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April 15, 2009 5:14 PM   Subscribe

1) American Apparel uses stills from Annie Hall in an ad campaign. 2) Woody Allen sues American Apparel for $10M+. 3) American Apparel stays classy.
posted by Sys Rq (118 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I lol'd.
posted by mullingitover at 5:16 PM on April 15, 2009


I think this is the only time I've actually liked Woody Allen.
posted by strixus at 5:19 PM on April 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


Dov Charney was quoted as saying "I heard what you were saying. You know nothing of my work."
posted by now i'm piste at 5:21 PM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Creep vs. creep. Whoever loses, we all win.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:22 PM on April 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Because securing image rights is just so un-edgy...
posted by Artw at 5:23 PM on April 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


...arguing that it can't have damaged his reputation by using his image because the film director has already ruined it himself.

Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major record company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:25 PM on April 15, 2009 [36 favorites]


What kind of a name is "Dov"?

I rest my case.
posted by DU at 5:31 PM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


nice one jimmy. haha that scene was great. American Apparel fucking sucks and I wish Woody the best of luck winning the case, or at least getting paid mad dollas. American App can suck it.
posted by ChickenringNYC at 5:31 PM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Allen, who does not endorse products in the United States, said he had not authorized the displays, which the Los Angeles-based company said were up for only a week....

"Woody Allen expects $10 million for use of his image on billboards that were up and down in less than one week. I think Woody Allen overestimates the value of his image," Slotnick said.

"Certainly, our belief is that after the various sex scandals that Woody Allen has been associated with, corporate America's desire to have Woody Allen endorse their product is not what he may believe it is."


What a non-sequitur. Dude's not holding out for more money, he's saying he wouldn't have done it for any sum of money.

Also, yes, wookiees.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:32 PM on April 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


What kind of a name is "Dov"?

A Jewish one.
posted by Falconetti at 5:34 PM on April 15, 2009 [15 favorites]


Oh, and: Previously and Previouslier.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:35 PM on April 15, 2009


It's actually a pretty interesting defense. Woody is saying the value of his endorsement is "worth" $10 million, as if any similar company he endorses would plausibly expect to pay that much for his services.

Would you pay Woody Allen $10 million to endorse anything?

Supposedly, Microsoft paid Jerry Seinfeld $10 million for his series of ads for Windows, and everyone thought that was a hell of a stretch. Does Woody Allen have Seinfeld's level of cachet?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:41 PM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


...the company's lawyer, Stuart Slotnick..."Certainly, our belief is that after the various sex scandals that Woody Allen has been associated with, corporate America's desire to have Woody Allen endorse their product is not what he may believe it is."

Right. I know American Apparel has always tried to keep any sort of inappropriate sexual material out of its advertising. In fact, they try not to be associated with any sexual impropriety of any kind. Almost puritanical, that company.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:41 PM on April 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


nebulawindphone: "he's saying he wouldn't have done it for any sum of money."

Has he said he'll donate any jury award to charity?

A Korean orphanage perhaps?

If he wins, it'll be the first of his projects to make money since Hannah and Her Sisters.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:44 PM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Does Woody Allen have Seinfeld's level of cachet?

Allen has way more "cachet" than Seinfeld precisely because he doesn't do commercials. Seinfeld has done so many, it's no big deal now. If Allen were to do one, it'd be attention-drawing if not newsworthy. For crying out loud, we have 3 links in a MeFi post about Allen not doing a commercial!
posted by DU at 5:44 PM on April 15, 2009 [11 favorites]


Dude's not holding out for more money, he's saying he wouldn't have done it for any sum of money.

By that argument, it will take $10 million to heal any wounds Woody has experienced for having his named dragged through the American Apparel mud. The company has sullied Woody's image to such a degree that it has harmed his reputation as someone that doesn't endorse products, such that should he ever choose to endorse products in the future, his value will have been lessened significantly. And that value is $10 million.

So, again, who would pay Woody Allen $10.001 million to endorse a product?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:49 PM on April 15, 2009


I have a Woody Allen in my pants.

...

And he won't leave. Damnit.
posted by loquacious at 5:52 PM on April 15, 2009


Keep in mind that I think American Apparel should pay up -- this is indeed bullshit. I'd expect them to pay me if they used my image, after all. But the question is, how much am I worth? How much are you worth? How much is Woody worth?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:52 PM on April 15, 2009


Mr. Bell is correct. In the Ian Hamilton/J.D. Salinger business, it was ruled that Salinger's unpublished letters had an intrinsic market value (that would be diminshed by Hamilton quoting too much of them) regardless of whether Salinger ever planned to publish them himself.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:55 PM on April 15, 2009


I'd pay Woody Allen and Dov Charney $10.001 million each to fuck the hell off.
posted by dersins at 5:56 PM on April 15, 2009


So where is Allen claiming that he would expect $10 million from any corporation for the use of his image if and when he ever decided to grant permission? From the final link: "He is seeking damages in excess of $10 million, according to the suit." Aren't civil judgements usually the sum of recouping expenses or lost value, plus a punitive amount?

I think American Apparel deserves to be slapped with some serious punitive damages for this bullshit. Or maybe Woody just needs to drive Dov to a McDonalds for some nice, fresh coffee.
posted by maudlin at 5:57 PM on April 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


That's an interesting defense.

"We're using Woody Allen's image in the hopes of making money. Millions, easily."

"Hey! I didn't give you permission to use my image to make money. Pay up."

"What? Your image isn't worth millions. In fact, your image is a negative one. I wouldn't be surprised if it HURT sales. So yeah, we're going to fight to use your image."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:57 PM on April 15, 2009 [40 favorites]


I like the American Apparel ads with the (almost) naked ladies. This one, not so much.
posted by chunking express at 5:58 PM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


19 comments and no one has yet mentioned the words "punitive damages" here.

Look, AA did something even a bush league lawyer would have told them not to do: Used a fairly famous image of a very famous person in an ad without their knowledge or consent. Say what you will about Woody's marketability as a spokesman; that's not what this is about: the case is about setting precedent and making sure that other companies understand that they shouldn't do this because it will cost them a ton of money if they do.
posted by anastasiav at 6:00 PM on April 15, 2009 [10 favorites]


There is also the small matter of using his image without his consent, which may warrant punitive damages. Punitive damages, in order to serve as punishment, are scaled to the defendant, which in this case is a corporate entity worth ~$350M.

