Christopher Borrelli's opinion piece concerning the flaws of various artists troubled me.
As a family member to incest survivors, as a physician to many survivors of childhood sexual abuse and as a licensed foster parent whose charges have included children abused in many ways, I could not comprehend his seeming dismissal of Woody Allen's history of abuse of Mia Farrow's daughters as somehow comparable or equivalent to a tragic, fatal heroin overdose or a possibly poor choice of commercial sponsorship.
Bob Dylan’s commercial for an American car manufacturer might be seen as poor judgment, or a sellout of one's ideals. Philip Seymour Hoffman's untimely death was the result of an often fatal medical condition — addiction — which is recognized as an inheritable tendency by the medical profession and will certainly have long-lasting deleterious effects on his children, his wider family and his many fans.
Allen's proclivity for sexual activity with at least two minors, to whom he was a parental figure, falls into an entirely different category. Without his wealth and prestige, he might be in jail or on a registry for sex offenders, but apparently these rules do not apply to him. The harm he has caused to these young women was deliberately imposed, not an effect of an illness, and will have lasting effects in ever-widening circles. This is why I have not watched his movies since I first heard about his entirely inappropriate relationship with his stepdaughters. I can't stomach watching him, and I suspect I have lots of company.
— Constance Catellani, MD, Skokie