Woody Allen On Cancel Culture: I Find That All So Silly. I Don’t Know What It Means To Be Canceled

While promoting his 50th – and quite possibly, last — movie Coup de Chance at the Venice Film Festival, Woody Allen weighed in cancel culture, the #MeToo Movement, and whether any woman has ever complained about his behavior on set.

“I said years ago that I should have been a poster boy [for the #MeToo movement] and they got all excited about that,” Allen, 87, told Variety in an interview before Sunday’s premiere of the French language film that he wrote and directed. “I’ve made 50 films. I’ve always had very good parts for women, always had women in the crew, always paid them the exact same amount that we paid men, worked with hundreds of actresses, and never, ever had a single complaint from any of them at any point. Not a single one ever said, ‘Working with him, he was mean or he was harassing.’ That’s just not been an issue.”

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Allen was then asked whether he feels canceled. “I feel if you’re going to be canceled, this is the culture to be canceled by,” he replied. “I just find that all so silly. I don’t think about it. I don’t know what it means to be canceled. I know that over the years everything has been the same for me. I make my movies. What has changed is the presentation of the films. You know, I work and it’s the same routine for me. I write the script, raise the money, make the film, shoot it, edit it, it comes out. The difference is not is not from cancel culture. The difference is the way they present the films. It’s that that’s the big change.”

While Allen walked the red carpet Sunday for the premiere of Coup de Chance, about 20 protestors stood outside shouting things like “no rape culture” and “a rapist is not a sick man, he is the healthy son of patriarchy.” A day earlier, banners that read “Island of rapists” and “No Golden Lion for predators” went up around the festival to protest Allen and Roman Polanski, whose movie The Palace is up for the top prize this year. 

Allen received a five-minute ovation after the premiere of Coup de Chance, a romantic thriller that stars Lou de Laâge, Valérie Lemercier, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Schneider, Elsa Zylberstein, Bárbara Goenaga, Grégory Gadebois, Anne Loiret, Sara Martins, Guillaume de Tonquédec and Arnaud Viard.

In his interview with Variety, Allen was also asked whether he’s an advocate of the MeToo movement, Allen said “I think any movement where there’s actual benefit, where it does something positive, let’s say for women, is a good thing. When it becomes silly, it’s silly. I read instances where it’s very beneficial, where the situation has been very beneficial for women, and that’s good. When I read of some instances in a story in the paper where it’s silly, then it’s foolish. It’s silly, you know, when it’s not really a feminist issue or an issue of unfairness to women. When it’s being too extreme in trying to make it into an issue when, in fact, most people would not regard it as any kind of offensive situation.”

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