$10M seems about right.

Besides, everyone knows you have to demand way more than you deserve so the out-of-court settlement will be reasonable.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:01 PM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


By that argument, it will take $10 million to heal any wounds Woody has experienced for having his named dragged through the American Apparel mud. The company has sullied Woody's image to such a degree that it has harmed his reputation as someone that doesn't endorse products, such that should he ever choose to endorse products in the future, his value will have been lessened significantly. And that value is $10 million.

So, again, who would pay Woody Allen $10.001 million to endorse a product?


Well, not really. It's usually the amount you're thinking you can realistically recover. It has little to do with what he'd have done it for in the first place.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:02 PM on April 15, 2009


If it ever got that far, our business-friendly Supreme Court might discover a sudden passion for the principle of Fair Use.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:02 PM on April 15, 2009


My original mental image of an American Apparel ad featuring Woody Allen was much less pleasant than the real thing.
posted by decagon at 6:09 PM on April 15, 2009 [7 favorites]


If AA can drag Allen's personal life into court, then Allen should have the right to drag Dov Charney's personal life in. It's only fair. And very entertaining.

And it doesn't matter if any advertiser in its right mind would pay him $10million. (And let's ignore the fact that there are a lot of advertisers NOT in their right minds these days) If that's his price, that's what they owe him. I'm nobody and I wouldn't appear in an ad for less than a million myself, so if anybody put me in an ad without my permission, they'd owe me a million plus punitive damages (I like the phrase 'treble damages' myself).
posted by wendell at 6:10 PM on April 15, 2009


I would appear in an American Apparel ad for considerably less than $1,000,000. Dov, call me.
posted by DU at 6:13 PM on April 15, 2009



It's actually a pretty interesting defense. Woody is saying the value of his endorsement is "worth" $10 million, as if any similar company he endorses would plausibly expect to pay that much for his services.


No, I don't think so at all. The amount they'd have had to spend to get the endorsement isn't the whole story (he lists defamation and the like), but I thought the whole point of this kind of suing was it being for the value that the company is perceived to have gained in exposure from the use of the image; so if this image use got them a mass of publicity that any old ad wouldn't have got, then the value of the advertising revenue is a direct result of using the image without permission.

He's not suing for loss of earnings, he's suing for the value gained by using his image as part of their advertising.

Example: Virgin sponsored Brawn GP for 150K sterling for the first race of the F1 Calendar. That's how much it cos them to be on there. But, due to the ensuing TV coverage, they actually got exposure by being pictured so much of the equivalent of millions of dollars of TV advertising - something like 39 minutes of prime time viewed by a few hundred million people (I can't find the figures right now, dammit).

So, in that example, if Virgin's logo was used badly, the court case would be for the value of the TV coverage, not the value of the sponsorship to put the logo on the car in the first place. In the Woody example, it's not his appearance fee, it's the value of the ensuing publicity that is the issue.
posted by Brockles at 6:14 PM on April 15, 2009


Your image isn't worth millions. In fact, your image is a negative one.

So, logically, Woody owes THEM money for hurting their reputation. QED.
posted by msalt at 6:18 PM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Creep vs. creep. Whoever loses, we all win.

True, although one creep has made some really good movies, and the other "makes" really crappy T-shirts. So while a lively debate can probably be had on who is creepier (I'd give Dov the edge, but it's a tough call), one has certainly made more contributions to the world.

[Not to mention that Woody seems to clearly be in the right here, I can't see how AA could possibly win]
posted by wildcrdj at 6:19 PM on April 15, 2009


I'm delighted that the American Apparel defense keeps emphasizing how briefly the ads were up, as if that had anything to do with anything. "Like, whatever, dude, if you want to sue us for ads that were up for barely a week, wank wank wankity wank wank."

I'm not passionately in love with Woody Allen or anything but my goodness this whole mess makes American Apparel look like a parcel of dildos. I'd like to see this go in Woody Allen's favor, totally.
posted by Neofelis at 6:21 PM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I wanted to be a part of an organization that says sex diminishes the value of a person, I would join the Republican party. So, no American Apparel crap for me.
posted by munchingzombie at 6:22 PM on April 15, 2009


When Tom Waits sues a company for using him or a sound-alike in a campaign, he wins. I applaud him.

Go, Woody!
posted by Dumsnill at 6:25 PM on April 15, 2009


I almost wish AA had used Tom Waits just because I'd like to see that go down.

"We feel that corporate America's desire to use Tom Waits to endorse its products is not what Mr. Waits may believe it is. After all, look at how much the man used to drink."

"Hell yeah! That reminds me of a story I heard once about a guy at a diner. Well, he's sittin' there, eating his pecan pie. And here come these two, uh, girls, you know, and one of 'em doesn't have any arms. The other one doesn't have any legs. And so..."
posted by katillathehun at 6:40 PM on April 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


The only way this can ever make sense if American Apparel honchos have an unhealthy stalker-like crush on Woody Allen. That is all.
posted by the cydonian at 6:55 PM on April 15, 2009


katillathehun: I almost wish AA had used Tom Waits just because I'd like to see that go down.

I would also like to see that go down; but that's because I know that Tom Waits would win.
posted by koeselitz at 7:04 PM on April 15, 2009


If Woody Allen really wants to get back at American Apparel, he'll make its executives watch Deconstructing Harry. Twice.
posted by googly at 7:05 PM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm completely mystified as to who thought the ads would be a good idea in the first place. Don't these people have a legal department? Did they go ahead and do something their legal department told them NOT to do? Are they nuts?

Oh, right.

You know, there are things to like about American Apparel. They would be an incredible company if their CEO weren't, y'know, an oversexed batshitinsane egomaniac. You can only get so far on brashness and impulsive risk-taking before you bite off more than you can chew.

Dear Dov Charney,

I appreciate your labor practices, and you make some decent socks and t-shirts.

That said, you might wanna, y'know, check yourself, as you are in imminent danger of wrecking yourself.

Sincerely,
L.M.

