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The incredible hypocrisy of Scarlett Johansson.

Scarlett Johansson has been involved with the Time’s Up movement against sexual assault and harassment since it began. But this week, she’s proven that she just doesn’t quite get it.

In a profile in the Hollywood Reporter, the actress gave her opinion on director Woody Allen, who’s been accused by his daughter, Dylan Farrow, of sexual abuse.

“I love Woody,” Johansson said. “I believe him, and I would work with him anytime.

“I see Woody whenever I can, and I have had a lot of conversations with him about it. I have been very direct with him, and he’s very direct with me. He maintains his innocence, and I believe him.”

Scarlett Johansson has been active in a movement against complicity. Post continues below. 

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It didn’t take long before Farrow tweeted a response: “Because if we’ve learned anything from the past two years it’s that you definitely should believe male predators who ‘maintain their innocence’ without question. Scarlett has a long way to go in understanding the issue she claims to champion.”

Farrow first accused her adoptive father Allen of sexually abusing her in 1992, when she was seven years old. At the time, her adoptive mother Mia Farrow had recently discovered Allen was having a sexual relationship with another of her adopted daughters, Soon-Yi Previn.

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Dylan Farrow has repeated her allegations against Allen several times over the years, including in an open letter she wrote in 2014, where she specifically mentioned Johansson.

“What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?”
In an interview with The Guardian, Johansson labelled Farrow “irresponsible” for naming actors in her open letter.

Allen has always denied the allegations.

In recent years, with the rise of #MeToo and Time’s Up, a number of actors who once worked with Allen – including Colin Firth and Mira Sorvino – have distanced themselves from the director. Rebecca Hall, who was in Allen’s film A Rainy Day In New York, said she would donate her salary from the movie to the Time’s Up campaign.

Johansson, who starred in Allen’s movies Match Point, Scoop and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, is clearly going against the trend here.

Where the hypocrisy comes into it is that Johansson didn’t hesitate to publicly attack James Franco in January last year when accusations of sexual misconduct were made against him. The actor had turned up to the Golden Globes wearing a Time’s Up pin, sparking allegations from several women. One was actress Violet Paley, who claimed on Twitter that Franco had pushed her head towards his groin while they were in a relationship, and had hit on two 17-year-olds. Another was filmmaker Sarah Tither-Kaplan, who claimed that Franco had removed several women’s plastic vagina guards while filming an orgy scene with them. Franco’s lawyer denied that claim.

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Johansson took aim at Franco at a women’s march, a few weeks after the Golden Globes.

“How could a person publicly stand by an organisation that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault, while privately preying on people who have no power?” she asked the crowd. “I want my pin back, by the way.”

Johansson was invited to be part of the Time’s Up movement by Natalie Portman, back in its early days. She was one of the signers of the Time’s Up announcement letter, and she also contributed to the movement’s defence fund.

But this is the thing. If you want to use your position as one of the most high profile women in Hollywood to take a stand against sexual assault and harassment, good on you. But you don’t pick and choose. You don’t make public pronouncements about which allegations you believe and which you don’t. You don’t publicly attack one accused predator, while publicly defending another accused predator, just because he was “very direct” with you.

Otherwise, you just risk sounding profoundly hypocritical.

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