Guillermo del Toro: Renounce Support for Roman Polanski and Woody Allen
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Dear Mr. Del Toro,
You have made a career out of using film to explore culture and society. You have used monsters as an allegory for imperfection and outcasts. You have told stories of people put in dire circumstances by horrible people in power. These things have earned you acclaim and respect from fans and critics around the world.
You have spoken at great length about your disdain for unjust authority. Your villains tend to be men in positions of power who take advantage of people, especially women in children. Your heroes have been those who have the courage to stand up to these horrible people in the name of truth and justice.
Despite this, in 2009, you and over 100 others in the film industry signed a petition calling for the release of fugitive Roman Polanski, who has been fleeing child rape charges since the 1970s. You also have voiced appreciation for the films of Woody Allen, while saying nothing of his accusations of sexual assault and having married his own adopted daughter. This is especially heinous considering Dylan Farrow's contributions to uncovering the Harvey Weinstein scandal that has made waves of change in Hollywood this year.
The dissonance between the ideals espoused in your work and these apparent gestures of support for accused sexual predators is appalling and hypocritical. All of the beauty and good will expressed in your work rings hollow if you do not embody these ideals in the real world.
As you said during your speech at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, in Hollywood one must occasionally make a deal with the devil in order to succeed. Many in the entertainment industry have confessed that their careers were threatened if they were not silent and supportive of sexual predators. If this is what lead you to these actions, we understand why you would do something so contrary to your supposed nature. While it would not absolve you of responsibility for your actions, admission of wrongdoing could perhaps pave the way to forgiveness and healing.
Perhaps your admiration for their work has lead to a reticence to confront the controversy surrounding them. While it is difficult to admit people you admire have done wrong, confronting their crimes or indiscretions is essential. Not only does it promote healthy criticism and analysis of their work, it creates an environment where wealth and prestige are irrelevant in regards to holding people accountable for their actions. The elite and privileged are not held to different standards than ordinary people.
We, as fans of your work and admirers of the ideals you claim to champion, ask that you make a statement unambiguously condemning sexual assault and those in Hollywood who commit it. We demand an explanation and an apology for your support of accused sexual predators. We desire an acknowledgement that admiring the work of Roman Polanski or Woody Allen does not excuse you or them for acknowledging the traumatic and irreparable harm done by their alleged assaults. We hope that in the future, you and Hollywood at large continue to combat the ongoing struggles of discrimination and misconduct within the industry and sever all ties with those who have done wrong.
The time has come for us to point out the faults in our stars and hold those we admire accountable. By signing this petition, we seek to reach out to a man whose works we love and are inspired by, and whose actions we are concerned and disappointed by. Mr. Del Toro, if you wish to restore the trust of your fans, we implore you to please acknowledge your mistakes and do better in the future.
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