P.S. - Please shave that mustache. It makes you look like my dad.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:15 PM on April 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


If Woody Allen really wants to get back at American Apparel, he'll make its executives watch Deconstructing Harry. Twice.

And then watch "Picking up the Pieces." More than twice.
posted by blucevalo at 7:18 PM on April 15, 2009


This has made me a fan of Woody Allen. I hope he takes Dov to the cleaners.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:35 PM on April 15, 2009


"Certainly, our belief is that after the various sex scandals that Woody Allen has been associated with, corporate America's desire to have Woody Allen endorse their product is not what he may believe it is."

My belief is that Dov Charney is a pederast, a drug addict, and a rapist. Good thing beliefs count for nothing in the eyes of the law.

Rob Lowe was convicted of having sex with a minor while attending the DNC. This was before his stint on the West Wing and other shows. Robert Downey Jr has been in rehab more times than he's been in movies. Roman Polanski moved to France to flee underage sex charges in the US, before directed The Ninth Gate. Bill Clinton had an extramarital affair that nearly ended his presidency, but then went on to $20M speaking engagements. Sex scandals are irrelevant.

Corporate America would kill to have Woody Allen endorse a product. Can you imagine what Allen's endorsement of Nikon would mean for that company? Or Netflix? Or Coca-Cola?

By contrast, no one gives a shit about a company whose claim to fame is bringing asian slave labor conditions to the United States. Allen should sue for the company, then make a comedy about shutting it down.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:53 PM on April 15, 2009 [6 favorites]


What was Woody Allen guilty of again, exactly? Having a consensual relationship with another adult, unrelated to him (and who says that he was never a father figure to her) that had lasted 17 years so far?

Well, fuck that piece of shit. He sacrificed whatever rights he had the moment he pissed off people who don't know when something is none of their fucking business,
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:10 PM on April 15, 2009 [27 favorites]


So where is Allen claiming that he would expect $10 million from any corporation for the use of his image if and when he ever decided to grant permission? From the final link: "He is seeking damages in excess of $10 million, according to the suit." Aren't civil judgements usually the sum of recouping expenses or lost value, plus a punitive amount?

The damage in this case is loss of perceived value, either:

1) Someone that would've paid for an endorsement now won't do so because of the attachment. For example, Woody could claim that someone like Banana Republic won't look to Woody to endorse their products, out of fear that customers would get confused. If Pepsi has been using your face, Coke won't pay you to use your face. You've now lost your ability to market yourself to Coke. Hope Pepsi paid you well. Oh, they didn't? Well, holy shit...

2) Woody's ability to command high compensation because of exclusivity (he hasn't endorsed anyone else) is lessened, because he's no longer considered exclusive. "Well, shit, Woody, we'd love to give you $10 million to endorse Pepsi, because you're so unique! Oh wait, you already made an ad? So we're not the first? About that $10 million..."

The value of these damages is determined by looking into a crystal ball and going, "Ehh, it's about $10 million because that's what we think we could get."

Hence, the defense: "Betcha can't."

Analogy: I wreck your Toyota Camry. I need to compensate you for it. But you can't say it was worth 100 billion million jillion dollars. No Toyota is worth that much, and especially not yours; you had already fucked it up by putting shitty rims on it.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:16 PM on April 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


anastasiav: Say what you will about Woody's marketability as a spokesman; that's not what this is about: the case is about setting precedent and making sure that other companies understand that they shouldn't do this because it will cost them a ton of money if they do.

No, this is about American Apparel getting LOTS of free publicity and exposure for pulling an obviously stupid yet flamboyant stunt. Now I'm done talkin' or thinkin' about it.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:19 PM on April 15, 2009


[Not to mention that Woody seems to clearly be in the right here, I can't see how AA could possibly win]

There's no such thing as bad publicity. In Dov's mind, I think it really is as simple as that. The sort of egomaniac who would build an ethical employer, and then jerk off on the reporter who came to write about it, probably can't see a downside.
posted by fatbird at 8:22 PM on April 15, 2009


American Apparel has already won. They only had to pay for a couple billboards for less than week, and now Woody Allen is personally making sure that the company gets tons of media attention associated with his name. An ad agency account and comparable ad campaign would have cost way more than $10 mil. American Apparel has already won.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:26 PM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Creep vs. creep. Whoever loses, we all win.

Well, that's sure an ignorant-ass comment. Someone being an asshole doesn't validate breaking the law in a way that exploits him. Jesus, if personal opinions of a person were valid aspects of litigation half of this site would have sued each other to the poorhouse by now.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:30 PM on April 15, 2009


The most depressing part of all this is that it's patently obvious that Woody Allen has now started cinching his pants up near his sternum like any old man would.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:34 PM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


No Toyota is worth that much, and especially not yours; you had already fucked it up by putting shitty rims on it.

There's a Woody Allen joke about rimming somewhere in there, but I'm not going anywhere near it. Unless it has to do with his glasses.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:41 PM on April 15, 2009


I'm a photographer and I have had to get releases for someone's shadow before it could be cleared for advertising usage. This is like art buying 101 shit. There is no way in hell this is not a calculated move by American Apparel. They knew that it was in no way legally defensible to use his image, did it anyways, and are now basking in all the free press $10 million couldn't have bought.
posted by bradbane at 8:54 PM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Astro Zombie: "What was Woody Allen guilty of again, exactly?"

Taking open-beaver shots of his son's sister and leaving them for her mother to find.

It made the multiple references to "moral structure" in Husbands and Wives seem rather sickening in retrospect.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:59 PM on April 15, 2009


Can we have notifications for single-link Gawker, so I don't feed that beast with my pageviews?
posted by oneironaut at 9:03 PM on April 15, 2009


Taking open-beaver shots of his son's sister and leaving them for her mother to find.

And when was the moment when this became our business, rather than Mia Farrow's?
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:05 PM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


In an alternate universe, where MetaFilter were primarily full of right-wingers, this thread would be a "TORT REFORM NOW" circlejerk.
posted by oaf at 9:47 PM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


sometimes I just feel particularly subjunctive
posted by oaf at 9:47 PM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Anybody else thinking to themselves that this is an incredibly strange episode? I mean, what on Earth prompted American Apparel to single out Woody Allen? Was this fight anticipated? If so, what a fricking crazy marketing stunt.

