Immediately after her directorial debut won the Golden Globe for Best Picture — Comedy or Musical, Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig found herself backstage fielding questions about whether or not she regretted working with Woody Allen. Gerwig, who worked with the controversial director on the 2012 film To Rome with Love (producer: Letty Aronson), evaded the question, but is now speaking out about her decision. In fact, Gerwig regrets working with Woody Allen, as she said in a interview with The New York Times on Tuesday, Jan. 9. (Bustle has reached out to Allen for comment on Gerwig's statement, but did not receive an immediate response.)
"If I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film. I have not worked for him again, and I will not work for him again," she said. The writer, director, and actress continued, specifically addressing Dylan Farrow and her public accusations that Allen molested her as a child (allegations that Allen has vehemently denied). "Dylan Farrow's two different pieces made me realize that I increased another woman's pain, and I was heartbroken by that realization."
Gerwig, who has frequently cited Allen as an inspiration throughout her career, also acknowledged that his films would always be a part of her artistry, but she pledged to do better going forward. Below is her full statement:
"I would like to speak specifically to the Woody Allen question, which I have been asked about a couple of times recently, as I worked for him on a film that came out in 2012. It is something that I take very seriously and have been thinking deeply about, and it has taken me time to gather my thoughts and say what I mean to say. I can only speak for myself and what I’ve come to is this: If I had known then what I know now, I would not have acted in the film. I have not worked for him again, and I will not work for him again. Dylan Farrow’s two different pieces made me realize that I increased another woman’s pain, and I was heartbroken by that realization. I grew up on his movies, and they have informed me as an artist, and I cannot change that fact now, but I can make different decisions moving forward."
This marks the first time Gerwig has expressed any regret for working with the director, and, for many, it's about time.
Some fans were left puzzled after watching Gerwig, dressed in her black gown, dance around the question of Allen while speaking to the press at the Golden Globes. "It's something that I've thought deeply about, and I care deeply about, and I haven't had an opportunity to have an in-depth discussion where I come down on one side or the other," she said. Her evasive answer was criticized as hypocritical by some, especially considering the night's Time's Up theme against sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace and beyond.
One person who was likely disappointed with her words on the night of the awards was Farrow, who previously called out Gerwig in an Op-Ed published by The LA Times. "The people who join this movement without taking any kind of personal accountability for the ways in which their own words and decisions have helped to perpetuate the culture they are fighting against, that's hard for me to reconcile," Farrow told BuzzFeed News on Jan. 8, following the Globes. She noted, for example, that Justin Timberlake proudly wore his Time's Up pin despite having just worked on Allen's new film, Wonder Wheel (producer: Erika Aronson). "I seem to remain secondary to their ambition, which undermines the powerful and embracing message they are trying to send," she added.
Despite her earlier criticism, Farrow embraced Gerwig's new statement, publicly thanking her on Twitter. "Greta, thank you for your voice. Thank you for your words. Please know they are deeply felt and appreciated," she wrote.
With her statement, Gerwig joins a handful of other actors who have publicly apologized for working with Allen. Ellen Page, Gerwig's To Rome with Love co-star, called it "the biggest regret of my career" in a Facebook post from Nov. 10, 2017, continuing on to say, "I am ashamed I did this." David Krumholtz, who appears in Wonder Wheel, also expressed regret on Twitter on Jan. 5, calling it "one of my most heartbreaking mistakes." And Griffin Newman, who also appears in Wonder Wheel, pledged to donate his salary to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) in a tweet written months before the film was even released.
Gerwig is, arguably, the most high profile actor to come out and officially express regret at working with Allen. As Lady Bird continues to gain Oscar momentum, speaking out against one of the most beloved directors in Hollywood is a bold and risky move, one that could cost her and her film a few Academy voters. Moreover, her decision to make this statement now, prior to the SAG Awards and the Oscars, will hopefully ensure that more actors are confronted with this question going forward. And not just female actors, like Blake Lively, Emma Stone, or Kate Winslet, but male actors as well.
If Gerwig can be asked about Allen right after winning a Golden Globe, then certainly someone on the red carpet can ask Timberlake about Wonder Wheel or Hugh Jackman about Scoop (film editor: Alisa Lepselter), or Call Me By Your Name actor Timothée Chalamet about his decision to work on the director's upcoming film, A Rainy Day in New York (co-producer: Helen Robin). Let Gerwig's statement act as an invitation to more journalists to ask actors of all genders about Allen. Only then will the discussion be moved forward.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.
Additional reporting by Caitlin Gallagher.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated from its original version.