Lady Problems is a weekly column that looks at how the entertainment industry — and its corresponding culture and constituents — is treating women in a given week. (Hint: It will almost always be “poorly.”) Every Thursday we’ll review the week’s most significant woman-centric conflicts, then provide a brilliant solution to each problem that nobody in Hollywood will ever listen to or enforce.
The Lady Problem: I thought we'd we disposed of Woody Allen's body at sea last week, but here we are, talking about Woody Allen again. This time, at least, we're not talking about The Hollywood Reporter giving Allen the space to say increasingly fucked-up things about his daughter-wife; instead, we're talking about (1) Kristen Stewart being willfully ignorant re: Allen's child-molestation accusations, and (2) Ronan Farrow penning a screed about Allen's child-molestation accusations in the very same Hollywood Reporter. In other words, as long as we're here to trash Woody Allen and remind everyone that he has been accused of child molestation, it's acceptable to speak his name.
We'll start with Stewart, who told Variety this week that she ultimately decided to star in Allen's forthcoming Café Society after having a discussion with costar Jesse Eisenberg about the accusations against Allen; both decided that practicing moral relativism and creating false equivalencies was the best way to deal with the whole thing. "I was like, ‘What do you think? We don’t know any of these people involved. I can personalize situations, which would be very wrong,’" said Stewart. "At the end of the day, Jesse and I talked about this. If we were persecuted for the amount of shit that’s been said about us that’s not true, our lives would be over. The experience of making the movie was so outside of that, it was fruitful for the two of us to go on with it." That's true: Not doing the film quite literally wouldn't have been "fruitful," in that both would have had to forgo money and caché in the interest of believing and respecting a woman whose childhood was utterly destroyed by Allen. Also, the worst "amount of shit" that has been written about Jesse Eisenberg is that he is a pair of broken bifocals come to life, and that is true, so.
Ronan Farrow's follow-up piece serves as a not-so-subtle challenge to Stewart's statements, as well as to Allen's countless other "muses," the media at large, and even himself — all of us, writes Farrow, are complicit in protecting Allen from any real ramifications. "Being in the media as my sister's story made headlines, and Woody Allen's PR engine revved into action, gave me a window into just how potent the pressure can be to take the easy way out," writes Farrow. "Every day, colleagues at news organizations forwarded me the emails blasted out by Allen's powerful publicist, who had years earlier orchestrated a robust publicity campaign to validate my father's sexual relationship with another one of my siblings. Those emails featured talking points readymade to be converted into stories, complete with validators on offer — therapists, lawyers, friends, anyone willing to label a young woman confronting a powerful man as crazy, coached, vindictive."
Later, Farrow writes that he regrets his own unwillingness to speak out in defense of his sister. "Initially, I begged my sister not to go public again and to avoid speaking to reporters about it. I'm ashamed of that, too." Ultimately, Farrow asks the press to keep the story top of mind rather than buried in the corrections section of bullshitty puff profiles: "The allegations were never backed by a criminal conviction. This is important. It should always be noted. But it is not an excuse for the press to silence victims, to never interrogate allegations. Indeed, it makes our role more important when the legal system so often fails the vulnerable as they face off against the powerful."
Farrow also asks the likes of Stewart and Eisenberg to step the fuck up:
Tonight, the Cannes Film Festival kicks off with a new Woody Allen film. There will be press conferences and a red-carpet walk by my father and his wife (my sister). He'll have his stars at his side — Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg. They can trust that the press won't ask them the tough questions. It's not the time, it's not the place, it's just not done. That kind of silence isn't just wrong. It's dangerous. It sends a message to victims that it's not worth the anguish of coming forward. It sends a message about who we are as a society, what we'll overlook, who we'll ignore, who matters and who doesn't... It's time to ask some hard questions.
Today, at a Cannes luncheon, Variety's Ramin Setoodeh and Vanity Fair's Julie Miller did just that, according to Vulture. Both pressed Allen on whether he'd read Farrow's piece, and he replied, "I never read anything about me. Any of these interviews I do, anything. I said everything I had to say about that whole issue in the New York Times, I don’t know if you read it, some time ago. I have moved so far past that. You know, I never think about it. I work, and that’s the end of it for me. I said I was never gonna comment on it again because I could just go on endlessly." When Setoodeh pressed him by saying, "But this isn’t a critic, it’s your son," Allen shrugged and said, "I’ve said all I have to say about it."
The Solution: Henceforth, anyone who writes about or interviews Woody Allen will be required to devote at least one paragraph in the resulting story to Dylan Farrow's accusations and Allen's inhumane response to them (and, you know, his daughter-wife, whose recent press has been very "No big deal, just a daughter-wife, nothing to see here!"). They'll also be required to ask him, "Why are you such a sick fuck?" over and over again until he breaks down in wrenching sobs (this may take a while, because Woody Allen is shellacked with self-aggrandizement and delusion). Also, I am still very serious about the ghost ship. For their parts, Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg will be required to take Dylan Farrow to coffee and hear her story; at the end of coffee, Stewart will stand up on the table and reenact the vampire-birthing scene from Twilight and Eisenberg will turn back into an inanimate pair of glasses.
The Lady Problem: Jennifer Lawrence punched Sophie Turner in the vagina.
The Solution: Sophie Turner will punch Jennifer Lawrence in the vagina.
The Lady Problem: Meghan Trainor pulled the new video for her single "Me Too" earlier this week after realizing that the Powers That Be Editing Videos had dramatically altered her waistline. "My waist is not that teeny," said Trainor in a Snapchat video. "I had a bomb waist that night. I don't know why they didn't like my waist. But I didn't approve that video, and it went out to the world. So I'm embarrassed."
Later, Trainor — one of only a handful of famous women willing to speak out about the scourge of Photoshop — posted a side-by-side comparing of her actual (lovely!) waist to the one the video editors bestowed her with.
The video has since been put back online, with Trainor sporting her own actual body.
The Lady Problem: Because Earth is a Tim Burton–esque hellpit where women cannot win or ever eat the correct amount of hamburgers, Chrissy Teigen was criticized by the Internet for having too small of a waist less than a month after having a baby. As The Cut reports, Instagram commenters attacked Chrissy for posting a photo in which her body looked too good, too soon after giving birth. "Chrissy you are gorgeous and are very lucky to have snapped back so quickly but I gotta say it feels a little insensitive when for mere mortals this is a huge battle to regain. You look amazing, you are one of the few, be sensitive to those that see you and aren't so lucky," wrote one. Another added: "Other new moms feel bad enough about their bodies then see this and feel like they should be in crop tops, too."
The Solution: Whoever edited that video in order to make Meghan Trainor look like a biologically impossible species doomed to die within minutes of being born — let's go ahead and assume it was Woody Allen — will cinch their own waist into the very same shape, albeit in real life and permanently. Unable to sit down, stand up without toppling onto their face, take a full breath, or poo, they will spend the duration of their days leaning faux-casually against a utility pole. Meanwhile, the Instagrammers who plague Chrissy Teigen's life will be pregnant for 10 years straight and, at the end, give birth to a stale croissant.