I'm just baffled on so many levels by this.
posted by philosophistry at 9:55 PM on April 15, 2009


Next up: Roman Polanski
posted by Artw at 10:01 PM on April 15, 2009


Weirdly enough, I recently went through a bunch of market research surveys where they showed these ads and asked what they endorsed and what message I got out of them. I had no idea they were Woody Allen, and basically got the message that American Apparel was pulling some sort of ironic bullshit that I had no interest in.

At least Allen can advertise his next movie with Dov Charney sportin' a dick in the mouth, because he doesn't have any reputation to ruin.
posted by klangklangston at 10:43 PM on April 15, 2009


For some reason, I'm having really hideous visions of Woody Allen in a mauve leotard pretending to hump a shit-brown couch in what looks to be a basement den from the early '70s, his taut ass presented, his eyes staring soullessly at the camera from beneath a pair of cheap ass pink barely-tinted star-shaped sunglasses. That, my friends, would have been worth ten million dollars.
posted by Football Bat at 10:44 PM on April 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Astro Zombie: What was Woody Allen guilty of again, exactly? Having a consensual relationship with another adult, unrelated to him (and who says that he was never a father figure to her) that had lasted 17 years so far?

Well, fuck that piece of shit. He sacrificed whatever rights he had the moment he pissed off people who don't know when something is none of their fucking business.


Astro Zombie: And when was the moment when this became our business, rather than Mia Farrow's?

AZ, I like Annie Hall and Sleeper as much as anybody, but I don't think you can sanely claim that Woody Allen doesn't have a pretty questionable character or that he hasn't done some morally ambiguous things. Soon-Yi Farrow may say that he's never been a father figure to her, but Mia and her son Seamus, who says that "to say Soon-Yi was not my sister is an insult to all adopted children," seem to disagree; and while their side might be as valid or invalid as Woody's or anybody else's, Mia Farrow also seemed to think that Woody had molested their younger daughter, Dylan, and though the judge found the investigation into that charge inconclusive, he also said that, whether he'd molested her or not, Woody's actions and treatment of her were 'grossly inappropriate' and denied him any visitation with Dylan whatsoever.

All this is aside from the fact that there are several wrong things involved in taking nude photos of your partner's adopted daughter and letting them be found by your partner. Younger people have a right to feel as though older people aren't looking at them sexually, that those older people have some respect for them and a sense of protectiveness. Yes, that changes as people get older, and 'old-young' relationship can work; but the other factors in this case (nude pictures, the fact that Woody was her mom's partner and that there were a number of other adopted children in the picture) make it far too complex for it to have been a very good idea from the start.

Any rational person who looks at this situation and watches Woody Allen's later movies (especially Deconstructing Harry) can't help but be a little sickened. I mean, seriously: Deconstructing Harry seems to be a massive justification and rationalization of Woody Allen's lack of regard for the feelings and sensitivities of other people, a big fat 'I may be a bastard, but it's okay - I'm Woody Allen!' This is pretty unfortunate, to my mind; Zelig in particular was a brilliant film, and though I have at times gotten a little sick of the cult of Woody, I have to admit that I wish he'd ended up his career differently. And it doesn't make me 'judgmental' or 'nosy' to think about these things when I watch his movies; I'm not asking that he be thrown in jail, I'm just wondering whether he's very happy. I don't think he is.

Oh, and in answer to your question: it became our business when Mia Farrow decided to tell us all about it.
posted by koeselitz at 10:57 PM on April 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Also, I find this case pretty ironic. I mean, look what we have here: two secularized Jews, both what we might even call 'debauched,' fighting over whether one of them gets to put up a giant picture of the other one dressed up as a rabbi. The House of Hillel and the House of Shammai would have a field day with these two.

I'm sure next year we'll be laughing our asses off about this in Jerusalem.
posted by koeselitz at 11:20 PM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, again, for me, the main point is that they are both consenting adults, and they have managed a 17-year-relationship. We might be squicked out by it, and think it is not very nice, or creepy, or whatever, but, when push comes to shove, I have always lived my life thinking that what consenting adults do with each other in committed relationship isn't really for me to judge. Yes, it started weird; weirder than most. And yet, somehow, I manage not to care.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:20 PM on April 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


I dunno, Astro Zombie ... I mean, it's true I don't know the man personally, or any of the people involved, and it's true that I wasn't a witness to what happened, but the way the story was told by his ex-lover who hates him, whom I also don't know, does make him sound pretty creepy. And on top of that, while he still periodically directs a good or even great movie, he doesn't do so with nearly the frequency he used to, and when he makes a bad one these days it's often a lot worse than the bad ones he used to make. So doesn't it logically follow that if someone illegally appropriates his image without his permission, we should actually be angry at him?

Wait ... what?
posted by kyrademon at 11:37 PM on April 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


All this is aside from the fact that there are several wrong things involved in taking nude photos of your partner's adopted daughter and letting them be found by your partner

Holy sweet mother of fuck. If you do think about this, it is deeply disturbing. I had forgotten about all this stuff since I stopped watching Woody Allen movies 17 years ago. What a creep.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:05 AM on April 16, 2009


I never trust men with beards. Even without the trademark infringement, that was a bad call by the advertisers. I'll never buy American Apparel again.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:52 AM on April 16, 2009


I never trust men with beards.

Then what's with that tattoo on your back, hm?
posted by rokusan at 1:30 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie: We might be squicked out by it, and think it is not very nice, or creepy, or whatever, but, when push comes to shove, I have always lived my life thinking that what consenting adults do with each other in committed relationship isn't really for me to judge. Yes, it started weird; weirder than most. And yet, somehow, I manage not to care.

Yes, that's true. And you're right that it's better to keep from looking down on people.

I guess the thing is: when I forget all that, there's still his movies. And a number of them - I mentioned Deconstructing Harry, there's also Husbands and Wives as Joe Beese mentioned above, even Crimes and Misdemeanors - that have a certain void where their moral heart should be. I find this vaguely disturbing, and I'll never feel that Woody Allen is an entirely moral man. Moreover, I imagine that he'd want me to judge him according to his films.
posted by koeselitz at 1:32 AM on April 16, 2009


I'm just wondering whether he's very happy. I don't think he is.

