Why Liberals Have Such A Hard Time With ‘Monstrous Men’ And Their Art

While it’s not a universal truism, more often than not, bad morals make for bad art, and the unwillingness to say so produces even worse criticism.

Claire Dederer has written a much-discussed essay for The Paris Review, “What We Do With the Art of Monstrous Men?” It’s a good question, and Dederer, a former film critic and author, focuses much of the essay on the difficulty of evaluating Woody Allen’s work in light of the Great Sexual Harassment Panic of 2017.

Specifically, there’s no getting around Allen’s celebrated film “Manhattan.” Allen’s character in the film dates a 17 year-old Mariel Hemingway, as if an older man having a sexual relationship with a teenager is a perfectly normal thing to do. It certainly doesn’t seem so normal when you consider that Allen later started dating, and eventually married, the adopted teenage daughter of his then-wife Mia Farrow.

  • Woody Allen

    Go ahead, take your cheap shots, see if I care. But the next time you need Annie Hall explained to you, don’t come a-knockin’ on my door!

    • JusticeVegas


  • David Murrell

    In the 1970s I was a liberal (ex-radical) but was beginning my journey towards conservatism. But even then, it was obligatory for liberals, like me, to watch Woody Allen films. So I watched Manhattan, trying to extract hidden meaning from it, all the while soaking up the faux-urban intellectuality that makes up much of Allen’s films. I dare anyone to watch his “Interiors” — I forget when that monstrosity was made.

    It is true, as I recall, the question of a much older man dating a 17-year-old girl came up in the film. But the immorality of this never crossed my liberal mind — and as the author of the posted article says, the film was universally praised in liberal Hollywood. I stopped watching the later Allen films, even before he married his step-daughter.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      I was a kid in the 1970s.
      I thought it was strange then, too.