Alia Bhatt, Anushka Sharma, Sonam Kapoor, Vidya Balan and Radhika Apte recently sat down for Rajeev Masand’s Actresses Roundtable and discussed various issues like child sexual abuse, trolls, acting methods, nudity, kissing scenes etc (click). As Vidya talked about the theme of child sexual abuse in ‘Kahaani 2’, the other actresses chimed in with their thoughts and experiences. One of the most shocking revelations came from Sonam Kapoor who shared an incident of molestation from her adolescent years. Sonam is receiving a lot of appreciation for her courage and rightly so. However, I wonder if people have missed a moment of irony in the discussion.
Towards the end of the discussion, some of the actresses on the table expressed their admiration for Woody Allen, who is considered to be one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. But the sad fact is that Allen has been accused of sexually assaulting a child! Dylan Farrow, Allen’s adopted daughter, has claimed that Allen had molested her during her childhood. Allen has dismissed the allegations. Hollywood actors like Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Cate Blanchett, and Kate Winslet have chosen to work with Woody Allen and some of them have even defended him against the allegations. We don’t know whether Dylan’s claims are true or false. However, it is a little ironical to see actresses admiring someone with a history of sexual assault allegations while discussing child sex abuse (I’m assuming that they know about the allegations but it is possible that they are not aware).
Is it a sin to admire an artist when you know that he/she has done something wrong in his personal life? It is difficult to answer this question because we are talking about human beings here. I wish the answer was black or white but unfortunately, it lies in gray areas. I wanted to check out Allen’s work but after reading about the allegations, I’m reluctant to watch his movies. I’m still judgmental about people who ignore the allegations but I hope I will understand the complexity of human nature.