Why, Emma, Why?

by Rachel Simon

It was just yesterday that I wrote a piece about how to cope when your favorite celebrities disappoint you, but I didn't think my advice would be applicable so quickly. One of the very stars that I worried would soon let us down, Emma Stone, has signed on to star in Woody Allen's next movie, the second collaboration between the actress and the controversial director after this summer's Magic in the Moonlight . First Ben Affleck counts cards, then Stone does this — is there a beloved actor left in Hollywood who hasn't done something recently to seriously test our support?

Little is known about Stone's role in the untitled film, other than that she'll be starring alongside Joaquin Phoenix, an Allen newcomer. Variety, who reported the actress' casting, speculates that the movie will feature a large ensemble, but it's unknown whether the duo will lead a romantic comedy, like Stone's done before, or a serious drama, per Phoenix's background. This summer's Magic, a caper comedy starring Colin Firth, looks lighthearted, but last year's Blue Jasmine was much darker. There's no telling what direction Allen's newest film will take.

What is known, though, is that Stone seems committed to work alongside Allen, despite the controversy that's surrounded the director since the publication of Dylan Farrow's letter, accusing him of sexual abuse, in February. One could excuse the actress' involvement in Magic in the Moonlight, as that was filmed long before Farrow's essay went public, but her choice to star in a second Allen film, knowing that information, is extremely disappointing. It signifies that Stone has chosen to either ignore the accusations and put her career first, or, worse, that she truly believes Allen's innocence and doesn't see a problem with starring in his films.

Even if the second theory is the case, though, it's still surprising that Stone would choose to work with a director who's in the midst of such a scandal. The actress has always been very drama-free, keeping her personal life extremely private and choosing light comedies over somber dramas. One would think that even if she believes that Allen is innocent, she's aware of the public's opinion of him, and wouldn't enjoy being associated with such a figure. Apparently, however, she's more comfortable with it than anyone would've expected, or hoped.

Frustratingly, Stone is not the first actor to seemingly side with Allen, despite the accusations and subsequent stigma of association. Just recently, the director's longtime friend, Diane Keaton, said that she believes Allen's innocence, and two months ago, his frequent muse Scarlett Johansson called Farrow "irresponsible" for publishing the letter. A few weeks earlier, Cate Blanchett, who won an Oscar for her role in Blue Jasmine , thanked Allen in her acceptance speech. It seems that for many of the director's current and former muses, being cast in his movies is worth linking oneself with a potential child molester.

Stone's decision is disappointing, and it certainly colors at least my opinion of her character. I'd thought higher of her, as well as of Phoenix, Blanchett, and the others. Yes, starring in a Woody Allen movie is exciting, but is it really worth the shame of working with a man who might've abused a seven-year-old? I would've thought no, but apparently, at least for many Hollywood actors, the answer seems to be a disappointing "yes."