Paulie’s Perspective – Misbehavin’ Celebrities

This week it is about sexual misconduct in Hollywood. We had James Franco settle a sexual harassment case this week, and the premiere of the four part documentary series, Allen V Farrow on HBO. 


A settlement has been reached on Feb 21 that alleged James Franco intimidated students at an acting and film school he founded into gratuitous and exploitative sexual situations. The acting school was called Studio 4, it opened 2014 and closed 2017. The lawsuit was filed by actresses Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal who first filed the suit back in 2019. Their lawsuit said Franco pushed his students into performing in explicit sex scenes on camera in an “orgy type setting” that went a little too far for their liking. 

Franco was teaching a master class on sex scenes, and Sarah and Toni thought the class took things a bit too far. It is alleged that Franco “sought to create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education.”

Meaning Franco thought he had so much Hollywood clout, he could basically start his own harem at his acting school and have sex slaves at his beck and call. 

We all know about the old casting couch, where women had sex for acting jobs, well Franco wanted a casting warehouse, full of young women who were dying for some Hollywood gold. A true monster if there ever was one. 

Speaking of monsters – let me review the new documentary about Woody Allen and his infatuation with his own daughters. I can review Part 1, at least. 


Allen v Farrow (Documentary Series) 

Dir: Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering

Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow. 

The film interviews Mia Farrow, Dylan Farrow and Ronan Farrow. They appear on camera, with their faces and everything. To be fair – the program does use excerpts from Woody Allen’s audio book, narrated by Woody, to help tell his side of the story. Although now Woody’s lawyers are saying the film used the audio excerpts without permission – but that’s another story. 

Frankly – no side of the story is needed – it’s his actions that speak louder then anything anyone can say. They interview Psychiatrists and family friends – and all of them have their accounts in order and they all match up with one another. 

Dylan says what happened, family friends say the same thing, Ronan says the same thing, Psychiatrists say the same thing – but Mia had no clue. Mia had a lot children, she is not an outspoken or a strong person, Woody was a powerful celebrity and the love of her life. So when Woody repeatedly told Mia nothing was going on – of course she wanted to believe him. 

When something this horrific occurs, to your own family and loved ones it seems almost impossible to accept and even notice. While watching this documentary, you can see a lot of things go unspoken, a lot of silence, miscommunication and simple disbelief. 

Woody himself is not shown, not yet, but they play audio excerpts from his book, which obviously does not offer much insight into anything. Yet really, what could he say? It was obvious he was infatuated with Dylan. There is video footage, tapes, pics, stories, third party accounts – it is just so overwhelming that the question is not if he did these horrible things, but rather how was it allowed to happen and how did it go on for so long. 

Part 1 of this series is very well paced, well thought out, and has enough archive pictures and home video footage to really put you in the moments. It’s not so much a lynching of Woody Allen as it is a study of a dysfunctional family with a monster who is beloved by his girlfriend and by America. As best put by Dylan Farrow – ‘it took me a long time in therapy to realize you can love someone, and be terrified of them at the same time.”

The opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and not of Place To Be Nation.