I've often wondered if it was just the opposite. I suspect he's been very happy in his time with Soon-Yi, and that's also about the time he stopped making great films.

Miserable Woody made better movies than happy Woody. It's a simple thesis, really.
posted by rokusan at 1:38 AM on April 16, 2009


Well shit man, if I have to judge my favorite artists by their talents AND their moral character then I'm not going to have any heroes left.
posted by cazoo at 2:02 AM on April 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I find this vaguely disturbing, and I'll never feel that Woody Allen is an entirely moral man.

I never bought into Woody Allen as a moral man in the first place. That doesn't mean I can't admire and respect his art.

Really, if we require artists to be good and moral men, we're missing the point.
posted by rokusan at 2:09 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


(On forgetting to preview, what cazoo said.)
posted by rokusan at 2:09 AM on April 16, 2009


rokusan: Really, if we require artists to be good and moral men, we're missing the point.

Creating things often brings out the very best in the people that create them, especially in people who are very good at creating. That means that we should judge the work of art not by who made it but by its own value.

But I don't think that means that we can't consider the morality or goodness of artists. Art is communication between people; it's a way of exercising our societal bond. It is, at its core, a political act. And, seeing as how morality and goodness have no meaning apart from the context of how we live and how we treat others, it seems to me that art is about morality and goodness. So why wouldn't the artist's morality or goodness be a factor? I agree that it can't be a requirement - obviously ruling art out before we've seen or heard it makes no sense, and violates our common experience that the best in our artists comes out in their art. But it's certainly a fair question and a useful topic.

Frankly, even if it's not, as I said above, Woody Allen has made morally reprehensible films, too, regardless of his personal life. It's just that it's hard not to see his life and his work a bit entwined. This is true of some artists and not true of others. For example, when I listen to Charlie Parker, I can't really hear the pain and anguish of a life lived as a junkie.
posted by koeselitz at 3:12 AM on April 16, 2009


On (non)-preview, rokusan, either you're quoting me out of context or you're misunderstanding my point there. I was saying that I find the film to be immoral; that's judging the art, not the man. It's hard not to see connections to Allen's personal life, and I do believe that he is as immoral as the movie paints him, but the key point is that the art has this flaw in it: it portrays sex as a game wherein a certain character (Woody Allen) isn't really obliged to think or care about anyone else, simply by virtue of who he is. I don't like that, and I don't like the film.
posted by koeselitz at 3:16 AM on April 16, 2009


My search for an alternative outfitter continues. Ethical, organic, widely available, normal CEO, no-advertising, anyone?
posted by wingless_angel at 3:25 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


All things Woody Allen (what he is and does, what he did and was, positive and negative) make up the Woody Allen image. American Apparel hotwired that image and took it for a joyride. That corporation ought to pay Allen a very big pile of gold, and their head lawyers and head of advertising and CEO ought to have to walk naked in a parade at noon through Hollywood bearing Allen in a litter. The end.
posted by pracowity at 4:15 AM on April 16, 2009


If only Marshall McLuhan were here to set American Apparel straight.
posted by Spatch at 5:32 AM on April 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wait -- so Woody Allen is somewhat creepy, depending on the context, and that justifies what American Apparel did how?
posted by grubi at 6:10 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Woody Allen is creepy. Dov Charney is creepy. These two things cancel each other out. However, Woody Allen is talented. Dov Charney is not, unless we're talking about a mustache-growing contest, but even then it's a good thing he didn't take on Nick Cave. But anyway, AA did a bad thing. But that doesn't make Woody Allen an angel. I think that's what people are saying.
posted by katillathehun at 7:37 AM on April 16, 2009


even Crimes and Misdemeanors - that have a certain void where their moral heart should be. I find this vaguely disturbing, and I'll never feel that Woody Allen is an entirely moral man.

Void in the moral heart is the whole point of Crimes and Misdemeanors. It's a great movie, but it's really unsettling in that it takes something that I basically believe to be true*-- that there really isn't any overarching moral order to things, that right and wrong exist only in our heads and can be ignored if you've got the stomach for it-- and shows it in action. It's disturbing as hell, but I think it's also amazing that Allen made a film making that argument; I can't help but admire the courage of his convictions. And I feel-- once again, uncomfortably-- that all of the personal life stuff, while squicky as hell, is at least in keeping with the moral void he's arguing for in Crimes and Misdemeanors.


*It's not something I'm really wild about believing, but that's where the evidence points me.
posted by COBRA! at 7:55 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


La de dah, la de dah.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 8:25 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


"And, seeing as how morality and goodness have no meaning apart from the context of how we live and how we treat others, it seems to me that art is about morality and goodness. So why wouldn't the artist's morality or goodness be a factor?"

Art is about morality and goodness? I'm sorry friend, you've retreated to your 19th century reservation where edification was the expected norm. Even further, politics gives us an explicit counterpoint (you claimed that art is a political act): It's entirely possible to be an immoral or amoral politician and pursue political goods. That Clinton was a sleazy philanderer doesn't discount the good of his Bosnian intervention, or any number of other good executive acts. Likewise, LBJ's Great Society is not undone by the man being a tyrannical influence peddler, or Bitches Brew is not undone by Miles Davis being a violent racist.

People are complicated, and even immoral art (as much as that can be granted—art that ostensibly advances an immoral argument or belief system) can made by moral people. The decoupling of artist as person and artist as persona should be taken as granted by now, even when it's someone like Allen, whose persona is such a part of his work.
posted by klangklangston at 8:28 AM on April 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


So we're in agreement that AA is in the wrong? I just want to make sure "creepiness" isn't a factor.
posted by grubi at 8:42 AM on April 16, 2009


Defending Woody
posted by Artw at 8:57 AM on April 16, 2009


I'll use this thread to ask a question about Annie Hall that's been bugging me for a while (since this thread is all over the place, anyway).

