracted by peripheral accusations; we need to focus on Weinstein, Devin Faraci, Harry Knowles, and the handful of other bad apples out there. But we can’t let ourselves get carried away.
We need to be careful. When we try to be more aware of troubling trends, we sometimes find ourselves going off on wild goose chases, and good people can get hurt. That’s all Woody is worried about; he doesn’t want innocent people getting accused. He has no personal stake in this, and neither do I. We are just concerned citizens who would hate to watch this country get drawn into another dreadful witch hunt.
Sure, it’s important to call out genuine harassment wherever we find it, but if we’re not careful, we could start stringing up every guy that winks at an attractive woman from across the room. Or simply asks for a woman’s phone number. Or marries his adopted step daughter.
And then that slope gets even more slippery, until a woman can’t wear a pointy hat or ride on a broomstick or command an army of flying monkeys without being labeled a menace to society. This is what can happen if we’re not careful. It’s important to be vigilant, but not too vigilant.
Woody Allen is taking a lot of heat for this stance, but I will no longer let him stand alone. We on the sidelines – we completely innocent bystanders – are simply surveying the current cultural landscape and voicing our opinion. We want justice, but we must be careful in that quest for justice that we don’t accidentally start hunting for witches. I certainly don’t want that. And neither does Woody.