Re "Art versus scandal," Opinion, Feb. 13
I make no apology for enjoying the work of Woody Allen. Accountability is necessary, but punishment should be restricted to the guilty, without collateral damage.
Any misdeeds of Allen's are a reason to punish him, not me. His debt to society is his and not mine, and I refuse to pay any of it for him by curtailing my cultural edification.
Meghan Daum cites Picasso and Wagner who, because they are dead, are no longer capable of being punished. On a similar note, in a 2004 article in
The Times, Doug McIntyre wrote that he disapproved of the acknowledgment during that year's Oscar awards ceremony of Leni Riefenstahl's passing. For McIntyre, this constituted "honoring a Nazi" because Riefenstahl "was undoubtedly a brilliant filmmaker, but ... "
Perhaps, then, buying a car made by Ford would be honoring a semi-literate bigot because Henry Ford was a brilliant engineer, but ...
Allen's behavior does not negate his art, but his art does not absolve him of responsibility for his behavior.
Daum considers the question of whether Allen's sexual proclivities cancel out his significant cultural contributions.
The answer: Life is long, art is short. Only time will tell.