It’s astounding to read that Woody Allen was only “dating” Mia Farrow when he began having a secret affair with Soon-Yi Previn. He was living with Farrow and besides her own brood which included the adopted Soon-Yi, Farrow and he had three children.
I thought Allen was creepy in his depiction of a teenage prostitute in “Manhattan.” His affair came as no surprise.
Allen apparently didn’t care about his children, her children or her feelings when he decided to embark on an affair within his blended family. He didn’t care for Soon-Yi and her relationship with her adoptive mother or father. He didn’t care that Soon-Yi might be better served by forming an equal relationship with a man her own age. He cared only for himself.
In current interviews, he portrays himself as not a vengeful, spiteful person, willing to cast Farrow in another movie as if he was totally above understanding human feelings. In reality he is simply failing to acknowledge and take responsibility for the emotional devastation he made the decision to create. Why shouldn’t Farrow be suspicious of Allen and their children? Didn’t she trust him and his displays of affection for Soon-Yi as nothing more than fatherly?
The supposed seduction of stepfathers by stepdaughters is part of the erotic subject matter of many cultures. Most tales place the fault with the young daughter and not with the stepparent. Perhaps Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel type fairytales have it all wrong: The real danger isn’t the evil stepmother, but the evil stepfather.
Like Cinderella, such tales would miscast the many stepparents who do the right thing, despite temptation. Allen selfishly rationalizes away his responsibility as a stepfather and father and, to a certain extent vilifies stepfathers everywhere.
If the Woody Allen-Soon Yi Previn story were a Greek tragedy, then the evil cycle would find Soon-Yi widowed and marrying a man who would then seduce one of the children she and Wood Allen had produced although the same could happen with the offspring of Farro and Allen.
Such an ending would be karmic retribution or the cycle suggested by Greek tragedy. In Greek myth the failures and weaknesses of great men weren’t above the moral laws of society. In Hollywood, too many times these moral wrongs seem to be permissable.