Women demand Woody Allen statue removed in Oviedo after sex assault allegations

Women demand Woody Allen statue removed in Oviedo after sex assault allegations
Woody Allen giving a lecture in Oviedo in 2005. Photo: AFP
The northern Spanish city of Oviedo could be about to lose one of its most popular landmarks following calls to remove a life-size statue of the Hollywood director over allegations by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrell.

Women’s groups are petitioning Oviedo City Hall to remove the statue, which has stood on the busy shopping street Calle Milicias Nacionales since 2003 when the director visited the city to collect the prestigious Prince of Asturias award.

The statue designed by Spanish painter and sculptor, Vicente Menéndez Santarúa, (known as Santarúa), is a popular tourist spot drawing visitors to pose for photos alongside the director who set part of the 2008 film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, in the city.

But the Asturias Feminist Organisation now insists the tribute should be removed in the wake of allegations that he molested the daughter he adopted with ex-partner Mia Farrow.

A petition sent to the mayor’s office demands that the council remove the statue that serves “to honour an abuser and pervert”. Oviedo City Hall has confirmed it will consider the proposal during a forthcoming council meeting.

The removal of the tribute in the city described by Allen as “…delicious, exotic, beautiful, clean, lovely, tranquil and pedestrianized,” is just the latest backlash against the filmmaker.

The allegations that Allen had sexually abused the then seven-year-old first emerged in the 1990s during the custody battle between Farrow and Allen but were shrugged off after Allen denied the claims.

But in 2014, Dylan repeated the allegations in an open letter published in the New York Times calling for actors to stop working with him. Again, she was largely ignored.

Now aged 32, Dylan reiterated the allegations in the #MeToo movement and Time's Up campaign – which grew out of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal, giving an emotional interview describing specific details of an alleged assault in the summer of 1992 in an attic in Connecticut.

Actors famous for roles in Allen’s films have now come out publicly to say they believe Dylan and would not work with Allen again, including Rebecca Hall, Colin Firth, Mira Sorvino, Natalie Portman and Reese Witherspoon.