Why Alec Baldwin Defended Woody Allen and James Toback Against Sexual Misconduct Claims

Actor revisited his past comments about the directors and writers in an interview posted days before the premiere of his new ABC talk show

By Corinne Heller Mar 01, 2018 5:19 PMTags
Alec Baldwin, Woody Allen, James TobackShutterstock

Alec Baldwin is standing by his past defenses of his friends Woody Allen and James Toback with regard to sexual misconduct claims made against him, and has also weighed in on the #MeToo movement as it continues to grow.

Both directors and writers have denied the claims made against them. Baldwin, who has worked with both men on numerous films, talked to The Hollywood Reporter about Allen and Toback in an interview posted on Thursday, three days before the premiere of his new ABC talk show Sundays with Alec Baldwin.

"My inclination to want to defend my friends—who either a I thought were innocent, which is Woody or b) I had no knowledge of what they did and I still have no knowledge of what they did, which is Toback—is a normal inclination," Baldwin said. "It's a normal inclination to want to rally by your friends up until the point that they are convicted of something. If they're convicted of a crime, well then you're sad, and that's tragic, but they've got to go through that process. In the meantime, I hope that we see some manifestation of this beyond just social media."

Baldwin, whose overall stance about sexual misconduct scandals has been echoed online by scores of people in recent months, was also asked if he would have Allen on as a guest.

I doubt there's any amount of money you could pay Woody to come on and talk about this stuff," the actor said. "He has already said everything he has to say."  

Hollywood's Many Men Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Picture Perfect/REX/Shutterstock

Baldwin starred in three of Allen's films—Blue Jasmine, To Rome With Love and Alice. Toback had a small role in the latter movie. Baldwin also starred in Toback's documentary Seduced and Abandoned and the 2017 movie The Private Life of a Modern Woman.

In 1992, Allen's former partner Mia Farrow accused him of molesting their then 7-year-old daughter Dylan Farrow, who echoed the allegations in an column published by the New York Times in 2014 and in a Los Angeles Times op-ed published last December. In January, Dylan gave her first televised interview in which she talked about her claims.

"Of course, I did not molest Dylan," Allen wrote in his own New York Times op-ed in 2014. "I loved her and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter's well-being."

"No one wants to discourage abuse victims from speaking out, but one must bear in mind that sometimes there are people who are falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing," he added.

In her Los Angeles Times op-ed, Allen's daughter criticized "A-list actors" who have worked with the director. Several stars soon publicly distanced themselves from Allen.

"Woody Allen was investigated forensically by two states (NY and CT) and no charges were filed," Baldwin tweeted at the time. "The renunciation of him and his work, no doubt, has some purpose. But it's unfair and sad to me. I worked w WA 3 times and it was one of the privileges of my career."

"Is it possible to support survivors of pedophilia and sexual assault/abuse and also believe that WA is innocent?" Baldwin later tweeted. "I think so. The intention is not to dismiss or ignore such complaints. But accusing ppl of such crimes should be treated carefully. On behalf of the victims, as well."


Dave Allocca/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock

Last October, the Los Angeles Times writer Glenn Whipp reported that more than 300 women have accused Toback of sexual harassment. Among them are Rachel McAdams and Selma Blair. The director and writer denied the allegations, telling the Los Angeles Times he had never met the women or, if he did, it "was for five minutes and have no recollection." He also said that for the last 22 years it had been "biologically impossible" for him to engage in the behavior his accusers described.

"I don't know that Jimmy has done anything criminal," Baldwin told the newspaper. "It sounds like many people are saying that he has. That he has assaulted them. If that's true, that's news to me. I never had any idea that Jimmy's appetites took him in that direction. I had no idea."

In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Baldwin made mention of Harvey Weinstein, who last fall became the first major Hollywood power player to face numerous allegations of sexual assault and harassment. He has denied taking part in non-consensual sex. The scandal fueled the popularity of the #MeToo movement and spurred other people to come forward with their own misconduct claims against other powerful men in and outside of the entertainment business.

"I think innuendo and accusations are a first step, but you've got a guy like Weinstein—he's not even low hanging fruit, he's right in the dirt to pick up—and we need to see a conviction," Baldwin said. "If I was involved in that movement, I would be crowd funding as much money for legal fees as I could and have a team of lawyers harangue the L.A. and the New York D.A.'s office 24/7 to bring charges against these people."

"Someone's gotta go to jail and prove that there are real consequences. Right now, no one has been prosecuted. Nobody," he said. "Is that going to change or are we going to stay in the realm where it's just accusations and condemnations being played out in the press?"

Latest News