In the scene where they Annie and Alvy are in his roof, trying to get to know each other/impress each other but not over do it, and you see their thoughts, in the VHS version Annie thinks, "Oh God, he must think I'm a schmuch." or something to that effect. I thought it was hilarious, because I assumed it was supposed to be a reflection of how Goyish she was, that even in her head she mispronounced the word schmuck. But then I bought the DVD and "schmuch" was replaced with "schmuck"! Anyone know what the deal with that was? Was the original subtitle a typo, or was this some "Han shot first" level BS that happens when things get rereleased?
posted by piratebowling at 8:58 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


klangklangston - that seems inconsistent with your defense of knapsackisms the other day.
posted by Artw at 8:58 AM on April 16, 2009


grubi: So we're in agreement that AA is in the wrong? I just want to make sure "creepiness" isn't a factor.

Yeah. We're all in agreement there, I think.
posted by koeselitz at 8:58 AM on April 16, 2009


"klangklangston - that seems inconsistent with your defense of knapsackisms the other day."

How so?
posted by klangklangston at 9:02 AM on April 16, 2009


Was the original subtitle a typo

I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that the VHS subtitles are not the original subtitles.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:04 AM on April 16, 2009


How so?

In that in Knapsackism art IS primarily judged on moral grounds, and that the identity of the artist is inseparable from the work.
posted by Artw at 9:09 AM on April 16, 2009


Ah yeah, Sys Rq, sorry, I meant was the VHS subtitle a typo.
posted by piratebowling at 9:16 AM on April 16, 2009


Isn't that Woody-as-rabbi image from Take the Money and Run, not Annie Hall?

(ps. he's a creep but he made some good films. and some bad ones. that is all.)
posted by ScotchRox at 9:36 AM on April 16, 2009


I'm always interested that whenever people want to get on a soapbox about what a "creep" Allen is, they always feel the need to present what he actually did as tendentiously as possible. You'd think if his actual actions were so outrageous a straightforward account of them would suffice to make the case.

You always need to imply that Soon-Yi was his daughter, for example. Hey, if someone points out that she had a father (Andre Previn--her name is something of a giveaway there) who was very active in that role then you call her "the sister of Woody's son" or "the daughter of the mother of Woody's children" or some other weird formulation. "Man has affair with 22-year-old daughter of woman he once had an affair with" just doesn't get the outrage juices flowing, does it?

Of course if the bogus incest implications just aren't enough you can always try this route: Taking open-beaver shots of his son's sister and leaving them for her mother to find.

The "open beaver" is a particularly telling touch, though as far as I can see from the available record, entirely the product of feverish fantasy. The "leaving them for her mother to find" is also nicely tendentious. It implies some kind of scenario like Allen scattering the photos on the kitchen table where he and Mia ate breakfast every morning.

The bare facts--Allen taking nude photographs of his adult lover (scandalous!!) and keeping those photographs in his own apartment (the horror!) and Mia Farrow finding them there--just don't quite cut it, do they?

Lastly, of course, there's the "he diddled ALL of Mia's kids" route. Let's leave aside the fact his long and apparently happy relationship with Soon-Yi (now, what, 40 odd years old) rather undermines the notion that the only thing he saw in her was sweet, nubile flesh. Doesn't anyone find it a bit weird that Mia suddenly discovers what a monster of perversity Allen is only after he hooks up with Soon-Yi and exits her life? Doesn't anyone care that the courts--despite the massive negative publicity raining down on Allen and the howling mob in the media baying for his blood--found no merit in the charges? I don't say that I can prove Allen isn't a pederast (I can't prove that any of you isn't, either), but I'm pretty confident that the accusations hurled at him by a bitter ex-lover should at the very least be taken with a grain of salt.
posted by yoink at 10:47 AM on April 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


yoink: Doesn't anyone care that the courts--despite the massive negative publicity raining down on Allen and the howling mob in the media baying for his blood--found no merit in the charges?

No - the courts found that the investigation was inconclusive, not that it cleared Allen. And the judge in the custody case was pretty blunt about this: she said Woody Allen had acted "grossly inappropriately" toward Dylan and "inappropriately" toward Soon-Yi before denying him any visitation whatsoever.

The trouble with this case is that it's not simple; the rabid tabloid press is as full of shit and as hypocritical as ever, and anyone who looks at Woody Allen with any sort of condescension or haughtiness, assured of their own moral rectitude, is assuredly a delusional asshole, given that he's given more to the world than any of them ever have. But the question of how a person can live a fulfilling life is an important one, more important than our own petty pride or our need to see our artists as flawless. I think Woody Allen has made some serious mistakes; I think that, in his heart of hearts, he agrees with me; and I'm not dragging him through the mud when I say so. I've made mistakes, too.
posted by koeselitz at 2:27 PM on April 16, 2009


No - the courts found that the investigation was inconclusive, not that it cleared Allen.

Excuse me? If I investigated any parent to determine if they had molested their child, what could I possibly determine other than "inconclusive" or "guilty"? Short of a case where the parent has never been in the same house as the child, or has videotaped every single moment of every day of their life, "inconclusive" is the best possible outcome one could come to. This, too, is part of the tendentiousness with which people present this case. Had Allen charged Farrow with molesting all of her children and forced an investigation, do you imagine that it could have come up with anything better than "inconclusive" about her?

If the investigation had found any meaningful incriminating evidence, they would have charged him. Ergo, the investigation found no reliable evidence in support of Farrow's allegations. Unless you presume his guilt (as most people in this thread seem to want to do) then he's innocent of those charges.
posted by yoink at 2:36 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


By the way, here's a newspaper report on the judge who ruled the evidence "inconclusive"--it makes it pretty clear that the judge's decision to strip Allen of any visitation rights to his children was based on his disapproval of the relationship with Soon-Yi, not on any evidence whatsoever of sexual misconduct with his younger children.

Here's a key snippet:

Judge Wilk listened to hours of criss-crossing testimony about the charge, and then asked his own simple, direct questions. Did the pyschologist for Dylan believe the girl had been molested? The psychologist did not. The judge then asked the baby-sitter who had made the original charge what exactly happened when Allen put his head in the child's lap? 'Was he facing her body?' the judge asked? 'Yes,' answered the baby-sitter.

In the end, the judge found the evidence inconclusive and said that it was unlikely that Allen could be prosecuted for sexual abuse. But at the same time he questioned the reliability of a report from a group of independent child-abuse experts from Connecticut who had concluded that the child-abuse charges were untrue. 'We will probably never know what occurred,' he wrote, adding that Allen's behaviour towards Dylan was 'grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her'.


