Original: James Jean - Fable #74

If you've watched BoJack Horseman, read recent Archie comics, or been rejected by someone who says they like you but your genitals gross them out, then you're familiar with asexuality⁠—but probably not as familiar as you think.

A 2019 poll found that 76% of those surveyed weren't able to accurately define asexuality, despite 53% of respondents asserting that they could.

And that's fine. I can barely do it after years of research, and according to modern definitions I'm a full-fledged "heteroromantic" "asexual," which, according to Dr. Google, places me among an estimated 1% of the population who are incapable of feeling sexually attracted to anyone, regardless of gender or sex. Or, as Stefani Goerlich explains in sex-therapist-speak, "Whereas heterosexuals are sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex, and homosexuals are attracted to folks of the same sex, asexuals are [sexually] attracted to nobody."

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Culture News

Woody Allen Sues After Amazon Drops Him (Finally)

Great. What took so long for Amazon to cut the cord?

Woody Allen is being treated unfairly, according to a $68 million lawsuit he filed against Amazon Studios on Thursday.

The 83-year-old has claimed that a 25-year old "baseless allegation" of sexual abuse has driven Amazon to break a four-movie deal with him. His most recent film, A Rainy Day in New York, was dropped from Amazon after sitting completed and ready for release for over six months. The studio also terminated their deal for three more films with Allen's production company, Gravier Productions. While Allen laments the loss of work, we have to wonder: What took Amazon so long to drop him?

The lawsuit alleges that in 2014 Amazon sought to "capitalize on Mr. Allen's international stature, talent, and track record...promising to finance and distribute his true films and to be his 'home' for the rest of his career." The minimum payment guaranteed to Gravier Productions totaled between $68 and $73 million. However, in June 2018, "Amazon backed out of the deals, purporting to terminate them without any legal basis for doing so, while knowing that its actions would cause substantial damage to Mr. Allen, Gravier, investors, and the artists and crew involved in making the films."

With a reported net worth between $65 and $80 million, Woody Allen is taking more damage to his reputation than his finances. According to the complaint, Amazon dismissed the director due to "supervening events, including renewed allegations ... [Allen's] own controversial comments, and the increasing refusal of top talent to work with or be associated with him in any way."

Vanity Fair

Long before the #MeToo movement, Allen was notoriously accused of molesting his adopted step daughter, Dylan, while he was still with his ex-partner, Mia Farrow. Dylan O'Sullivan Farrow, now 33 years old, has given multiple interviews alleging that Allen abused her at age 7. The accusations are particularly disturbing in light of Allen's controversial 20-year marriage to Soon-Yi Previn, Mia Farrow's adopted daughter, whom Allen helped raise.

Reportedly, Amazon executives held a meeting with Allen's representatives to discuss concerns about being associated with an accused sex abuser after Harvey Weinstein had been ousted from Hollywood. While both sides agreed to postpone the release of A Rainy Day in New York in that 2017 meeting, Thursday's lawsuits accuse the company of using the controversy as an excuse: "Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year old, baseless allegation against Mr. Allen, but that allegation was already well known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Mr. Allen—and, in any event it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract. There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises."


The dispute highlights the question of whether entertainment companies have a legal right to terminate contracts with artists due to allegations of sexual abuse—and if so, why isn't that right exercised sooner? Kevin Spacey wasn't dismissed from major studios until 30 years' worth of sexual misconduct accusations finally culminated in criminal charges. Bryan Singer is just now being suspended from projects after 20 years of sexual assault claims. The moral question of separating a problematic artist from his art has long been a burden to consumers, but, for the most part, high-powered industries only act when profit loss outweighs the reputations of its artists.

Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.

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Soon-Yi Speaks

Wife of Woody Allen Opens Up to New York Magazine – Memories, Marriage, Misbehavior, and More

...And she has plenty to say.

Rarely heard from, Soon-Yi Previn is now stirring up quite the story in New York magazine and on the Vulture website. Interviewed by longtime friend of Woody Allen (Daphne Merkin), the piece delves into topics that are far from your everyday family affair.

Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previnhttps://www.hollywoodreporter.com

The lengthy article highlights Previn's rocky relationship with her adoptive mother, Mia Farrow to the #MeToo movement to allegations against Allen from his daughter Dylan Farrow, and other difficult topics. Perhaps this is why Previn has remained silent so long.

The piece is entitled "Introducing Soon-Yi Previn." While we've heard her name for years – she has been married to Allen (35 years her senior) for 20 – most people don't know much about her, hence the "introduction." What we do know is considered by many to be controversial, as Farrow and Allen used to be a couple, with Allen in what can be described as a "father figure" role to Previn. (He is not her adoptive father, but was Farrow's partner when Previn was a child).

Allen, Mia Farrow, and Previn images.nymag.com

With so much to dig into and discuss with Merkin, Previn lays it all on the table. In essence, she gets into her (what she considers terrible) relationship with Farrow, describing an abusive (both mentally and physically) upbringing and less-than-maternal behavior brought forth by Farrow. Other children in the family recall a far different, and much happier upbringing. "None of us ever witnessed anything other than compassionate treatment in our home," a statement from seven of Farrow's children.

Then there's the allegations from Dylan Farrow, that Allen (her adoptive father) molested her at age seven. Previn suggests Farrow is using the height of the #MeToo movement to dredge up these decades' old allegations, designed to further drag Allen's name through the mud as actors pull out of productions and apologize for ever having worked with him in the first place.

Dylan Farrow i.kinja-img.com

Previn told the magazine, "What's happened to Woody is so upsetting, so unjust. Mia has taken advantage of the #MeToo movement and paraded Dylan as a victim. And a whole new generation is hearing about it when they shouldn't."

Brother Ronan Farrow, a journalist who helped bring the Harvey Weinstein scandal to light via his work in The New Yorker, stands by his sister Dylan and called the New York magazine piece a "hit job." "Survivors of abuse deserve better," he said. And as per USA Today, "Dylan Farrow, who says she was contacted by New York magazine, criticized the report for 'multiple obvious falsehoods.'"

Ronan and Mia Farrow nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com

Previn gets into her relationship with Allen, calling it "magnetic," and that he pursued her, not the other way around. After finding nude Polaroids of Previn in the early '90s shot by Allen, Farrow (who was still with Allen at the time) discovered their affair and spread the news like wildfire. Previn claims she "regrets" the way Farrow found out and it was "a huge betrayal on both our parts (Previn and Allen's), a terrible thing to do, a terrible shock to inflict on her."

Allen and Previn 1.bp.blogspot.com

Along with the details this New York magazine piece delivers, much of the shock lies in the reporting itself. A close friend of Allen writing the story, for some, makes it skewed from the start. Ronan Farrow wrote, "As a journalist, I'm shocked by the lack of care for the facts, the refusal to include eyewitness testimony that would contradict falsehoods in this piece, and the failure to print my sister's responses."

The magazine defended the story and its writer. Magazine spokesperson Lauren Starke explained, "Soon-Yi Previn is telling her story for the first time, and we hope people will withhold judgment until they have read the feature. Daphne Merkin's relationship to Woody Allen is disclosed and is a part of the story, as is Soon-Yi's reason for speaking out now. I would add that Daphne approached Soon-Yi about doing this piece, not vice-versa. We reached out to both Mia and Dylan Farrow for comment; Dylan chose to speak through her representative. The story is transparent about being told from Soon-Yi's point of view."

If you're interested in more of Previn's point of view, you can read the piece on Vulture. As Merkin sums up, "I find myself wondering whether Soon-Yi's voice — having finally been heard — will be listened to, much less change anyone's opinion. It's a gamble she's taken by speaking out, but then again, she's never been one to play it safe."

Melissa A. Kay is a New York-based writer, editor, and content strategist. Follow her work on Popdust as well as sites including TopDust, Chase Bank, P&G, Understood.org, The Richest, GearBrain, The Journiest, Bella, TrueSelf, Better Homes & Gardens, AMC Daycare, and more.

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