Against all odds, time might finally be up for Woody Allen, who has managed to maintain his influence for years despite disturbing child abuse accusations. In this post-Weinstein moment, Hollywood seems to be answering the prayers of Allen’s accuser, his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, who tweeted in anticipation of the Golden Globes, “I will watch to see if now, finally, time is up for my predator too.”
The director was first accused of molesting Farrow in 1992. In 2014, Farrow published an open letter in The New York Times, writing, “When I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house…Then he sexually assaulted me.”
The allegations against Allen have long been tiptoed around by ambitious young stars eager to work with the acclaimed director. When pressed on the unsavory subject, actors have gone on the record with lavish praise and confusing equivocations. At this point, an uncomfortable question or two is par for the course on a Woody Allen film press tour—although you wouldn’t be able to guess that from stars’ jumbled, awkward responses. A few months ago, Kate Winslet pushed back against a New York Times reporter who asked if the allegations “give you pause.”
“I didn’t know Woody and I don’t know anything about that family,” Winslet insisted. “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. Woody Allen is an incredible director.” Blake Lively, the star of Café Society, told the Los Angeles Times in 2016, “It’s very dangerous to factor in things you don’t know anything about. I could [only] know my experience. And my experience with Woody is he’s empowering to women.” Scarlett Johansson claimed, “It’s all guesswork,” and Diane Keaton declared, “I believe my friend.”
But after years of letting personal ambition ease moral qualms, actors are no longer comfortable ignoring Farrow’s claims. While a handful of former collaborators have denounced Allen in the past, the shift seemingly accelerated after Greta Gerwig declared that she would not work with Allen again in the future. Momentum accumulated with actresses Mira Sorvino and Rebecca Hall apologizing to Farrow in quick succession, and Timothée Chalamet pledging his salary from the forthcoming Allen film A Rainy Day In New York to Time's Up, The LGBT Center in New York, and RAINN. The actor, who also worked with Greta Gerwig on her film Lady Bird, explained, “I have been asked in a few recent interviews about my decision to work on a film with Woody Allen last summer. I am not able to answer the question directly because of contractual obligations. But what I can say is this: I don't want to profit from my work on the film.”
By reminding us that an upcoming Woody Allen rom-com starring Timothée Chalamet exists, Chalamet has put some of his co-stars in an uncomfortable position. One of them, Selena Gomez, was subjected to even more Allen-related discomfort courtesy of a recent Instagram missive from her own mother.
In a comment posted on Monday, Gomez’s mother, Mandy Teefey, responded to a social media user who asked her to “make Selena write an apology” for working with Allen. “Sorry, No one can make Selena do anything she doesn’t want to. I had a long talk with her about not working with him and it didn’t click,” Teefey replied. “Her team are amazing people. There is no fall person here. No one controls her. She makes all her own decisions. No matter how hard you try to advise. It falls on deaf ears.”
Before this social media spanking, Gomez appeared to be riding a personal high with a brand new kidney and sort-of new boyfriend. Unsurprisingly, Teefey also has thoughts on her daughter reuniting with her on-again, off-again boyfriend Justin Bieber. In a recent interview, Teefey told Gossip Cop that she was “not happy” with Gomez’s decision to take the Biebs back. While any mother would be wary of a man who inspired an official deportation petition, Teefey did cede, “Selena can live her life however she wants as long as she is happy, safe and healthy.”
While the interview was a clear attempt to squash any suspected beef between the mother-daughter duo, Teefey’s Instagram comment suggests the tension is real. According to Gossip Cop, Teefey denied that “a rift widened” between them after Gomez fired her momager in 2014. At the time, TMZ reported that Teefey and her husband were “blindsided” by Gomez’s decision to seek new management. The TMZ post continued, “Mandy tells us she thought last month's conversation was just talk, and she's having a hard time processing the fact that she's no longer Selena's manager.” Like any resentful ex, Teefey is now going around pretending she wasn’t that into managing Selena anyway. Or as she told Gossip Cop, “We never expected to manage her her whole life. We lost family time because the only time we saw her, we talked business…It was no longer fun for any of us.”
While this might be the first time Gomez’s own mother has emphatically pushed her under the bus, it isn’t the first time Gomez has gotten in trouble for refusing to take a stand. In the wake of Taylor Swift-gate AKA gossip Christmas, Gomez was one of many dutiful squad members to take to social media and defend Swift after Kim Kardashian exposed her as a liar. In what was later deemed (by me) social media suicide, Gomez tweeted some outraged word salad, writing, “There are more important things to talk about...Why can't people use their voice for something that fucking matters? Truth is last thing we need right now is hate, in any form…This industry is so disappointing yet the most influential smh.” The pop star was quickly buried under a mountain of social media receipts, with Twitter users asking why Gomez didn’t address “something that fucking matters” herself by making a statement on police brutality or hash-tagging Black Lives Matter. In a rapidly-deleted rebuttal, Gomez tweeted, “oh lol so that means if I hashtag something I save lives? No-I could give two fucks about ‘sides.’ You don’t know what I do.”
“You don’t know what I do” is a strange clapback from a major celebrity in the 2010s. From starring in a Woody Allen film to making out with Justin Bieber at hockey practice to accepting a kidney transplant from The Secret Life of the American Teenager’s Francia Raisa, we know exactly what Selena Gomez does. And now, thanks to her mom, we know that Gomez simply could not be dissuaded from working with one of Hollywood’s most problematic auteurs. With Gomez currently shoved to the forefront of the Woody Allen conversation, two things are for sure: Mandy Teefey is never getting her old job back, and there’s a sizable RAINN donation in Selena Gomez’s near future.