Got that, parents? If you ever put your head on your daughter's fully-clothed lap while facing her, you're probably a pervert who has no right to see that child again. To build some kind of case against Allen on the basis of this crap is profoundly unfair.
posted by yoink at 3:39 PM on April 16, 2009


yoink: Excuse me? If I investigated any parent to determine if they had molested their child, what could I possibly determine other than "inconclusive" or "guilty"?

You seem to be taking this rather personally.

'Innocent' is an option in most courtrooms.

To build some kind of case against Allen on the basis of this crap is profoundly unfair.

Fine. I built my case above based on a few of the guy's movies; I think that's a better case, anyhow.
posted by koeselitz at 6:14 PM on April 16, 2009


"In that in Knapsackism art IS primarily judged on moral grounds, and that the identity of the artist is inseparable from the work."

Ah, this makes your continued railing against "Knapsackism" make more sense. I think you fundamentally misunderstand what's being critiqued and how the critiques function.

First off, "Knapsackism" is a question of privilege, power and assumptions. Despite being called "identity politics," it's more helpful to think of them as "context politics." If you come from a context where everyone is white, it is likely that either you will present that as normative or present shallow and superficial readings of non-whites in your art. That's because you both have the context in which that's assumed, and the power to do so.

Now, with every endeavor, there's an inherent movement toward experimentation and novelty that requires a recurrent questioning of assumptions. Where the humanities differ from the hard sciences is that there's not an objective answer to these assumptions, but rather a consensus rules (this is true of sciences as they move further away from the core of historical knowledge, but that's a tangent we can ignore).

So, as social rights evolved for those who weren't the dominant group in the West (we'll call the non-dominant groups, collectively, the Other), they began to exercise that power by questioning assumptions made by the dominant group. Is everyone who matters white and male and heterosexual? If yes, why? If no, why not?

As this applies to art, think back to someone who has only the context of whites in their work—is that how the world truly is? Are simplistic portrayals of minorities true? As the Other asserted their rights, the answer became more and more, no, that's not true. Those assumptions are incorrect and come from a position of privilege.

Then we get to the moral question: Is this fair? What about it makes it fair or unfair?

In talking with you about this, I recall, and correct me if I'm wrong, but you generally come down on the side that yes, it is fair. It is fair because… the identity of whites (or males or heterosexuals) is like any other, and it is right that they explore their interests just as any Other identity would.

But where you go off the rails with your straw man of "knapsackism" is arguing that this means that the art itself is judged morally based on the morality of the creator. Racism and sexism are wrong for two reasons: they cause harm, and they're stupid. But that doesn't mean that they're intentional—in fact, that's a lot of the point of the "invisible" part of the "invisible knapsack." It's entirely possible for someone who is not racist (and I do want to clarify that I don't believe morality is inherent, and calling someone an asshole is shorthand for saying "you're acting like an asshole"), or who doesn't intend racism to act in a way that causes the same harm as racism. That's the reason for a lot of the complaints that folks level around here about ironic racism: without a broader and deeper context, it's indistinguishable from sincere racism.

So, that's one side of it—that folks who assume their privilege and use it to their advantage are acting in an unfair way, an unjust way. And that, especially as you get more aware of privilege is something that pulls you out of the suspension of disbelief, etc., and is an aesthetic negative. I hold that and still hold it.

On the other side, I think it's entirely possible for assholes (people who consistently act like assholes) to make art that is moral, or amoral, and that it's entirely possible for people who aren't assholes to create art that is immoral or amoral, noting that morality does not have to be congruent with art.

I mentioned Miles Davis above. He was both an asshole and a racist, the racism arguably more justified by being on the receiving end of quite a bit himself. But his moral outlook has very little per se to do with his trumpet solos. You can make an argument that his move to modal jazz was in part to escape the white pop domination of traditional jazz composition, but that's for someone else to do. His art is either arguably an aesthetic good in and of itself, or amoral, simply because of the abstraction inherent.

Think about it this way—emotions are inherently amoral, though there are "good" and "bad" ones. Anger is ugly, but the context in which it is presented matters. That claim is orthogonal to any arguments about the identity context or political context in which that emotion appears.

Finally, given that both audiences and artists span the gamut of sophistication in discussing and articulating these two issues, it's not at all inconsistent to advance a positive claim, that personal context ("knapsack") influences art and two negative claims: you cannot make a blanket judgment about art based on the public persona of an artist, nor can you make a blanket judgment about a person based on their art.
posted by klangklangston at 6:31 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


"'Innocent' is an option in most courtrooms."

Not American ones.
posted by klangklangston at 6:32 PM on April 16, 2009


Innocent until proven guilty, remember? Last I checked, inconclusive described roughly the opposite of proven.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:58 AM on April 17, 2009


Well, first off, we're talking about a judge, not a jury trial. Second off, no, "not guilty" is not the same as innocent—see OJ. The judge, in this matter, could have opined that there was conclusive evidence that all the allegations were false.

But really, it's the simple formulation that if a man is innocent he is not guilty, but if he is not guilty that does not mean he is innocent. You can take the flowery position of an idealist and hold the two terms congruent, but I think that ignores the real legal process.
posted by klangklangston at 10:21 AM on April 17, 2009


You seem to be taking this rather personally.

And yet another example of how nobody arguing this case can resist fighting dirty. "Oh, you're defending Woody Allen--obviously you must be an incestuous child molester!"

'Innocent' is an option in most courtrooms.

No, it's not. The question put to a jury is "guilty or not guilty." The jury is precisely not charged with finding the defendent "guilty or innocent" they are asked to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to prove guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Also, this was a hearing in which the judge had to meet no standard of proof whatsoever. He simply ruled on the best interests of the children as he chose to see it. The professional testimony of the independently appointed experts (not Allen's paid witnesses, but people hired to speak solely on behalf of the child) was that Allen was, in fact, innocent. The judge's claim that the evidence was "inconclusive" was mere obiter dicta.

Fine. I built my case above based on a few of the guy's movies; I think that's a better case, anyhow.

The claim that one can judge someone's "morals" from the kinds of movie they make is laughably simple minded.
posted by yoink at 1:49 PM on April 17, 2009


Well, first off, we're talking about a judge, not a jury trial.

Makes not a lick of difference. Did you mean civil, not criminal? (It was a custody thing, less about guilt/innocence so much as survival of the fittest parent.)

Second off, no, "not guilty" is not the same as innocent—see OJ.

I see OJ, but not your point. Do you mean to suggest that a person can be acquitted in a criminal trial, only to be found liable in a civil suit? Correct; but did OJ go to jail after being found liable? Or did you mean that people acquitted of one crime still have the capacity to commit other crimes? Correct again. None of that, however, is relevant to the legal definition of innocence, which is presumed in all cases until there is proof to the contrary; a verdict of Not Guilty upholds this presumption, and the rules of double jeopardy uphold it even further.

The judge, in this matter, could have opined that there was conclusive evidence that all the allegations were false.

She could have, but it wouldn't have been necessary. It would clear Allen's name, but from a purely legal standpoint it would mean nothing. A defendant does not need to prove his innocence (although doing so usually makes for a rather effective defense); only guilt must be proven. That's not flowery idealism, it's the very basis of the law.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:16 PM on April 17, 2009


Trials don't decide whether someone is innocent, just whether the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they committed a crime. It would probably be a violation of judicial ethics if the judge announced that a defendant was innocent, and it would absolutely be beyond her job description.

Ditto civil suits. A lot of time and money is wasted by people suing to prove they were right, and no one is ever satisfied if that's their goal.
posted by msalt at 2:23 PM on April 17, 2009


"I see OJ, but not your point. Do you mean to suggest that a person can be acquitted in a criminal trial, only to be found liable in a civil suit? Correct; but did OJ go to jail after being found liable? Or did you mean that people acquitted of one crime still have the capacity to commit other crimes? Correct again. None of that, however, is relevant to the legal definition of innocence, which is presumed in all cases until there is proof to the contrary; a verdict of Not Guilty upholds this presumption, and the rules of double jeopardy uphold it even further."

You obviously do not see my point, which was that OJ killed Nicole Simpson. He was not innocent of the crime except by semantic fiction—he was found not guilty, meaning that the state lacked the evidence required to prove his guilt. Like I said before, ignoring this distinction is a handy rhetorical veil, but it essentially amounts to arguing from ignorance, that because he was not proved guilty must mean he is innocent. Our laws require such a dichotomy, but presuming to argue from the law for a broader statement is blinkered at best and disingenuous at worst.

"She could have, but it wouldn't have been necessary. It would clear Allen's name, but from a purely legal standpoint it would mean nothing. A defendant does not need to prove his innocence (although doing so usually makes for a rather effective defense); only guilt must be proven. That's not flowery idealism, it's the very basis of the law."

Wrong again. This was not a criminal trial. And arguing that this distinction is the basis of the law, therefore the rulings of the judicial system prove this distinction is circular question begging.

This is all a side note to Allen, as I'd like to note that I have no real opinion on his actions one way or another.
posted by klangklangston at 2:24 PM on April 17, 2009


You obviously do not see my point, which was that OJ killed Nicole Simpson.

Oh. Cites?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:30 PM on April 17, 2009


Would you feel better if I said that he was liable for wrongly causing her death?

Again, you're begging the question by assuming that the law decides whether someone is guilty or innocent, rather than whether or not they actually committed the crime.

Under your formulation, Al Capone never had anyone killed, because he was never convicted. Also, he never violated the prohibition on distributing alcohol. Also, no one ever killed during the commission of a crime was guilty of committing the crime because they were never tried and found guilty.

So, yeah, disingenuous sums it up pretty well.
posted by klangklangston at 2:50 PM on April 17, 2009


I'm having a hard time understanding what any of that has to do with Woody Allen's guilt or innocence in that child custody case.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:55 PM on April 17, 2009


Excuse me, Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, but people are arguing on the internet. This is very important. Kindly refrain from interruptions and attempted re-rails.
posted by dersins at 3:07 PM on April 17, 2009


FWIW I find the notion that knapsackers aren’t moralizing when they come in and do their thing pretty laughable.
posted by Artw at 3:15 PM on April 17, 2009


I'm having a hard time understanding what any of that has to do with Woody Allen's guilt or innocence in that child custody case.

Many people in this thread wish to infer from a judge's statement that the evidence as to whether or not Allen molested his children was "inconclusive" that we are therefore bound to see him as morally suspect in his relationships with his own non-adult children.

It is important, therefore, for those who are trying to see Allen's case as clearly and as fairly as possible to understand that
A) the judge arrived at that conclusion on very shaky grounds (the independent expert witnesses all explicitly exonerated Allen) and that
B) the judge's statement was mere obiter dicta, and not a "finding" with respect to that evidence (i.e., it was not this judge's job to determine Allen's guilt or innocence) and finally that
C) from the perspective of the criminal courts and, indeed, basic justice, "inconclusive" means "not guilty." Had the judge thought that the evidence amounted to Allen being "a little bit guilty of child molestation" the judge would have had no hesitation in recommending a criminal trial. All his statement about the "inconclusive" nature of the evidence amounted to then was the obvious point that you can't prove a negative.
posted by yoink at 3:22 PM on April 17, 2009


It's not worth much at all, Art, given that you're off on some straw man tangent about the dreaded knapsackers come to, uh, tell you that your Angry White Male shtick is tired and stupid.
posted by klangklangston at 3:28 PM on April 17, 2009


So, when you’re calling me a racist there is it in a moralizing way?
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on April 17, 2009


Art, can't you argue against things I've said instead of your fevered dreams of victimization?
posted by klangklangston at 4:13 PM on April 17, 2009


Shrugs. I would argue that knapsackers are very much indulging in 19th century style moralizing when they cast things as racist. Obviously you disagree.
posted by Artw at 5:34 PM on April 17, 2009


It's even more troubling that American Apparel seems to be arguing that any time anyone is involved in any kind of scandal that pisses off some advertisers, everyone else thereafter gets to use their image in all other ads for free.
posted by Caviar at 8:18 AM on April 20, 2009


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